Local Human Rights Implementation

.    The Human Rights Commission of the City of Eugene aspires to make Eugene a landmark “Human Rights City.”   A “Human Rights City” consciously aspires to respect, protect, and fulfill universal human rights.  These rights are spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in international human rights treaties.  Such treaties include the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

   The examples below provide a starting point for discussion and conversations about how Eugene and other municipalities can incorporate international human rights principles and standards into their operations.  

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The San Francisco Human Rights Ordinance

The San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women  provides information about the city’s ordinance implementing CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), adopted in 1998.  San Francisco was the first city to implement CEDAW at the local level. 

Human Rights in Action:  San Francisco’s Local Implementation of the United Nations’ Women’s Treaty (CEDAW) (City and County of San Francisco, Department on the Status of Women, 2010).    

The New York Human Rights Initiative and Proposed New York City Ordinance

   The New York Human Rights Initiative has proposed the Human Rights in Government Operations Audit Law.  The proposed law seeks to ensure that principles of human dignity and equality are at the center of New York City governance. By implementing two key international treaties, CERD (International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination) and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), the law would put into place measures that will prevent and change inefficient and discriminatory policies before they result in harmful outcomes.  

Other Helpful Information on San Francisco and New York Human Rights Ordinances

Ford Foundation, Close to Home: Case Studies of Human Rights in the United States (June 2004).  See chapter nine on the San Francisco CEDAW ordinance.

Stacy Laira Lozner, "Diffusion of Local Regulatory Innovations: The San Francisco CEDAW Ordinance and the New York City Human Rights Initiative," Columbia Law Review (April 2004)

Sally Engle Merry et al.,  “Law from Below:  Women’s Human Rights and Social Movements in New York City,”  Law and Society Review (March 2010).


Joan Bayliss sings at Eugene's 2010 Int'l Human Rights Day Celebration

www.humanrightscity.com