Human rights and democracy are facing new challenges all around the world. At the same time, local governments have awakened to the role they play in promoting and protecting human rights. In response to these developments, ICLD has therefore created a human rights network, as part of its Municipal Partnership Programme. The ICLD Human Rights Networks link together and supports local government partnerships committed to strengthening their systematic work on human rights issues at local level. The guiding framework is the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In these networks, Swedish municipalities have been matched with partner municipalities from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Together, the partners are planning and conducting projects on topics related to human rights, such as accessibility, gender equality, youth inclusion and child rights.
The Human Rights Network also recognizes the key role that academia can play in providing expertise or conducting research to advance and study these change processes at the local level. Therefore, ICLD is proactively reaching out to relevant universities and other academic institutions to join the network and, in some cases, even to enter into partnerships.
International Training Programmes (ITPs) for local government staff and politicians, offered by the ICLD, are also available to participating municipalities in the Human Rights Network.