Human Rights

Local governments in international arena: Best practices

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Second day of the Activism School on Local Governments started with the Best Practices and International Regulations of Local Governments.

Kaos GL Activism School on Local Governments' second day (14th October) started with the discussions on international best practices of local governments. In the first session, Özge Kelekçi and Yıldız Tar from Kaos GL shared the global implementations in local governments related to human rights, anti-discrimination and participation areas.

Yıldız Tar told about the article series of “My Municipality (Benim Belediyem)” which started to be published in order to provide a comparative ground for participation of LGBTI+s in local governments, anti-discrimination policies and supporting human rights. Then Özge Kelekçi started to share the best practices in USA, Europe and Asia.

Giving the example of Amsterdam and Copenhagen Municipalities, Kelekçi and Tar emphasized the importance of inclusiveness within the municipalities. That is, instead of having only one department working for gender equality or LGBTI+ inclusive policies, whole structure of the municipality and its partner organizations have to share the responsibilities and internalize such policies. At that point, Tar reminded that municipalities willing to be LGBTI+ inclusive have to spread SOGI perspective in all their work instead of creating “LGBTI+ specific activities” in certain periods. 

While talking about the importance of the cooperation with civil society, Kelekçi mentioned the examples of Brussels and Cologne Municipalities. After the best practice examples, Tar told that if we would like to achieve LGBTI+ inclusive policies within municipalities, we have to be part of their strategic planning processes. Mentioning that municipalities play a key role in developing the dialogue with NGOs, Tar said:

“It’s not a good approach to expect that LGBTI+ person could find solutions for their problems in the city. Likely, we are not expected to find a solution for being provided water from our sinks by the municipality, overcoming the obstacles preventing LGBTI+s to access the rights and services is the responsibility of municipalities. At that point, cooperation with public institutions and civil society plays a key role in participation.”

At the end of their speech, Tar and Kelekçi told what we can do more with local governments by sampling with international best practices. They emphasized the importance of participation in supporting human rights and anti-discrimination.

Related content:

Activism School on Local Governments has started today!

Activism and local governments for equality

What and how we can demand from local governments?

*Activism School on Local Governments is also a part the joint project, The Time is Now: Consolidating Regional Efforts for Advancing LGBTI Rights and Equality in the Western Balkans and Turkey, which has been conducted among the member organizations of LGBTI Equal Rights and Association for Western Balkans and Turkey (ERA) and financed by European Union.

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