Human rights cities for all: local integration of asylum seekers and refugees. Case study of Graz

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Azkorra Camargo, Amaia
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Asylum seekers and refugees are arriving at cities. This thesis explores the relevance of human rights at the local level with a special focus on the process of integrating asylum seekers and refugees. It presents some instruments and mechanisms that cities could make use of to protect, respect, fulfil and promote human rights and to transform global human rights into local human rights. A human rights city is a model of city where human rights-based policies are implemented in order to ensure the rights of all its inhabitants. The relevance of this thesis lies in its attempt to outline the added value of human rights cities towards local integration of asylum seekers and refugees. The research provides a comprehensive analysis of how Graz, a human rights city since 2001, is trying to effectively integrate asylum seekers and refugees while following a human rights-based approach. The findings reveal that human rights cities have the power to positively impact asylum seekers’ and refugees’ human rights, derived from their institutional infrastructure and resilience in comparison to non-human rights cities. Nonetheless, a strong political will, a multi-level governance, financial resources and coordination between relevant stakeholders is needed. Keywords: Human rights at the local level; Human rights cities; Local integration; Asylum seekers; Refugees; Graz.
Second semester University: University of Graz
integration, asylum seekers, cities and towns, human rights, urban policy, local government, Graz, refugees