Shelter City Initiative: Call for applications

Posted by Maria Codina on November 16, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Justice and Peace is launching a new call for Human Rights Defenders to participate in the Shelter City Initiative.
The Shelter City Initiative offers human rights defenders a possibility for rest and respite by letting them escape temporarily from a threatening situation. Shelter City offer a safe space to human rights defenders at a moment where they are particularly vulnerable and their security can no longer be guaranteed at home. The programme’s objective is to offer the human rights defender a shelter for three months, during which she/he will rest, build up capacity, extend her/his network and raise awareness about the situation in their country. At the end of the programme, participants are expected to return with new tools and energy to carry out their work at home. An important principle of the Shelter City Initiative is that human rights defenders can continue their work while they are temporarily relocated.
From March 2018, ten cities in The Netherlands will receive human rights defenders for a period of three months. We are looking for human rights defenders who might be helped with a short relocation programme, because they are threatened or under intense pressure due to their work. Please circulate this message to all interested candidates who you may know.

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions: 

In order to be eligible to the Shelter City program, you must meet the following conditions:
  1. The HRD can be a human rights defender in the broad sense of the word (lawyers, members of NGOs, poets or artists can all apply, as long as their work promotes Human Rights or he/she fights against Human Rights Violations);
  2. The HRD is threatened or otherwise under intense pressure and can benefit from a short period of time abroad;
  3. Since this is a temporary relocation program, the HRD should be able and willing to return to the country of origin after 3 months;
  4. The HRD should speak basic English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking HRDs);
  5. The HRD should be willing/able to come alone;
  6. The HRD has to be willing to come to the Netherlands around March 2018.
Note that additional factors will be taken into consideration in the final round of selection, such as the added value of a stay in The Netherlands (giving priority to those working at grass-roots level), the possibility for the HRD to make use of the new contacts and knowledge after they return, and gender and geographical  and thematical balance. HRDs who are already relocated in a third country will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
To apply or submit the application of a human rights defender, please e-mail You will then receive an application form. Application forms must be returned before 7 December 2017. An independent commission will select the participants.
Note that the selected human rights defenders will not be automatically allowed into the shelter programme as Justice and Peace is not in control of issuing the required visas to enter The Netherlands.
For more information, please contact

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