Human Rights Cities

Due to the rapid population increase and urbanization, local authorities of Turkey feel the need for up-to-date planning in order to follow increasingly improving technologies and pecuniary resources. On the other hand, because of the migrations emerging for various reasons, human mobility in cities, by putting pressure on local services, increases the social conflicts. Against this and this kind of current issues identified as a problem area, "Human Rights Cities" project aims for offering local authorities to create sensitive and inclusive solution areas for different social groups that live there.

As much as emerging as an answer to the increasing and complicating questions of cities as a result of the majority of increasing world population's starting to live in the cities, Human Rights Cities also draws the attention of people in cities in order to enable them to live their rights guaranteed by international law to the fullest. It's a relatively new but, with increasing variety, a concept that has recently found itself an area of implementation.

While there are different implementations of HRC in the world, themes and understandings such as security, inclusion, being against discrimination, equal public services, gender equality, rise as the common components of human rights cities in the world.

Within this scope, Human Rights Cities Project aims for the implementation of the rights of elderly people, people with disabilities, woman, child and refugee/migrant groups, guaranteed by national and international laws, and for adaptation of these rights to daily life and for reflecting those rights to municipal services.

The Project aims for forming inclusive and participatory shared platforms where municipalities and the academy being the first place, Professional organizations, public enterprises, NGOs and international organizations can take place in order to come up with solid policy suggestions in the said areas.

Yet the second aim of the Project is to build the education and research capacities of the academy in Turkey in the aforementioned areas and within this framework, to improve the collaboration between the academy and the local authorities. Increasing the number of academics working in these areas and increasing their quality, improving the relations between academics and programmes with foreign academics working on the same areas are again amongst the objectives of this Project.

This 3-year-long Project which covers the period between 2018-2020 is carried out by the collaboration of Swedish Lund University, Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Union of Turkish World Municipalities and Research Worldwide Istanbul.

The relationship of 5 different groups, "Woman", "Disabled", "Child", "Elderly", "Refugee/Migrant", with the help of different actors and local authorities, according to the needs in that city considering the aspects of (i)security, (ii) accessibility, (iii) participation, has been tried to be improved.

The Project stakeholder municipalities below aim to work at least two of these five target groups:

- Ankara Altındağ Municipality: Child / Woman
- Ankara Çankaya Municipality: Child/Disabled/Woman/Elderly
- Antalya Muratpaşa Belediyesi: Child/Woman/Elderly
- Gaziantep Şahinbey Municipality: Child/Refugee
- İstanbul Maltepe Municipality: Child/Woman
- İstanbul Zeytinburnu Municipality: Child/Woman/Refugee
- Mersin Metropolitan Municipality: Child/Disabled/Refugee/Woman/Elderly

Below are the activities realized in the first year of the Project:

- Pilot Municipalities Meet and Greet
- Study visits to Stockholm, Malmö, Lund municipalities in Sweden
- Human Rights Cities Project development workshop - Municipalities (Workshop Report, Antalya)
- Human Rights Cities Workshop - Academy (Workshop Report) (Presentations)
- International Human Rights Cities Academy Meeting (In collaboration with Graz University and Municipality, Austria)
- International Human Rights Cities Istanbul Meeting (representatives of human rights cities from Europe, European Council and Union of Municipalities in Turkey representatives, local and foreign academics)

The Project will continue to carry out activities to improve the collaboration between NGOs, professional organizations, bar associations, the academy, and the local authorities and to form the human rights cities indicators set, talking over the strategic plans of municipalities for 2019.