“Human Rights Training for a Sustainable and Inclusive Community” was initiated as a governmental project proposed by the Gwangju Metropolitan City as part of a KOICA global training project. The project is operated by the Gwangju International Center in cooperation with the KOICA. Recognizing the significance of local government officials in enhancing citizens’ human rights, the project aims at establishing human rights-oriented culture within the organizations that trainees belong to, by raising human rights understanding and human rights sensitivity. Also, the program pursues to firmly build a system to ensure human rights administration to be realized at the local governmental level. To that end, the Gwangju International Center has been committed to coming up with various education modules and expanding expert pool in collaborating with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights (RWI), and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
The Coalition of Cities against Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific of the UNESCO (UNESCO APCAD) was officially launched at the “Regional Conference of Cities for an Inclusive Urban Society” held in in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2006. The long-term goal of APCAD is to provide local authorities with an operational program that will allow a more efficient implementation of policies for a greater social inclusion of their city dwellers in the full respect of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all disciplines of the public life including the political, economic, social, and cultural sectors. As a lead city of the UNESCO APCAD, the Gwangju Metropolitan City has assigned the related projects to the Gwangju International Center (World Human Rights Cities Forum Secretariat) to conduct diverse cooperative projects with the UNESCO, including APCAD Social Inclusion Marker System Development and a pilot project of City Art Lab.
The APCAD Social Inclusion Markers are designed to check the degree of inclusiveness in policy implementation and to discuss concrete development directions in line with the objectives of the UNESCO APCAD, such as “establishment and expansion of socially inclusive policies that could fully respect the citizens’ human rights and fundamental freedoms”. While carrying out research on inclusion markers by cities, the UNESCO APCAD has set up criteria for the markers as well. The Gwangju International Center (World Human Rights Cities Forum Secretariat) has been committed to sharing policy performances related to the markers and further expanding cities network in closely cooperation with the UNESCO office in Bangkok. As part of the efforts, best practices on the cities’ Inclusion Markers will be shared at the annually held World Human Rights Cities Forum.
The UNESCO International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities is an initiative launched by the UNESCO in 2004 in response to the calls for establishing a network of cities to jointly fight against racism. Since its inauguration, the UNESCO ICCAR has developed as a global and influential coalition that has put efforts in eradicating racism and discrimination and finally enticed over 500 city members around the globe. The objectives of the UNESCO ICCAR are to garner attention on the global solidarity and cooperation to promote inclusive urban development free from all forms of discrimination. To that end, the Gwangju International Center (World Human Rights Cities Forum Secretariat), chair of the UNESCO APCAD, has taken a role of a vice-chair for the ICCAR Global Steering Committee.
The UNESCO Master Class Against Racism and Discriminations is an education program designed by the UNESCO Headquarters in 2019 to promote the severity and the status of racism and discrimination and to cope with them as well. It aims at nurturing the youth as trainers, agents for changes, who could fight against the discriminations at schools and local communities. The Gwangju International Center (World Human Rights Cities Forum Secretariat) has closely worked with the UNESCO to organize the UNESCO Master Class Gwangju Series. By doing so, the Center has conducted a program to strengthen human rights education and enhance human rights for the future generation as nurturing leaders of anti-discrimination in Gwangju, one of the leading human rights cities.
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