The Report highlights some successes, for example the comparatively low number of people sleeping rough in the city and the city’s strong response to hosting refugees. However, it also draws attention to areas in which rights are being undermined. The shocking rise in numbers forced to use foodbanks, and the continued widening of the gender pay gap are chief amongst these.
The report notes YHRCN’s continued support for the Reverse the Ban Coalition’s campaign against the exclusion of Blue Badge Holders from the city centre, and the ongoing work of the Poverty Truth Commission. It also voices concern at the lack of appropriate provision for Gypsies and Travellers in the York Local Plan.
The report’s recommendations include a call for the widespread adoption of the Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage, strategies to remove financial barriers to children from low income families to fully participate in education, and the allocation of greater resources to ensuring public information is accessible to all, not just digitally.
As Chair of the Network Stephen Pittam states, “We believe these measures are necessary in order to ensure that York makes progress in its aspirations as a Human Rights City.”
The YHRCN is a non-party political coalition underpinned by universal human rights principles. It seeks to work with all the main political parties to collaborate where we can and critique when necessary to do so.
HARD COPIES OF THE REPORT ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.
1. York Human Rights City Network (www.yorkhumanrights.org) is a civil society partnership hosted jointly by York CVS (Centre for Voluntary Service) and the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) at the University of York.
2. In 2017, the Lord Mayor of York declared York as the United Kingdom’s first Human Rights City. This declaration came following six years of preparation, and as a result of a creative partnership led by YHRCN, and involving the City Council and other statutory services including the Police and Health Services.
3. The right to equality and non-discrimination is one of five human rights prioritised by York residents through a participatory consultation exercise. The other priorities are the right to education, housing, health & social care and a decent standard of living.
4. Each year the York Human Rights City Network publishes an Indicator Report which links human rights to the everyday, through reporting on indicators which illustrate what is happening in relation to the five priority rights chosen by York residents.