Academy and Conference 2024

Join us for the fourth edition of the Academy and Conference

Human Rights Go Local – What Works
“Accountability in Action: Human Rights Action Plans of Local Governments”

5 to 8 February 2024

Local authorities worldwide have already made significant progress towards meeting their human rights obligations. Despite this progress, it is clear that much more needs to be done to improve local government accountability. While there are numerous approaches, the fourth Academy and Conference “Human Rights Go Local – What Works” will focus on human rights action plans as a tool for promoting accountability. Action plans are strategic documents that outline the specific goals and actions to promote and protect human rights at the local level. They are intended to address the specific challenges and needs of the local population while remaining consistent with national and international human rights standards.

Action plans are currently widely used at local, regional, national and international levels. Local governments around the world already have substantial experience with this instrument and can therefore share their wealth of knowledge in this regard. They are also a globally applicable instrument that can nevertheless be discussed independently of the specific normative framework that applies to the local government in question. Action plans, by their very conception, are best suited to promote accountability of local governments, as they are a tool that local governments address to themselves.

The Academy and Conference in 2024 will build on the success of last year’s event and an online platform for sharing human rights action plans, discussing relevant experiences and collecting and disseminating approaches that have proven successful among local governments. By discussing the practical aspects of successfully adopting and implementing human rights action plans, the Academy aims to help local governments promote accountability effectively and efficiently.

Date: 5 to 8 February 2024

The Academy (5-7 February 2024) was a virtual event held in English on the platform BigBlueButton. The Conference (8 February 2024) was a hybrid event streamed on Zoom.

Important Documents:

FAQ: Logistics and organization

  • 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 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN-Habitat, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the African Local Governments Academy of United Cities and Local Governments Africa (ALGA UCLG-Africa), the Austrian Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs, the Federal Province of Styria, the City of Graz, and the  University of Graz.
  • Where can I find the progamme of the Academy?
    The programme will be made available on the Academy 2024 main page.
  • What is the Conference and where will it take place?
    The Conference will take place as a closing event to the Academy. It will be hosted on 8 February 2024. 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.
  • Where do the Academy and Conference take place?
    The Academy is held exclusively online, the Conference will offer the opportunity to attend online. 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. The Academy will be held in English without translation. The Conference will be streamed on Zoom. There will be live interpretation in German, English, French and Spanish.
  • How much does it cost to attend?
    The Academy and Conference are free to attend upon registration.
  • What technical equipment do I need to take part?
    In general, we recommend the following to take part in our online events:
    • 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.