In December 2002, during the 54th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, Venice hosted the Third Conference of the European Charter for the safeguarding of Human Rights in the City.
The First meeting was held in Barcelona in 1998 ending with the Barcelona Treaty. A second meeting followed, at Saint Denis (France) in 2000. Here the 96 participating cities conceived and subscribed a European Charter of Human Rights in the City, which consists in a series of principles promoting human rights at a local level.
One of the Venice's Conference main objectives was the validation of the Charter's legitimacy and capability on a European and international level, taking into consideration the Convention on Europe's future. After the third conference, the total signatory cities stand for 241 local governments, representing 21 states.
Venice sets itself as a laboratory of policies and social inclusion rights, underlining the role of cities as privileged locations where to acknowledge and apply human rights.
The Mayors are invited to subscribe the "Charter for human rights in the city" and to act toward its realization and development at a local level. The Verification on the enforcement of the Charter' s principles, has been the key issue of the Forth Meeting, which was held on December the 9th and 10th 2004 in Nuremberg (Germany). The fifth conference has been hosted by the City of Lyon.