How we work

Work method

This focuses on five major dimensions: networking, exchanging, analysing, monitoring and dissemination.

  • Networking between human rights cities practitioners, as well as national, European and international institutions
  • Exchanging information among city actors on inclusive strategies, dynamics and practices to make human rights a reality for all citizens
  • Analysing best practices to advance the methodology, models and tools to support knowledge sharing and equip role-players to respect, protect, promote and realise residents’ rights
  • Monitoring and keeping updated on trends and new developments in the human rights cities’ field
  • Disseminating expertise and information on human rights cities, through the Excellence Knowledge Centre


This network provides access to an Excellence Knowledge Centre, regarding the implementation of human rights cities and development. Two layers of information are available on the website: general information accessible to all, and detailed information available to specialised human rights cities practitioners. Network guest members are reference cities on localisation and mainstreaming of human rights in an urban context. Brainstorming workshops, an exchange of views on specific matters and inter-city dialogue on human rights cities’ concepts, methodology, policies and practices are to be provided to the members.

The Excellence Knowledge Centre aims to further the professionalism of human rights cities. By sustaining practices and policies around human rights at city level, the network explores new dynamics and approaches to citizens’ rights across Europe. It offers a wide range of services from networking to guidance, including:

  • information sharing
  • exchange of experiences and best practices
  • constant dialogue among the cities
  • interconnection between key actors on specific expertise
  • access to concepts, methodologies, models and tools
  • guidance on human rights cities development

Excellence Knowledge Centre

Human rights framework

Publications and resources

Institutions and resources

Fundamental Rights Agency

UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments

Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) / Associate member

Global CAD – The Centre of Partnerships for Development / Associate member

Thematic issues

Other issues


Useful links

List of Useful Websites and Links on UN SDGs, Human Rights and Local Governments & Cities
Human Right City – Initiatives and Networks
  1. Gwangju World Human Rights Cities Forum
  2. Right to the City Platform
  3. US National Human Rights Cities Alliance
  4. Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) – Human Rights City Project
  5. Human Rights Cities Center – The Association for International Human Rights Reporting Standards
  6. The Right to the City Alliance – Fighting for Democracy, Justice and Sustainability in our Cities in USA and beyond
  7. Habitat International Coalition – Global Network for the Right to Habitat and Social Justice
Association of Local Governments and Cities
  1. United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)  Asia Pacific Localizing SDGs
  2. UCLG Human Rights in the City
  3. Local Governments for Sustainability  
  4. CITYNET – Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlement 
  5. C40
SDGs. Local Community and City

UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs

  1. UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  2. UN Knowledge Platform – High-level Political Forum (HLPF)
  3. UNESCAP SDGs Help Desk 

SDGs, Local Community and City

  1. LOCAL 2030 – Hub for Sustainability Solutions
  2. UNDP Toolbox for Localizing the SDGs
  3. SDGs and Cities
  4. UN HABITAT for a Better Urban Future
  5. UN Brief on Goal 11 : Sustainable Cities and Communities 
  6. The World Bank Brief on Sustainable Cities 
  7. A Guide for Local Stakeholders – Getting Started with the SDGs in Cities
  8. Urban SDGs
  9. UNESCO Learning Cities and the SDGs 
  10. World Council on City Data – Open Data Portal
  11. The Right to the City Agenda for the UN SDGs and New Urban Agenda (NUA)
Initiatives and Networks of Thematic City
  1. Accountable City
  2. Age-friendly City
  3. Barrier-free City
  4. Carbon-free City
  5. Child-friendly City
  6. Clean City
  7. Climate City
  8. Climate-fit City
  9. Corruption-free City
  10. Cosmopolitan City
  11. Creative City
  12. Decent City
  13. Discrimination, Cities against Discrimination
  14. Digital City
  15. Disability-Friendly City
  16. Effective City
  17. Equitable City
  18. Freedom City
  19. Friendly City
  20. Gender-sensitive City
  21. Global City
  22. Glocal City /
  23. Green City
  24. Happy City
  25. Healthy City
  26. Human City
  27. Inclusive City
  28. Inclusive and Sustainable Cities
  29. Innovative City
  30. Learning City
  31. Livable City
  32. Migration City
  33. Multi-cultural City /
  34. Open City
  35. Organic City
  36. Participatory City
  37. Peaceful / Peace City 
  38. Quality of Living City
  39. Racism, City against Racism and Discrimination
  40. Rainbow City
  41. Rebel City
  42. Resilient City
  43. Right to the City
  44. Safe City
  45. Self-sufficient City
  46. Sharing City
  47. Shelter City
  48. Slow City
  49. Solidarity City
  50. Smart (e-Government and ICT) City
  51. Sustainable City
  52. Tolerant City
  53. Transparent City
  54. Zero-carbon City
SDGs, Human Rights and Peace

SDGs and Human Rights

  1. OHCHR – Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development / SDGs
  2. Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) 
  3. Universal Rights Group – Strengthening Policy through Dialogue

SDG 16 – Peace and Justice

  1. UN SDG 16 – Peace and Justice
  2. UN HLPF SDG 16
  3. UNDP – SDG 16
  4. SDG16 Data Initiative
  5. SDG16 Reporting
  6. Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network
  7. SDG 16 Hub
  8. NYU CIC Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
  9. WFUNA SDG16+ Forum

SDGs and Peace

  1. UN Secretary General Agenda for
  2. UNDP SDGS and Sustaining Peace
  3. IPI SDG and Peace

Refugees and Migrants

  1. UN Refugees and Migrants
  2. Migration
  3. Refugees

Work in progress

Associate members

Global CAD (Centro de Alianzas para el Desarrollo)

Through the years, CAD has formed a global network of experts specialised in human and sustainable development. Sharing the conviction that partnerships are essential to find solutions, CAD collaborates with multilateral organisations, private sector companies and NGOs across all continents.
CAD vision is to transform societies towards a more sustainable and inclusive world CAD generate knowledge and innovative solutions with those who want to create social impact, they do this through partnerships development, applied research, capacity building
and strategic advice.

Useful links:

Raoul Wallenberg Institute

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute is committed to advancing the human rights city movement both in Sweden and worldwide. We combine research with practice to provide academic expertise to the needs and priorities of practitioners, as well as to inform our research based on lessons learned. Such  knowledge exchanges have already resulted in a publication on the Swedish and international perspectives on human rights cities and regions, as well as a platform that lays out criteria for how to develop and perform as a human rights city in Sweden, which we developed together with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. Presently RWI is doing research on 7 Swedish Cities that work with Human Rights and we are starting up a similar research in Asia and is supporting a study by Infid (an Indonesian NGO) on 100 cities working with Human Rights in Indonesia. RWI is also working with researchers and 7 cities in Turkey that work on human rights for specific groups in their country. In addition, we work with direct support to Lund City, the first Human Rights City in Sweden,
in how to work systematically with human rights. RWI is also part of the process to strengthen the policy development on human rights cities in Asia and Europe as well as on the global level.

University College Roosevelt and Utrecht University

Both University College Roosevelt, and Utrecht University, have conducted key research on human rights cities. At University College Roosevelt, UU’s honours college in the small Dutch town of Middelburg, Prof. Oomen lead a pioneering
research program on Human Rights Cities in the Netherlands. She taught a university course which lead to a publication on European human rights cities. In addition, a first gathering of scholars and practitioners working on human rights cities lead to the
edited volume “Global Urban Justice: the rise of Human Rights Cities”. At University College Roosevelt, current research focuses on refugees, and the role of human rights in the way in which cities all over Europe welcome and integrate refugees. In
engaging with the local and regional authorities on local human rights UCR takes inspiration from the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, who pointed out that human rights acquire meaning in “small places, close to home”. UCR forms part of Utrecht University, with its long-standing history in the field of researching and realizing human rights. Like Middelburg, Utrecht is a human rights city. It is also home to the Netherlands Human Rights Institute, which has developed special policies pertaining to municipalities. At the University itself, the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) is a key centre of expertise on human rights research and education. Together with UCR, Utrecht University organizes a summer school on human rights at the local level. In all, University College Roosevelt and Utrecht University are academic partners to the cities of Middelburg and Utrecht, both human rights cities, and to all interested into both researching the relevance of rights, but also realizing them at the local level.

Official websites and useful links


US Human Rights Cities Alliance

The National Human Rights Cities Alliance is a member-led and organized initiative of the US Human Rights Network, supported by the USHRN Coordinating Center, it works to strengthen relationships among human rights city organizers, including grassroots and local advocates for human rights cities, national and international human rights advocates, scholar-practitioners, and others working to advance human rights in the places where people live. The Human Rights Cities Alliance also works to advance knowledge about effective models and practices for local implementation of human rights and to improve methods for reporting and sharing this information.

Official websites and useful links
Human rights city organizers in the United States have convened two national gatherings Human Rights Cities, in Pittsburgh in 2015


in Washington, DC in 2016. <>

A national human rights city steering committee was formed after the 2016 meeting in Washington DC, and that group has been charged with developing a coordinating structure for the National Human Rights Cities Alliance in the United States. In 2018, the Alliance convened meetings in Washington DC

<,_Washington_DC> and

in Greenville, SC


Plans are underway to host Human Rights Cities convergences in the U.S. south over coming months and to consider thematic issues including the effects of corporate power on human rights in cities.

Experts’ facility

The “Experts’ facility” is the link between the website and members of the network. Users of the network website can submit any questions related to Human Rights Cities. If relevant, the replies may be published on the website, together with a summary and relevant links. The network provides customised expertise to members of the public, which supplements the core knowledge resources of the Human Rights Cities Network.
Scroll to Top