UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion
Objectives and Priority areas
During its Executive Bureau and Council Joint Meeting in Adana, Turkey on 19 December 2014, UCLG-MEWA established a committee on Social Inclusion. This committee aims to strengthen local social policies, to identify best practices and to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among UCLG-MEWA members.
The Committee aims to be a regional platform of collaboration and exchange enabling its members to strengthen their capacities and to build a common vision of social services for local authorities of the MEWA region. This will enable our city members to fully participate in the elaboration of national and international development agenda and to implement efficient policies towards on-going social issues. During its first year of work, UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion identified 3 key issues that will require our attention: refugees and migration; children; and participative democracy.
Refugees and Migration
The current refugees and forced migration crisis taking place in the MEWA region is among worldwide greatest concerns. However and although refugees and migrants are proven to be highly present in urban areas, the role of local authorities in managing such a crisis remains under estimated by United Nations organizations, international development actors and donors. The UCLG-MEWA Social Inclusion Committee activities will pave the way towards the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in May 2016 in Istanbul, a major event for the Committee members to present a common vision and to advocate for the role of local authorities.
UCLG-MEWA not only assumes the duty of representing its members before the UN and similar organizations and advocating their rights and interests, but also develops projects and guides its members in implementing these projects. To this end UCLG-MEWA has launched a research project simultaneously in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon on Middle Eastern Urban Forced Migrants Social Inclusion Policies. The research gathers knowledge on local governments’ budgets dedicated to Middle Eastern forced migrants’ social inclusion as well as national and international budgets strengthening municipalities capabilities’ as migration management actor. The data collected point out the lack of recognition of local authorities as actors in the current migration crisis that affects the MEWA region.
UCLG-MEWA has partnered a project led by UN-Habitat office for Lebanon, with the support of the Ford Foundation to the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund to develop knowledge of decision makers and the capacity of city staff in the field of migration management. The project has been accepted and it will last 18 months and be implemented in 4 Lebanese cities: Beirut, Tripoli, Zahle and Saida.
Children and the young generations are at the heart of vibrant and inclusive cities. All along the year 2015, UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion has collaborated with UNICEF-Turkey on the Child-Friendly Cities Initiatives, implemented in 10 municipalities of Turkey. The results of the project will be displayed by the end of the year in order to identify the best practices that can be disseminated and implemented among other municipalities of the region.
In order to continue the development of projects, inclusive of vulnerable populations, migrants, refugees, children, elderly and disabled persons and developing a common vision of social inclusion, the UCLG-MEWA Social Inclusion Committee strongly wishes to increase and strengthen its members’ participation. We believe that your organization will provide significant contributions to this Committee and, on the purpose of taking your precious opinions and suggestions.
UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights
The Committee aims to contribute to articulating a common voice for cities in UCLG on social inclusion, participatory democracy and human rights, and to advise local governments on the design of these policies.
To that end, the Committee fosters political debate, exchange of experiences and the collective generation of new knowledge in order to establish guidelines for designing and implementing innovative local policies on social inclusion, participatory democracy and human rights.
To date, the main outputs of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights have been:
- The document For a world of inclusive cities, which is now the UCLG's political position on social inclusion.
- The Inclusive Cities Observatory, a virtual platform that contains 65 case studies on innovative policies for community development, access to public services, gender equality, environmental protection and poverty eradication, among other issues.
- The Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City, adopted by UCLG in 2011 at the World Council in Florence (Italy).
- The political promotion of the European Charter for Human Rights in the City, adopted in Saint-Denis (France) in 2000
President and Secretariat: Beylikdüzü Municipality (Istanbul, Turkey)