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 (HRDs) a possibility for rest and respite by letting them escape temporarily from a threatening situation. The term HRD is intended to refer to the broad range of activists, journalists, scholars, writers, artists, political figures, lawyers, civil rights defenders, independent media professionals, civil society members, and others working to advance human rights and democracy around the world. 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 September 2018, eleven 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:
- The HRD should implement a non-violent approach in his/her work;
- They are threatened or otherwise under pressure due to their work.;
- They should be able to 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 can speak basic English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking HRDs);
- They are willing and able to come to the Netherlands without accompaniment;
- They are willing to begin their stay in the Netherlands around September 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 as well as gender, geographic, and thematic balance.
To apply or submit the application of a human rights defender, please e-mail [email protected]. You will then receive an application form. Application forms must be returned before 11 June 2018. 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 us at [email protected].