Justice and Peace Shelter Initiative

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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 the possibility for rest and respite by letting them escape from a temporarily threatening situation. Shelter City is a last resort when shelter in the region is not possible and the safety of the human rights defender in question cannot be guaranteed. An important principle of the Shelter City Initiative is that human rights defenders continue their work, even if they are temporarily relocated.

In the second half of 2015, five cities in The Netherlands will receive Human Rights Defenders for a period of three months. We are looking for Human Rights Defenders who are being threatened because of their work and who might be helped with this programme. Please circulate this message to all interested candidates who you may know.

Applicants must fulfil the following parameters:

  1. The HRD can be a human rights defender in the broad sense of the word (lawyers, NGO members, journalists, artists, etc. can all apply, as long as their work promotes Human Rights or he/she fights against Human Rights Violations)
  2. The HRD should be willing to come to the Netherlands around the end of September 2015
  3. The HRD should be able to return to the country of origin after 3 months.
  4. The HRD should be willing to speak out in public.
  5. The HRD must apply before 17 August 2015.

The period in the Netherlands can also be used to strengthen the capacities of human rights defenders. This could be done by computer courses, language courses, safety training, media training or other courses that could benefit the work of the human rights defender. Furthermore, during his/her time in The Hague, the human rights defender can extend his/her international network

Note that the Human Rights Defender who applies will not be automatically allowed into the shelter programme as Justice and Peace is not in control of issuing the required visa’s to enter The Netherlands.

To apply or submit the application of a human rights defender, please e-mail info@sheltercity.org. You will then receive an application form. Application forms must be returned before 17 August 2015.

For more information please contact Guus van Zwoll, guus.van.zwoll@justiceandpeace.nl / +31 070 763 1421, or Alexia Falisse, alexia.falisse@justiceandpeace.nl +31 070 763 1493.