Shelter City provides temporary safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defenders at risk where they re-energise, receive tailor-made support and engage with allies.
The term human rights defender is intended to refer to the broad range of activists, journalists and independent media professionals, scholars, writers, artists, lawyers, civil and political rights defenders, civil society members, and others working to advance human rights and democracy around the world in a peaceful manner.
Justice & Peace aims to promote the safety of journalists, and in particular women journalists, worldwide so that they can build new strategies and continue their important work for freedom of expression in their country of origin.
With support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Justice & Peace will be able to provide two additional temporary safe spaces per year in The Hague for journalists at risk and provide them with tailor-made support.
These challenges can include:
- Limitations and/or changes in the programme that they can offer HRDs during their stay in the Netherlands;
- New measures and restrictions (including a lockdown) taken by the Dutch government;
- Cancellation of flights to/from the Netherlands;
- Postponement of return to the home country after 3 months because of travel restrictions;
- Participants might be requested to self-quarantine for 5-10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands (Shelter City programme will be adapted accordingly) and to take other preventive measures due to COVID-19, including a COVID-19 test before travelling to the Netherlands.
To be eligible for Shelter City, human rights defenders should meet the following conditions:
- They implement a non-violent approach in their work;
- They are threatened or otherwise under pressure due to their work or activism;
- They can be relocated for a period of maximum 3 months. Limited spots are available for people who are not able to stay for the full 3 months;
- They are willing and able to return to their country of origin after 3 months;
- They are willing to speak publicly about their experience or about human rights in their country to the extent that their security situation allows;
- They have a conversational level of English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking human rights defenders);
- They have a valid passport (with no less than six months of validity) or be willing to carry out the procedures necessary for its issuance. Justice & Peace covers the costs of issuing a passport and / or visa (if applicable);
- They are not subjected to any measure or judicial prohibition to leaving the country;
- They are willing to begin their stay in The Netherlands around March 2022.
For more information, visit https://sheltercity.nl/en/shelter-city-2022-english/