As it does each year, the UN chooses a theme for Human Rights Day. This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. We will reach our common global goals only if we are able to create equal opportunities for all, address the failures exposed and exploited by COVID-19, and apply human rights standards to tackle entrenched, systematic, and intergenerational inequalities, exclusion and discrimination.
The challenges of urbanization, such as rising inequality and the prevalence of slums, are symptoms of a larger deficit to respect human rights in cities, particularly the right to adequate housing and the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Only when all dimensions of human rights are respected will urbanization realize itself as the transformative force that it is.
Bimkom stands exactly at the intersection between spatial planning and human rights. In Israel, as elsewhere, the Coronavirus has exposed more than ever how inequitable planning impacts vulnerable communities. Bimkom always works – and now more than ever – to protect the planning-related rights of these communities, and thus contributes to the worldwide effort to build back better.