Resources for starting a Human Rights City initiative near you

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Starting a human rights city initiative

The path to becoming a human rights city differs by locale, and local actors must identify possibilities and develop appropriate strategies for local contexts and needs. The most important thing is to have community leadership at the start and at the center of the process. There must be some community commitment to a long-term process of becoming a human rights city. That will take work from many different sectors and constituencies, so getting buy-in near the start of the process is critical. Adopting a human rights city resolution/charter/ordinance, etc. is the beginning, reflecting a city's commitment to a long-term political process of progressively advancing human rights in the city or community. The following links provide further guidance.

Here are some of the tools we have found most useful at integrating lessons from human rights city work so far:

Other recommended resources on local human rights implementation

Research Compilation


  • Campaign for a U.S. National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)-The United States is among the only democratic states yet to follow international commitments and guidelines calling for the creation of a national institution to coordinate and guide human rights implementation. Allies, UN member peers, and UN expert panels have repeatedly called on the U.S. government to create an NHRI, as has a growing chorus of civil society organizations. There are new possibilities to make progress toward this important goal under the Biden administration.
  • University of Manitoba Centre for Human Rights Research
  • Imagining (Winnipeg) as a Human Rights City December 2022 (Webinar recording)--Organized by The Centre for Social Science Research and the Centre for Human Rights Research at the University of Manitoba in acknowledgment of International Human Rights Day. Human rights educators, community advocates, and policy leaders discuss what it means to use the human rights framework to organize for change in particular settings--and here panelists consider Winnipeg in the wake of horrific atrocities committed against Indigenous and homeless women living in that region.
  • Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion - York University