Why human rights in the city?
Every state is obliged to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. In implementing this obligation the local level – the city – has an essential role: It is the place where people meet daily and the place where every decision concerns the human rights of individuals. To ensure that the human rights instruments are effectively applied and that specific problems are addressed locally, people must be involved in the shaping of the city.
Understanding human rights is a precondition for citizens’ participation in developing their human rights city: Only those who understand human rights can stand up for them and demand, protect and defend rights for themselves and others.
Human Rights Declarationof the City Graz:
The municipal council resolution of the 8th February 2001
„The City of Graz, especially the members of the city council and of the city government shall be guided in their actions by the principles of international human rights. Thereby the residents of the city, especially the youth, shall be informed about the established codes of human rights and about the rights and obligations derived therefrom. It is an objective, especially with regard to those who bear duties in public institutions, organisations and associations to respect and fulfill the human rights relevant standards in the daily life of the city. Deficits in the field of human rights are to be detected at all levels of society to respond appropriately. Thereby human rights shall play a major role in the guidelines and decisions for the future development of the City of Graz.
With this declaration and with the aims and code of practice associated therewith, the City of Graz as the European Cultural Capital 2003 expresses its understanding of culture and human dignity.“