2018 World Cities Day: inclusivity and non-discrimination should be at the heart of urban public policies

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Paris, France, October 2018 – On the occasion of the 2018 World Cities Day under the theme “Building sustainable and resilient cities”, UNESCO organised with the support of Efus a conference to highlight the key role played by cities in promoting social inclusion and diversity, on 31 October in Paris.

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> A panel co-organised by Efus on “the human face of urbanisation”

Efus co-organised a panel on “Inclusive and sustainable cities: understanding the human face of urbanisation”, which was moderated by the Human Rights Officer of the city of Vienna (AT), Shams Asadi. Vienna co-leads Efus’ “Just & Safer Cities for All” working group on discriminatory violence together with the city of Bordeaux (FR), which was represented by Deputy Mayor Marik Fetouh.

The other speakers included Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield (GB), who is of Somali origin and formerly a refugee, Ted Terry, Mayor of Clarkston (Georgia, USA), a city described as “the most diversified in the United States,” and Chiraz Dhibi, Mayor of Hassi El Frid, Tunisia.

The debate focused on the importance for cities to consider citizens’ individual wellbeing as a priority. In other words, local authorities must place human beings at the heart of their urban policy, which means promoting inclusivity and non-discrimination consistently across all local policies. Participants also highlighted that local authorities must make progress in giving all citizens access to equality and equal opportunities without any kind of discrimination.

> Embedding the fight against discriminatory violence in all urban security policies

Marik Fetouh highlighted the importance of embedding the fight against discriminatory violence in all urban security policies: respecting human rights must be a priority objective and a key component of any security policy, no matter the type of violence and crime, he said, echoing Efus’ stance.

Indeed, Efus believes that strategies against discriminatory violence should be part of an inclusive and global approach to urban security. Such is the purpose of its new “Just & Safer Cities for All” working group on discriminatory violence.

> First meeting of the “Just & Safer Cities for All” working group

On the occasion of UNESCO’s conference, Efus organised the first meeting of its “Just & Safer Cities for All” working group with representatives of the cities of Bordeaux (FR), Madrid (ES), Malakoff (FR), Pantin (FR), Saint-Denis (FR) and Vienna (AT), the Government of Catalonia (ES), the Madrid local police (ES) and the Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities (UNIA, Belgium).

Participants decided on work priorities around four themes:

  • Raising awareness among local police on the management/care of victims of discriminatory violence, improving their relations with minority and vulnerable groups, and raising awareness on discriminatory violence perpetrated by police forces.
  • Promoting primary prevention against discriminatory violence in order to prevent other phenomena such as radicalisation, polarisation and violent extremism.
  • Strengthening local schemes to support victims, coordinating with field workers, and training for those on the front line as well as other stakeholders.
  • Raising awareness among local elected officials on the role they can play in preventing and countering discriminatory violence.

 

Efus’ working group on discriminatory violence is open to all members. For more information or if you want to join, please contact Pilar De La Torre: delatorre@efus.eu or Moritz Konradi: konradi@efus.eu