Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), as a result of their commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, are increasingly becoming the target of States and Non-State Actors across the world. Restrictive laws and practices regarding freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly are being implemented, and the number of abuses, death threats, arbitrary arrests and torture, forced disappearances and assassination is increasing dramatically.

For the last 5 years, the Shelter City Initiative of Justice and Peace Netherlands has offered temporary shelter, training and safety to 56 international human rights defenders from 34 different countries. The new call for application for March 2018 is now open.

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

In order to be eligible to the Shelter City program, you must meet the following conditions:

  • 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);
  • The HRD is threatened or otherwise under intense pressure and can benefit from a short period of time abroad;
  • Since this is a temporary relocation program, the HRD should be able and willing to return to the country of origin after 3 months;
  • The HRD should speak basic English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking HRDs);
  • The HRD should be willing/able to come alone;
  • 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.

For more information and the application procedure check the call from Justice and Peace Netherlands. More details on the Shelter City Initiative can be found here.


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