Academy and Conference 2023

Join us for the third edition of the Academy and Conference

Human Rights Go Local – What Works
“Governing the city by human rights objectives:
Management concepts and instruments”

1 to 8 February 2023

Local governments are leading the way in bringing human rights to the people.However, many are currently confronted with significant shocks, including an unprecedented and unpredictable economic environment marked by a lack of ability to plan. At the same time, governments at all levels are only slowly recovering and looking for ways to deal with the ongoing pandemic, raising significant questions about resource allocation and distribution in almost all policy areas. Despite these challenges, many local governments continue to use a governance approach based on human rights in their managerial, administrative, and policy efforts.

The third edition of the “Human Rights Go Local: What Works” Academy is dedicated to management concepts and methods used to govern at the local level in order to improve local service provision through human rights objectives. Participants will discuss existing approaches and techniques that help to integrate an approach based on human rights into the planning and review of services and into the managerial, administrative and policy-processes of local governments.

The Academy and Conference in 2023 will build on the success of last year’s event and provides a platform to share and exchange on respective practices, to discuss the experiences gained, and to collect and disseminate methods that have been identified as successful by local governments. By discussing the practical aspects of integrating human rights into public management, the Academy aims to support local governments in effectively and efficiently addressing today’s pressing challenges.

Date: 1 to 8 February 2023

Time: from 12:00 to approx. 15:30 CET (GMT+1) each day, excluding Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Academy is a virtual event held in English.

Sign up for event updates here! You will receive irregular emails with important information and developments.

Important documents

For any questions about the Academy and Conference 2023, please email

  • Where do the Academy and Conference take place?

    Both the Academy and the Conference take place online using the conferencing system BigBlueButton. The event will be held in English without translation.

  • How much does it cost to attend?

    The Academy and Conference are free to attend.

  • When does the event take place?

    The Academy and Conference will take place over several days between 1 and 8 February 2023. There will be no events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Are there additional events offered to members of the next generation?

    One day of the Academy will be dedicated to the next generation. Stay tuned for more information!

  • What is the format of the Academy?

    The Academy takes place over four days. On these days, 4 topics are introduced by brief inputs. These are followed by intense, interactive exchange in small groups. The focus is on engagement and interaction – you can conceive the Academy as a giant round table discussion, in which each participant speaks about experiences made in terms of “what works” in the realization of human rights. There are no formal presentations but rather discussions and exchange on eye-level. Every participant is an expert in their own right, regardless of formal position.

    One day will be exclusively dedicated to the next generation.

  • Where can I find the progamme of the Academy?

    The programme will be uploaded in due time on this page. Stay tuned and sign up for updates!

  • What will my participation in the Academy look like?

    The Academy is informal in nature, meaning that you are not required to prepare a presentation, lecture or intervention unless we specifically ask you to. The main focus of the event is to bring together practitioners to the same table. We want to learn about the experiences you make in your daily work and to exchange on “what really works” in practice. We are interested in hearing about which tools and methods you are familiar with when it comes to realizing human rights at the local level, whether they function well, what the challenges are, what you consider a best practice, which improvements are necessary from your point of view, etc. No formal preparation is necessary.  Simply engage in the discussion!

  • Can I take part on all days of the Academy?

    Yes! Active participation on all days is crucial. The Academy must be understood as one overall workshop that brings together different perspectives on the topics and creates meaningful outcomes. Therefore, active participation in all strands, formats and events is preferred.

  • On which digital platform will the Academy be held?

    The Academy will be held on an open source conferencing software called BigBlueButton. The International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels hosts the platform on its own, secure and encrypted server. Users do not have to download anything and can simply participate securely via their browsers.

  • What technical equipment do I need to take part in the Academy?

    To attend our online events, we recommend the following:

    • good, stable Internet connection (no mobile networks)
    • Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge (Opera is not supported by BigBlueButton!)
    • Headphones and microphone
    • A quiet location from where you can take part

    Please avoid the use of institutional networks, as this can lead to firewall issues.

    Participants will receive a detailed user guide via email.

  • What is the Conference about?

    The Conference “Human Rights Go Local” is a high level gathering taking place at the end of the Academy. Its purposes are to discuss the outcomes of the Academy (i.e. the Outcome Document) and to make concrete proposals on how to locally implement the international agenda following a human rights-based approach. The Outcome Document will be adopted as a guideline for local authorities on how to effectively strengthen human rights at the local level.

  • When will the Conference take place and what can I expect?

    The Conference will take place as a closing event to the Academy. It will be hosted online on 8 February 2023.

    The event brings together high-level representatives from international organizations and local governments, who are presented with the outcome of the Academy: the Outcome Document. This contains encouragements for local governments, building on the inputs shared during the Academy.

  • Who organizes the Academy and Conference?

    The event is organized by the International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels under the auspices of UNESCO and the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security in cooperation with several partners. The exact partners will be announced here!