Paul Wordsworth: Human rights is about justice.

Stephen Pittam: A set of shared values which can unite communities and bring people together.

Cecile Lansford: We live in the western world and generally we have all of our human rights. It's very important to appreciate them.

Jake Furby: They're universal, they apply to everybody.

Stephen Pittam: What we're doing in York is about making human rights real. York is a wonderful city, a place where history is lived.

Cecile Lansford: You can just walk into the city center and see the minister and be around the history.

Paul Wordsworth: It's diverse, it's multicultural.

Jake Furby: It's very bohemian and there's a massive political activist movement.

Stephen Pittam: It has a dissenting, radical base to the society. We asked people: what rights do you think are important for us here in York? We're going to monitor on those rights every year, to see how things are moving.

Cecile Lansford: Obviously, the right to education affects me massively, because that's one of the main reasons I'm here.

Paul Wordsworth: I work with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. They are seeking asylum so they're seeking a basic human right. I'm involved in helping them to attain that basic right.

Jake Furby: I'm from the York LGBT forum. We have a great working relationship with the applied centre for human rights.

Paul Wordsworth: I think a lot of people have an idea that human rights is something to do with people somewhere in another part of the world. But in fact, it is something about everybody, universal.

Cecile Lansford: Helping to realise how relevant they are here can help everyone to realise how we can help people who are very desperately in need of human rights.

Stephen Pittam: It is at the local level, that human rights become real to people.

Paul Wordsworth: In five years time, I would hope that the wider population of the city have a deeper understanding of human rights.

Cecile Lansford: I would like for that to be everyone in education, everyone having a house, everyone getting the social and healthcare that they need.

Jake Furby: It'd be great if the country could move towards other places in the UK declaring themselves as human rights cities.

Cecile Lansford: The first step to that is having everyone be aware of what human rights are and why we need them.

Stephen Pittam: Cities as places where this framework can be actually implemented is really important.

York: City of Human Rights

Published on 29 Nov 2019

Ever heard of a Human Rights City? They’re dotted around Europe and there’s even more across the world. But one is right here in the UK – York.

York became the UK’s first Human Rights City in April 2017. That means it seeks to use human rights as the backbone for its policies and rules. We went to York to find out a little more about what that means for the city, and how other places across the UK might follow in York’s footsteps.

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