Under the auspices of the York Human Rights City project (UK) and the Human Rights Cities project (The Netherlands), the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York and Utrecht University will host a 2 day workshop on Cities as Sanctuary on 9-10 July 2013.
The partakers, representing institutions like the European Commission, city councils, universities and city shelter programmes and human rights organisations, will meet to discuss best practice and challenges, and develop a research agenda on the role of cities and local authorities in providing protection to international human rights defenders and asylum seekers and refugees.
This initiative accompanies a second project based at Utrecht University which looks at how cities and local authorities in Europe are adopting human rights-based policy frameworks to address social issues.
The workshop will consider the following questions:
- What specific and concrete roles can cities play as sites of protection?
- What actors are needed to initiate, develop and sustain such initiatives?
- How is protection best framed to generate support from the general public?
- What mechanisms and support structures are needed to provide protection?
- What research will strengthen the capacity of European cities to provide protection?
The first day of the workshop will include local authority personnel, academics, NGO staff and others. It will explore ways of locally embedding and supporting protection mechanisms for human rights defenders and refugees. On day two, half a day will be set aside to specifically discuss ideas for a research agenda on these themes.
Tuesday 9 July
9.30 – 9.45am: Registration
9.45 – 10am: Welcome and Introduction
Charlie Croft, Assistant Director for Communities and Public Realm, York City Council
Paul Gready, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York
10am – 11.15am: Framing the Debate
Jonathan Darling, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester: ‘Rethinking Citizenship through Cities’
Barbara Oomen, University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University, ‘Human Right Cities’
Mahmoud AbuRahma, Fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, and Director of Communications and International Relations, Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights – Gaza, ‘Cities as Sanctuary: Looking Beyond Europe’
11.15am – 11.30am: Tea and coffee
11.30am – 1pm: European Commission Initiative: Temporary Relocation for Human Rights Defenders
Sophie Kammerer, European Commission, Programme Manager
Case study: The Netherlands/The Hague
Sacha Oudolf, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (The Netherlands)
Guus van Zwoll, Programme Officer Shelter City, Justitia et Paz
1 – 1.45pm: Lunch
1.45 – 2.45pm: Alternative City-based Models for Protecting Human Rights Defenders
Helge Lunde, International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN)
Sanna Eriksson and Marilyn Crawshaw, Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York
2.45 – 4.15pm: Panel on City-based Protection for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Tiffy Allen and Sarah Eldridge, City of Sanctuary Movement, UK
Colin Elliott, formerly of Manchester City Council (Gateway Refugee Resettlement Project)
Pascal Nyilibakwe, human rights defender and refugee
Rachel Westerby, City Coordinator, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Europe
4.15 – 4.30pm: Tea and coffee
4.30 – 5.15pm: Round-up discussion
Wednesday 10 July
9.30am – 12.30pm: meeting to discuss developing a research agenda on cities as sites of sanctuary.
Lunch will be provided.