Leuven Human Rights City

About Leuven Human Rights City

On the 10th of December 2023,

 the City of Leuven declared itself a Human Rights City !

In doing so, the city commits to further work on human rights


On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the 10th of December 2023, the City of Leuven declared itself a Human Rights City. Two years earlier, the city expressed its commitment with the university of Leuven (KU Leuven), and received support from Amnesty International Flanders and the Federal Institute for the protection and promotion of Human Rights (FIRM). The city of Leuven will use human rights as a benchmark and a guideline for local policies and will explicitly refer to human rights.

The city of Leuven expressed its commitment by joining the Human Rights Cities Network (HRCN), with other local governments that realise, protect and defend human rights.

Leuven uses three pillars :

  1. To realize human rights and make them explicit;
  2. To strengthen the support for human rights among the general public;
  3. To defend human rights and human rights defenders.

The framework is science-based, and Leuven is willing to provide opportunities for participation to its inhabitants and civil society. The cooperation envisaged with partners is structural. Leuven wishes to inspire other local governments.

Landmark activities:

  • The Federal Institute of Human Rights (FIRM) mapped and screened Leuven’s policy with the objective to link the results to local practices. Currently, the city is exploring how to use indicators for monitoring and evaluation purpose.
  • In 2023, the City of Leuven participated in the International Empathic Cities Forum in Kraków.
  • The City of Leuven joined the campaign ’10, 100, 1,000 Human Rights Cities and Territories by 2030′ of UCLG-CSIPDHR.
  • Since 2021, the city is organizing annually the Human Rights Week, the Amnesty International’s writing marathons, and the Blue Heart Campaign (against human trafficking and in solidarity with its victims) supporting the World Day Against Human Trafficking.
  • The photo exhibition and walk ‘In the Trail of Environmental Activists‘ was organised with Amnesty International.
  • UCLL’s book ‘Social work as a human rights profession’ was presented.
  • A march for human rights by Collective Art.27 (Toeterdonk) took place in the city centre.
  • The city council signed the Amnesty International Belgium’s petition for the immediate release of Mr Olivier Vandecasteele.
  • Leuven joined the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN).
  • The 2023 Quetzal Prize for Human Rights and Democracy in Guatemala was awarded by Guatebelga in Leuven.
  • The City of Leuven called for a ceasefire in Gaza and condemned any form of violence affecting innocent victims.
• Picture “VISIT Grote Markt Stadhuis ©KarlBruninx_verkleind.jpg”
Since: 2024
Contact person's name: Lies Corneillie
Discover other Human Rights Cities
Scroll to Top