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Report on local government and human rights

Issued by

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


02 July 2019


Issued by Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Governance, Sustainable Development Goals

Symbol Number



In its resolution 39/7, the Human Rights Council requested the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report, in consultation with States and relevant intergovernmental organisations, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, special procedures of the Human Rights Council, the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council, the treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society, including non-governmental organisations, and local governments, on effective methods to foster cooperation between local government and local stakeholders for the effective promotion and protection of human rights at their level through local government programmes, including raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, and to indicate the major challenges and best practices in this regard.

In line this, the following Note Verbale and letters were prepared and disseminated by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in December 2018.

Note Verbale and letters:

In the resulting report, the High Commissioner builds on the report of the Advisory Committee on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights (A/HRC/30/49), which framed the issue of local government in human rights terms, and also on the intersessional panel discussion on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights, held on 4 September 2017 (see A/HRC/38/22).

Inputs Received
Inputs Received

To prepare the report, the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) sought contributions from the above-mentioned bodies and experts. It received 59 contributions.


  1. Albania
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Bolivia 1-2
  4. Costa Rica
  5. Croatia
  6. Egypt
  7. Greece 1-2-3-4
  8. Ivory Coast
  9. Malaysia
  10. Mali
  11. Mexico 1-2-3
  12. Norway (Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation)
  13. Oman - *Received after the report was drafted.
  14. Republic of Korea
  15. Senegal
  16. Sweden (Ministry of Culture)
  17. Trinidad and Tobago (Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)
  18. Ukraine (Ministry of Justice)

Intergovernmental organizations

  1. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Local governments

  1. Amsterdam 1-2-3-4-5
  2. the City of Barcelona
  3. the Municipality of Budapest
  4. State of Coahuila de Zaragoza (Human Rights Directorate of the Government)
  5. Gipuzkoa Regional Council 1-2-3-4-5
  6. Goicochea 1-2-3
  7. the City of Grigny
  8. Gwangju Metropolitan Government, Democracy and Human Rights Division
  9. State of Hawai'i and City of Honolulu
  10. City Council of Madrid 1-2-3-4-5
  11. the City of Montreal 1-2
  12. the City of Naples 1-2-3-4
  13. the City of Nuremberg
  14. Municipality of São Paulo 1-2-3
  15. Municipality of Sorocaba
  16. Seoul Metropolitan Government, Human Rights Division
  17. Terrassa
  18. the City of Utrecht 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
  19. the City Vienna, Human Rights Office

United Nations agencies, funds and programmes

  1. UN-Habitat in Kenya
  2. UNDP in New York concerning UNDP Pakistan’s Decentralization and Local Governance Project
  3. OHCHR Uganda
  4. OHCHR Regional Office for Europe

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

  1. Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights 1-2

National Human Rights Institutions

  1. National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK)

Civil Society, including Non-Governmental Organisations

  1. the Union of Municipalities of Turkey
  2. the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy of Northeastern University School of Law and the Columbia Human Rights Institute
  4. Action on Smoking and Health
  5. Persons Against Non-State Torture
  6. International Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at Local and Regional Levels in relation to the city of Graz in Austria
  7. Santa Clara University School of Law in California 1-2-3-4-5
  8. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
  9. International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
  10. the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) 1-2-3-4-5-6
  11. Mistra Urban Futures
  12. UCLG
  13. Alison Frayne, PhD
  14. Catherine Le Bris (CNRS researcher)
  15. Harm Reduction International and Release
  16. Human Rights Cities Network