The UN-Habitat Urban Legislation Unit (ULU), in collaboration with the University of London’s Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), hosted the 5th Urban Law Day on Friday the 13th of July. The Urban Law Day 2018 topic was: Human Rights in Cities. The event was attended by a multi-disciplinary and international group of students, academia, drafters, legislators, planners, architects, policy makers, and parliamentarians from around the world, and UN-Habitat staff from country offices, regional offices and the Headquarters in Nairobi.
The presentations and discussions at Urban Law Day addressed specific legal issues related to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Robert Lewis-Lettington, the Leader of the Urban Legislation Unit, presented an overview of commitments in the New Urban Agenda related to human rights and Governance. Secondly, Malavika Vartak from Amnesty International, discussed ending forced evictions and homelessness, for a strong foundation of human rights in cities. After many questions from the audience, three case studies of human rights challenges in cities were presented: The experience of Somalia, Palestine, and highlights from Latin America.
The final presentations described practical tools to assist the implementation of human rights commitments, with a presentation of the Slum Upgrading Tool from Han Zhang of UN-Habitat, and the Human Rights Impact Assessment from Dr. Maria Mousmouti of IALS.
With the wide range of topics covered and networking opportunities, participants left the Urban Law Day with technical and practical knowledge as well as new approaches to further entrench human rights in their work.
Urban law days are public seminars co-hosted by UN-Habitat and its partners to explore contemporary issues in urban law.