Local Government and Human Rights: A progress report by the Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Council

The Advisory Committee for the Human Rights Council presented its progress report on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights (A/HRC/27/59)  for the 27th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on September 4, 2014. Local Government is one of the seven thematic issues the Advisory Committee is…

Young people: The driving force for local democracy

September 15, 2014 marked the 7th International Day of Democracy. This years’ theme, Engaging Young People on Democracy, focuses on the challenges and opportunities young people face in engaging in democratic processes. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, called young people to contribute to building stronger democratic societies. He stated “I call on members of the largest generation of youth…

Decentralization in Ukraine: An antidote for conflict

Recently decentralization has been surfacing in European and U.S media as a solution for the current conflict in Ukraine. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, have openly endorsed decentralization as a means to curb the continuing destruction of human life and regain safety in the region. Could power sharing between the different regions and…

Analyzing the Evolution and Effectiveness of Participatory Institutions in Brazil

Since Brazil adopted a new constitution in 1988, a significant development of participatory institutions – such as participatory budgeting and a variety of policy councils – has been taking place to create opportunities for citizens to participate in policy making, implementation, and evolution. Are these participatory institutions actually making a difference? In the event “Social…