Nottingham, a future human rights city?

After a workshop took place in June to detail the ways Nottingham could improve opportunities and equality, it raises the question – could Nottingham become a human rights city?

A human rights city is defined as a city that takes measures to ensure human rights standards are met within a city’s policies or programs.

This can include special measures implemented in order to ensure a high standard of living for women, equality for different ethnicities and other marginalized groups within society.

The idea of a human rights city was first launched in 1997 by the People’s Movement for Human Rights Education, who believed that everyone should have the right to an education. 

The UK is currently only home to one human rights city, York, which became a human rights city in 2017, and joined six other European cities, including Madrid and Vienna.

What would Nottingham need to do to become a human rights city?

Following in York’s footsteps, the first element would be to identify what is important to the residents of the city, and establish the basic elements that some residents are lacking.

These might include access to good health and social care, and non-discrimination between citizens.

Dr Grigolo, from NTU’s School of Social Sciences, said: “A human rights city is a city where human rights set the terms of how a city should be organised, how its people should behave and how its institutions should operate.”

“City councils often declare themselves a human rights city to signal their commitment to human rights and tackling inequality,” she added

Nottingham has already taken certain steps to improve its human rights status.

For example the city showed its support of the LGBT+ community recently opening Nottingham’s permanent ‘rainbow road’ in Hockley for Pride 2019, as well as lighting up the council house in Pride’s colours to show their solidarity with the community

Steps like this are simple, yet effective, and show a clear and positive transition towards a more united city.

By Faith Pring

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