At the Centre, we are dedicated to providing innovative and evidence-based consulting solutions tailored to the unique needs and goals of local governments. We understand that every municipality has its own distinct challenges and opportunities, and we believe in delivering targeted and context-specific strategies that drive meaningful change and promote sustainable development.
People all over the world are experiencing the greatest wave of globalisation in history, which brings a lot of benefits and fundamentally changes our local societies.
People can easily move from one location to another, either in person or virtually; economic globalisation promotes similar consumption patterns all over the world; and urbanisation is an irreversible trend. What is new about these developments is their scope on the one hand, and the existence of a common legal framework for human rights on the other. Even though human rights are not equally guaranteed in all parts of the world, people are increasingly expecting their governments to protect their rights. For this reason, many people "vote with their feet".
In the governance structure of countries, local governments are the responsible authorities at the first level to realise this trend, as they coordinate the functioning of increasingly diverse urban societies. Thereby, local governments assume various functions: As democratic institutions, they fulfil the political claim for human rights guarantees. As rule-makers, they must provide frameworks for the proper functioning of the society, which are framed by the rule of law and by human rights standards. They fulfil this function by guaranteeing the right to property, to a fair and people-centred trial, as well as to social peace and cohesion. Local authorities as service providers offer their citizens adequate services, such as health care, education, housing, and others, thereby realising human rights at the local level. As employers, they promote gender equality and fair working conditions. Finally, local governments as economic actors have considerable power to continuously uphold the good, but also to bring about much needed change to fight discrimination, child labour, and other forms of exploitation.
The international community has started to recommend action plans and action programmes in order to promote cross-cutting, mainstream, international or multi-level-governance topics. In recent years, action plans have become standard policy instruments in the field of human rights and other related issues, like social cohesion, inclusion, the fight against racism, or leaving no one behind in sustainability action. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action 1993 were one of the first international human rights programmes and action plans focusing also on the local government level.
We offer guidance to local authorities on how to elaborate Human Rights Action Plans from concept to implementation. When implementing the Action Plan, we can support you in reaching your targets or in monitoring whether you did and how. Also consider us as your partner in evaluating the human rights impact of your measures.
If you are interested in learning more about the elaboration, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of human rights action plans by cities, let us arrange an appointment to tailor our services along your needs, your geographical / social / legal context and the resources you have available: contact us!
We are a competency centre for human rights capacity-building for local authorities. Our offers build on each other, however, can be booked on an individual basis. Get in touch to match our offers with your needs!
- Capacity-building on Human Rights Action Plans
- Consulting the methodology of elaboration
- Consulting the development of an Action Plan
- Support in collecting actions
- Facilitating participatory collection of actions
- Consulting on monitoring methodology
- Supporting monitoring
- Evaluation of process and impact
Human Rights Go Local publication series, Volume 5 (upcoming on Action Plans)
Child rights monitor
Human Rights Indicator frameworks
Consulting the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in the Human Rights City Framework
Consulting the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
Consulting UNESCO’s Arab Coalition of Sustainable and Inclusive Cities
Consulting of development agencies
Consulting of local governments in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Sweden, Spain, or Georgia
SDG 11 calls for cities and human settlements to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
However, global changes, as the economic crisis, the worldwide pandemic, situations of war and conflict as well as the climate crisis have caused major global shifts in migration patterns and an increase of conflict in settlements. The safety, inclusiveness, resilience and sustainability of cities – and thus the achievement of SDG 11 by 2030 – is endangered by these global developments.
Big cities are challenged by rising problems in districts surrounding violence, inequalities and homelessness. In smaller cities, social exclusion and inequalities contribute to the ghettoization of people in vulnerable situations. The multiple crises we are currently facing severely affect social cohesion.
Local authorities now more than ever need reliable information and evidence on how to respond these challenges and secure resilience in times of crises. Data helps local authorities to develop and implement targeted actions to mitigate negative impacts of crises on cities’ population. Data enables a solid basis for evidence-based decision making, monitoring and impact assessment. Data also provides substantial evidence for lobbying and negotiations within the city.
International and regional organisations have issued standards on accessing and collecting equality data. These indicate how reliable and comparable data enable local authorities and decision-makers to assess and address the human rights realities on the ground. Data allows policy makers to better design, adapt, monitor and evaluate policies. Equality data in particular helps local authorities to assess the scale and nature of discrimination and exclusion processes, as suffered by marginalised groups. Therefore, equality data are a powerful tool in the fight against discrimination and exclusion.
Our services build the bridge between the international standards and recommendations regarding data collection and the local realities on the ground. Our services help to apply the international state of the art to your cities’ needs and concerns regarding data collection.
We are your partner if you are seeking demographic data, equality data, impact assessment or evaluations of your measures. We offer you practical guidance on how to obtain valid information and data, that is relevant to reach equality and social inclusion. We counsel you on the legal background, the limitations and opportunities of equality data collection. We support you throughout the data collection and interpretation of findings – be it qualitative or quantitative data analysis.
Let us arrange an appointment to tailor our services along your needs, your geographical / social / legal context and the resources you have available. Contact us!
We are a competency center for applied human rights research for local authorities. Our offers build on each other but can be booked on an individual basis. Get in touch to match our offers with your needs!
- Counselling and capacity building on data collection
- Needs assessment and determination of the methodology to address the needs
- Awareness raising for primary data
- Mapping and accessing existing data
- Data collection and analysis
- Research design, construction of survey instruments (interview guidelines, questionnaires)
- Data collection (upon feasibility assessment, otherwise coaching and capacity building for local experts)
- Data analysis and interpretation of findings
- Accessing and analysis of existing data
- Data analysis and interpretation findings
- Thematic workshops or lectures upon request
- Curriculum development for capacity building events relating data collection
Human Rights Go Local publication series, Volume 2
NEUMIN Report (in German)
Child rights monitor
FRAME WP 13
Our centre has maintained close research cooperation with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) since 2008 as national contact point in the multidisciplinary FRANET research network. Our collection of socio-legal information and data on fundamental rights-related issues in Austria provide the FRA with evidence for fundamental rights implementation, challenges and good practices. It forms the substantiative basis for the FRA’s policy recommendations and expert opinions to the European Commission.
We have supported the Council of Europe as International Consultants in a Project on “Strengthening participatory democracy and human rights at local level in Georgia” within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020 - 2023. A baseline assessment on the participating local authorities’ capacities, challenges and needs in relation to the topics of the Action Plan served an evidence-based approach to develop tailored capacity building activities for the target group. Moreover, the data collection, which we supported as international consultants, revealed the various human rights related capacities of local authorities in Georgia.
We did several socio-legal research projects on intersectional discrimination. In the research project "The Influence of Multiple Discrimination on the Career Paths of Affected Persons (MFD)", we have elaborated disadvantaging influences of multiple discriminations on the career paths of affected persons. The research provides the first interdisciplinary definition (a combination of the social science, economic and legal perspectives) on the issue of intersectional discrimination/multiple discrimination and represents a milestone in the development of the ETC. The research findings can be used to develop policies for the affected persons. Moreover, the findings provide evidence for the refinement of court proceedings and out-of-court solutions in discrimination cases. Furthermore, we have operationalized the ICERD to monitor the human rights of Black persons in urban centers of Austria. Policy recommendations for local authorities were derived from the research findings.
The well-being of individuals and society as a whole is greatly enhanced by sports, which also has an impact on human rights.
Modern societies are still segregated along markers of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation. These markers are often used to justify distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference. Such processes of segregation and exclusion take place particularly in urban spaces and negatively impact social cohesion. Examples of these impacts are societal tensions, inequalities, decreased social resilience and economic disadvantages. Thus, the achievement of a good quality of life for all city dwellers is at risk.
Local authorities must take action to promote sustainable societal structures that foster resilience and stability, particularly in an era of unprecedented global transformations.
Sports is a means to address several of these challenges and to additionally prevent health issues among the city population. However, local authorities hardly make use of sports in addressing societal challenges and do not see it as an instrument to promote equality, social cohesion and human rights.
As a result, we promote and encourage local governments to invest in sports infrastructure and to implement inclusive sports programmes and strategies. Supporting sports initiatives allows cities and local governments to reap the benefits of a healthier, more cohesive, and inclusive society. Sports play an important role in promoting social integration, breaking down barriers between communities, and encouraging collaboration, teamwork, and communication. They also serve as a powerful educational tool, fostering intercultural understanding and building bridges between communities for peaceful coexistence.
Fostering social inclusion, cohesion, and intercultural understanding is crucial to realizing your human rights obligations as a city. We show you how to effectively leverage the link between sports and human rights to address challenges like racism, discrimination, and exclusion. We provide guidance in the creation of city-wide sports strategies and action plans, as a means to promote coordinated action against social problems in a cost-efficient manner. We offer capacity-building in relation to adapting existing sports measures along human rights objectives. Building on our research and capacity building experience around the globe, we support your efforts with awareness-building activities. Together, we can promote a human rights-based approach to sports.
Schedule a consultation today to discuss your next steps in using sports as a means to improve your city inhabitant’s quality of life! Here is what we offer:
- Needs assessment
- Consulting methodology and development of strategies and action plans
- Support in implementation of strategies and action plans
- Evaluation and monitoring of existing plans and initiatives
- Capacity-building on sports as a tool for social inclusion
- Thematic workshops or lectures upon request
We empowered 54 local authorities on the Union of the Comoros to plan and implement inclusive sports offers in order to promote the human rights of children/youth and girls/women through swimming, biking, running and triathlon.
We assisted 160 segregated Roma children in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in improving their language and social skills and integrating into the community by linking sports, leisure time, and school learning activities. We could reduce the number of school dropouts among these children, particularly girls, so that 100% finished the school year.
At our Toolkit for Urban Inclusion workshop for cities by cities in Amman, Jordan, we brought together local politicians, members of administration, sports organizers, teachers, civil society, actors of the local economy and more to promote to promote inclusive and cohesive sports offers and activities by the municipalities.