Justice and Peace Netherlands
is launching a new call for applications for at risk Human Rights Defenders to participate in Shelter City
. The deadline for applications is 10 December 2020. Please be aware that special conditions apply because of the COVID-19 situation (see conditions below)
Shelter City provides temporary safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk where they re-energise, receive tailormade support and engage with allies. 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 in a peaceful manner. Shelter City offers the HRD a shelter for three months, during which they will rest, re-energize, gain new skills, extend their 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.
From March 2021 onwards, several cities in the Netherlands will receive HRDs for a period of three months.
Shelter City and COVID-19
Please note that the current situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) may pose certain challenges to the stay of HRDs in the Netherlands in 2021. These challenges can include:
- Limitations and/or changes in the programme that we 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 the Netherlands;
- Postponement of return to the home country after 3 months because of travel restrictions;
- Participants might be requested to self-quarantine for 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.
Please consider these potential challenges carefully before applying to the programme.
Applicants must fulfil the following conditions in order to be elegible for Shelter City:
- They implement a non-violent approach in their 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 have a conversational level* of English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking HRDs);
- They are willing and able to come to The Netherlands without accompaniment of family members;
- They have a valid passport (with no less than six months of validity) or be willing to carry out the procedures for its issuance. Justice and Peace covers the costs of issuing a passport and / or visa (if applicable);
- They are not subjected to any measure or judicial prohibition of leaving the country;
- They are willing to begin their stay in The Netherlands around March 2021.
*By conversational English we mean that participants’ level of English allows them to actively participate in a training, speak about their work, communicate with the host city, etc.
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. Please note that we can only accept HRDs currently residing in a third country under exceptional circumstances.
To apply or submit the application of a human rights defender, kindly find the online application form here. Application forms must be submitted by 10 December 2020, at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). An independent commission will select the participants.
Note that the selected HRDs will not automatically participate in the Shelter City programme as Justice and Peace is not in control of issuing the required visas to enter the Netherlands.