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Swansea to launch bid to become Human Rights City

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Swansea is launching its intention to become the first Human Rights City in Wales.

Swansea Council, the police, other partners and business leaders will gather for the event at the Guildhall on Friday where they will commit to work together and with people across the city to achieve this ambition.

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The council has already started paving the way by asking people for their thoughts and ideas to help produce an action plan and it will continue to involve residents throughout.

A key aspect of being a Human Rights City is to speak with and listen to people’s real concerns because by understanding what matters most to them, services from education to social care, access to green spaces or tackling hate crime can be prioritised and improved at a local level.

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said: “We want Swansea to be a city where everyone is equal, where all residents understand their human rights and respect the rights of others.

“We want to ensure everyone, especially those currently marginalised and socially vulnerable, have a voice and are able to take an active part in decisions that will make a positive difference to their lives.

“There are more than 100 Human Rights City across the world but only one in the UK.

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“Our ambition is to be the second in the UK and the first in Wales but to achieve that we know there is a lot we need to do.

“This will need to be a city-wide effort and we will need ideas and support from all sections of our community to achieve this but I know if we all work together we can achieve it.”

Those attending on Friday will be asked to sign a pledge of intent and to contribute to the action plan.

They will also hear from residents young and old about how they view the importance of Human Rights and the role they play in their lives day to day.

Louise Gibbard, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, said: “There is a lot already happening in Swansea. We are a City of Sanctuary, proud to be a Home Office dispersal city for refugees and asylum seekers. We are a Dementia Friendly city. We are a World Health Organisation Healthy City. We are a UNESCO City of Learning and Swansea Council has also embedded the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into the way we set our policies.

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“Every year on December 10 people celebrate Human Rights Day so it is fitting that this Friday we will start the journey to lead the way in Wales to putting Human Rights at the heart of all that we do.”

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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