Summary of RAPP’s Events at the 11th WHRCF, 5-9 October 2021

Summary of RAPP’s Events at the 11th WHRCF, 5-9 October 2021


Taking the theme of “Human Rights in Times of Challenge: A New Social Contract”, the City of Gwangju, together with the Gwangju International Center, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and UCLG CISPD hold the 11th World Human Rights City Forum from 7-10 October 2021. Watch the Forum’s highlights:

RWI Regional Asia Pacific Office organised series of events during 5-9 October 2021. Here are some of the highlights.


Blended Learning Course (BLC) related events:

  • The BLC 2021 is the 3rd regional course for local governments in the Asia Pacific about localising human rights into SDG processes, co-organised by RWI, UCLG ASPAC and the City of Gwangju.

  • After five months of learning activities, the course group met on 5-6 October to discuss the results of projects that participants conducted as part of the course. On 5 October, the participants joined a human rights policy tour hosted by the City of Gwangju. They showcased the history of the Gwangju uprising and how the devastating history paved the way for the city to become a human rights city.

  • Five of the most promising projects – all developed by women from the Philippines - were presented in an open event on 9 October. These projects included a human rights review of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) plan; the inclusion of persons with disabilities in a DRRM plan; the development of a voluntary local review tool for cities in the Philippines; a study of the work burden among indigenous women; and a review of a COVID-19 rehabilitation and recovery plan from a rights-based perspective.


  • Want to know more about BLC? Check out this video : 

Youth talk: "Tackling the Climate Crisis in Building a Sustainable and Resilient Cities for the Future"

On 7 September, RWI, in collaboration with ASEAN Youth Forum and Youth for Peace International, organised the session Youth-Talk: Tackling the Climate Crisis in Building a Sustainable and Resilient Cities for the Future. During the Talk, youth representatives from South and Southeast Asia presented their recommendations to local governments based on a series of consultations before the Talk.

To quote the panellists:

Morten Kjaerum, Director of RWI, “Since people also live locally in small places, this is also where they first and foremost have to open the doors and engage youngsters – young people in the conversation, in the discussion about finding solutions to the climate challenges. Bring them into the offices, into the discussion, harvest the young minds and the bright ideas because that is what so much needed.”

Anukriti Banerjee – youth representative from Southeast Asia, “… we just need to take a pause and think – what is the kind of future that we want? Do we want our economies to grow at an unsustainable rate so that we are forced to rely on traditional resources of energy and building construction or is it that we can rethink about how and where we want to develop and for whom?

Key takeaways were that we should listen more to youth, a gold mine of knowledge and inspiring ideas. One clear message from youth representatives was that there should be more consultations and dialogue with them – but no tokenism! This Talk should be the first step of many to amplify the voices and aspirations of youth.

Asean youth Forum recommendation.pdf 

Presentation_WHRCF_South Asia.pdf

Handbook event – “People-Centred Solution for an Inclusive City Resilience”:

  • As part of a consultation that supports the development of a handbook entitled Localising Human Rights in the Context of SDGs: A Guide for Cities, RWI organised a session focusing on public participation on 8 October 2021.

  • The event includes a video presentation of research findings from 3 cities in Indonesia and India – focusing on promising practices in ensuring public participation, the challenges, and how to make it better. One point to be highlighted is that ICT is an excellent tool to enhance public participation, especially during the pandemic. But the digital divide is an issue, and we must be careful not to exclude those who don’t have access to the internet/technologies from participating in local government processes.

  • The discussion concluded that the right to public participation is a challenge, particularly during the pandemic. It also stressed that participation should be inclusive. Local governments as duty bearers have a key role in reaching out to society and providing platforms for public participation. Youth is a group that those in power, in this context, local governments, must pay attention to and give them access to contribute to the local policymaking processes.

  • Our handbook strongly promotes public participation throughout the policymaking processes, from identifying priority issues to be addressed to encouraging public participation in monitoring and evaluation of policy/programme at the local level.

  • Want to know more about the process of handbook development? Check out this video :