International University Forum “The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago”


“The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago”: Harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the SDGs, is an international university forum of reflection on human rights, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the value of tourism. Through studying and reflecting, the spirit of the Camino de Santiago and mutual knowledge the aim is to contribute to the development of a culture of human rights that will favor the development of young participants as responsible members of global, interdependent, free and peaceful, pluralistic and inclusive societies.

Participants of this forum are 125 students, 25 professors from different universities and 25 rectors representing major universities from Europe, America, Africa and Asia.


The international university forum centers around three main activities:

  • A first stage of studying and reflecting online on topics related to human rights, the SDGs, and sustainable tourism in the framework of the Camino de Santiago with a duration of two months (January-February 2018). The activity is organized around 4 training modules specifically addressing articles 1, 2, 8, 26 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as SDGs 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 15 and 16. Throughout the sessions, the link between the SDGs and human rights will be analyzed to understand that when both agendas interconnect, they reinforce their application and fulfillment. Within the framework of this phase of the project, each university will make a feasible and sustainable tourism product proposal, with the potential of being developed on the Camino de Santiago.
  • Walking route of the Camino de Santiago, 100 km, 5 days, (17-22 March 2018), with the aim of promoting cultural exchange and mutual knowledge among university students under the spirit of understanding, tolerance and solidarity of the Camino de Santiago. The participants will be divided in four different groups and will walk the last 100 kilometers on 4 different routes. Along the way, they will also carry out voluntary work as a symbol of solidarity and cultural exchange, and will explore the feasibility of the tourist products designed in the first phase of the project.
  • Celebration of the international university forum in the city of Santiago de Compostela (March 23, 2018), where the conclusions of the online work carried out during the first phase of the project will be /shared and where the rectors of the participating universities will present their official commitments to work towards the understanding and application of the SDGs in their universities until the year 2030.


The initiative is organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Grupo Compostela de Universidades (GCU) and Helsinki España.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and accessible tourism for all. The UNWTO, as the main international organization in the tourism field, advocates tourism that contributes to economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and offers leadership and support to the sector to expand its knowledge and tourism policies throughout the world.

The Grupo Compostela de Universidades (GCU) is a non-profit association that brings together over sixty universities from all over the world, open and inclusive, whose main objective is to facilitate and promote cooperation in the higher education sector.


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