Amsterdam has long been a human rights haven for activists from around the world and is at the centre of the LGBTIQ+ rights movement in Europe. As the capital of the Netherlands, the city is not only rich in beautiful canals but also its history in human rights activism. Continuing on this path, Shelter City Amsterdam was founded in 2015 as a collaboration between the municipality of Amsterdam and the Urgent Foundation.

Our support

Rest and re-energize

In Shelter City Amsterdam, human rights defenders can take their time to rest and recharge, away from the threats and difficulties that come with their work. During their stay, they can take in the wonderful and exciting sights of the city and re-energize while being surrounded by the comfort and tranquility that makes Amsterdam a safe and inspiring space.

Tailormade support

During their stay in Shelter City Amsterdam, human rights defenders are offered a personal experience tailored to their needs, including receiving psychological support and medical assistance from trained professionals. We also provide defenders with the opportunity to learn new skills and follow courses that can strengthen their work and allow them to continue more safely and effectively.

Engage with local allies

We support human rights defenders who wish to raise awareness for their cause by arranging opportunities for them to speak publicly about their work and the human rights situation in their country. This allows defenders to share their experiences with a wider international audience, broaden their network, and increase recognition for their fight for human rights.

Our team

Pauline Bon
Pauline Bon

Programme officer

Nuria Zantman
Nuria Zantman

Programme manager

Menno van der veen
Menno van der veen

Director, Tertium and Urgent Foundation

Our stories

Wiecza, fighting for a better future for Venezuela
Learn more about Wiecza, a Venezuelan lawyer and human rights defender.
Shelter City Eindhoven
Numan, fighting for LGBTIQ+ rights in Malaysia
Learn more about Numan and his work to support the LGBTIQ+ community in Malaysia.
Shelter City Amsterdam
Manjula Pradeep, the inspiring activist behind Shelter City
Manjula Pradeep is an Indian human rights defenders and the inspiration behind Shelter City.
Shelter City Europe
Meet Caroline Rucah, Kenyan LGBTIQ+ rights defender
Watch a short documentary and learn more about Caroline Rucah, LGBTIQ+ rights defenders from Kenya.
Shelter City Utrecht
Asha’s photo hangs proudly on my wall
Nikki supports human rights defenders that stay in Shelter City Rotterdam. According to Nikki, being a part of Shelter City has changed her life.
Shelter City Rotterdam
Louisa and Asha: defending human rights in Nigeria and India during the COVID-19 pandemic
Louisa and Asha are two human rights defenders and former Shelter City guests who shared with us how their work has changed during the pandemic.
Shelter City Rotterdam
Mohammed Azaiza shares his experience of being stuck in Gaza while dreaming of Amsterdam
Mohammed Azaiza is a human rights defender from Gaza who was unable to relocate to Shelter City.
Shelter City Amsterdam
How William’s perseverance left a mark on numerous residents of Nijmegen
Yara was part of the Shelter City Nijmegen team for two years. During her time, she met inspiring human rights defenders such as William from Uganda.
Shelter City Nijmegen

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