Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 18 - July 2019 عربى
Terminology Corner
Human Rights in the City

is an application of these kindred principles in the social and physical context of the urban space defined as “city,” a human settlement agglomeration that UN-Habitat claims to hold at least half the world’s population. This more-specific context and application does not set out to establish new human rights. However, as such, the human-rights-in-the-city construct expresses both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship at the level of the city, but also explicitly recognizes local governments’ role in guaranteeing the human rights of “all their inhabitants.”                                                                

“Human rights in the city” is exemplified in the “Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City” developed by the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights of the United Cities and Local Authorities (UCLG). Its preamble recognizes the legal sources of human rights and corresponding state obligations in the International Covenants (1966) and other state-level commitments as applying to local authorities, along with the exercise of the following values and principles:

  • The dignity of every human being as a supreme value;
  • Freedom, equality particularly between men and women, nondiscrimination, recognition of differences, justice and social inclusion;
  • Democracy and citizen participation as the policy of cities;
  • Universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights;
  • Social and environmental sustainability;
  • Cooperation and solidarity among all members of each city, as well as among all cities throughout the world;
  • Shared and differentiated responsibility of the cities and their inhabitants, in accordance with abilities and means.


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