A school to stand up for human rights in the cityOn 28 and 29 September the former Model prison is hosting a training event on the figure of the defender, an initiative by the School for Defenders of Human Rights and Barcelona City Council. The training sessions are aimed at people and organisations working in defence of human rights on a daily basis.
The aim of the school is to strengthen and develop the network of people and organisations defending human rights in the city and consolidate it as a place for reflection and monitoring. The network includes those protecting people’s civil, political, social and cultural rights. Their role is important as they help in the fight against poverty, violence and discrimination, often taking on added risks such as harassment or threats.
Four international human rights organisations will be tasked with the training in La Model: Amnesty International, Protection International, Front Line Defenders and Civil Rights Defenders.
Each of these organisations has extensive experience in this field. Amnesty International works in almost all countries in the world and provides public support for human rights defenders. Protection International is a Belgian organisation offering protection strategies and tools for managing the safety of defenders, as does the Irish organisation Front Line Defenders and Sweden’s Civil Rights Defenders.
Another participant at the event will be Ana Sánchez, a human rights expert and the coordinator for international campaigns by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).
Barcelona, City of Rights
The programme ‘Barcelona, City of Rights’ has been running since 2016 and includes a human rights focus for the design and roll-out of public policies, backing rights such as the right to the city and citizenship rights, the right to combat hate speech and discrimination and to work for full citizenship.
The initiative also means human rights training for municipal workers. Resources have so far been provided for over a thousand workers from Citizen Help and Information Offices (OAC), administrative management units at Social Services and City Police officers in order to detect cases of discrimination and human rights violations and prevent discriminatory attitudes.
In the year to come, training will be extended to other sectors such as ticket inspectors on public transport, and City Police offices, who will get specific training on a new non-discrimination procedure, as well as funeral workers, who will get training on religious diversity.