Within the process of urbanization, cities are becoming ever more important venues for human rights promotion and protection. Local authorities have begun to accept human rights obligations in delivering socio-economic services, managing space, providing security and enabling participation in politics and culture. In doing so, they effectively implement international human rights law in a practical way and close to the citizens, complementary (and sometimes contrary to) the respective central government. International legal and policy frameworks indicate that human rights at the local level will be one of the key themes for the coming years. This development begs questions as to the status of cities and local authorities as human rights actors, individually (e.g. as human rights cities) or in international human rights coalitions.
About the speaker
Gerd Oberleitner is Professor of international law and UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security at the Faculty of Law, University of Graz, Austria. He is also the Head of the Institute of International Law and International Relations of the University of Graz and the Director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy at the University of Graz. He served as Legal Adviser in the Human Rights Department of the Austrian Foreign Ministry and was Lecturer in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Visiting Fellow at the LSE’s Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Visiting Scholar at the European Inter-University Centre Venice and the Université du Quebéc à Montréal and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Ljubljana and Rutgers University. He teaches in the European Regional Master Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South-East Europe (Sarajevo), the European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (Venice) and the Master Programme of Human Rights and Democratisation for Latin America and the Caribbean (Buenos Aires). Publications include Global Human Rights Institutions: between Remedy and Ritual (Polity 2007), Human Rights in Armed Conflict: Law, Practice, Policy (Cambridge University Press 2015), (as co-editor) Blurring Boundaries: Human Security and Forced Migration (Brill 2017) and (as editor) Human Rights Institutions, Tribunals and Courts (Springer 2018).