Since 2011, the Gwangju Metropolitan City has annually held ‘the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF)’ so as to implement the vision of the human rights city of Gwangju as well as to uphold and further develop; the spirit of ‘May 18 Democratization Movement’ in 1980 and the values of the ‘1998 Asian Human Rights Charter declared in Gwangju’.
Over the last 7 years, the WHRCF has established a reputation as a representative human rights forum for Asia. It has brought the participation of over 5,000 domestic and international human rights experts and officials from UN, UCLG CISDP, human rights cities, and NGOs. It is designed to establish and implement systems in order to ensure human rights of citizens in their daily lives. Such goals are closely related to the policy of the OHCHR, which underlines the importance of the roles of local governments to protect and promote human rights.
WHRCF 2018 will be held in Gwangju from 18 to 21 this October under the theme of Whom Do We Live With? Diversity, inclusiveness, and Peace at the Kimdaejung Convention Center in the City of Gwangju. In the context of the global scene, city policies and cultures are determined by mainstream groups, at a time where intolerance and discrimination against minority groups is intensifying. Knowing who our diverse neighbors are, and recognizing the various identities in our neighborhood, can become a key stepping stone to building peaceful urban communities. With this in mind, we wish to talk about respect, tolerance, and solidarity, which lie at the heart of this practice. Accordingly, at this year’s forum, local governments are also invited to have in-depth discussions with the central government to search for a new vision of cities as the main agents of implementing universal human rights over the next 70 years.
The plenary sessions will explore various means of how to implement the values of ‘diversity, inclusiveness, and peace’ in our everyday lives. Concurrently, officials from different human rights cities as well as numerous activists are expected to participate in the ‘Asia Human Rights Cities Network’. In the policy session of human rights cities, the human rights policies implemented in Barcelona, Spain will be introduced and new visions and improvement measures for the human right cities in Korea will be discussed. The thematic sessions will be comprised of nine sub-sessions including gender, disability, immigrants/refugees, environment, and peace amongst others. In terms of special sessions, the Gwangju global congress for immigrants in Gwangju to discuss human rights agendas will take place and a presentation of human rights papers will also be held.
There are additional events and sessions such as the Gwangju Global Congress; incorporating immigrants in Gwangju, and the Human Rights Paper Presentation. An Agora is waiting for more human rights organizations and activists to use for presentations or exhibitions with reservation in advance.
I believe that WHRCF 2018 will help to enhance our professionality and expand the network with other human rights experts and activists.
With best regards,
LEE Yong-Seop, Mayor, Gwangju Metropolitan City
18 – 21 October, 2018
Kimdaejung Convention Center
Whom Do We Live With? Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Peace
[World Human Rights Cities Forum Secretariat] 1-2F, 5, Jungang-ro 196beon-gil, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61475, South Korea
Tel. 82-62-226-2734 l Fax. 82-62-226-2731 l E-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright World Human Rights Cities Forum All rights reserved.