York as a Human Rights City

You might be interested in this information (below) about York aiming to be the UK’s first Human Rights City.

“York Human Rights City Network is working in partnership with York CVS, City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police on a project to establish a set of Human Rights Indicators in York: the first step towards fulfilling York’s commitment to becoming the UK’s first Human Rights City. Indicators are a tangible way of measuring progress towards respect for the human rights of York residents year on year, and we believe that community groups, the voluntary sector and service users should be working together with statutory partners to decide what these are.

We would like to hear your views on a range of local human rights issues, and your opinions on what recommendations could be made to improve them. These will be put into a report launched in September at a conference launching our new bottom-up model of measuring human rights to other cities across the UK and Europe. We will also be conducting workshops at each of the partner agencies to present our findings.

In particular, we want to measure three aspects of human rights provisions in York:

  • The availability of services (eg. Are services available to fulfil a particular right?)
  • The accessibility and services to particular groups of people (eg. Are some peoplepriced out of access to services? Are there language barriers?)
  • The quality of rights and services (eg. How can the quality of the service be improved?)

Through surveying residents and interviewing community groups, we identified five main areas that we will be focusing on during the first year of the project, and will be conducting focus groups at York CVS (Priory Street Centre) during the week commencing the 18th May to explore these further. We would like to invite you to the groups you feel are most relevant to your work or interests.

  • Monday 18th May: Equality and Discrimination, Clementhorpe Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Wednesday 20th May: Health and Social Care, Denham Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Thursday 21st May: Housing, Clementhorpe Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Friday 22nd May: Education, Main Room, 10 – 12 am
  • Friday 22nd May: Standards of Living, Main Room, 2 – 4pm

We will be exploring the following questions:

  • What groups of people are particularly affected by this issue
  • What are the main factors behind issues in this area?
  • What would be the best way of measuring improvements over time?
  • What recommendations are within the reach of local agencies to improve this issue?

All focus groups will be held at York CVS (Priory Street Centre). Please email yorkhumanrightscitynetwork@gmail.com to register interest in any of the focus groups, letting us know if you have any access requirements. Refreshments will be provided, and the sessions will take no longer than two hours.

We would also like to be able to use case studies in our report. These may showcasing an innovative project or group working to tackle issues in York, or an anonymous story of a service user demonstrating the need for change. We are also looking for pictures and photos: this could be from a community group meeting, or a more personal understanding of what a particular issue (e.g. Housing) means for someone living in York. This will be supported by a social media campaign.

If you are unable to make a focus group but would still like to participate in the project, please feel free to email your thoughts, case studies and photos. We may be able to set up alternative groups or one on ones interviews if necessary.”

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