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

Menno van der veen
Menno van der veen

Director, Tertium and Urgent Foundation

Nuria Zantman
Nuria Zantman

Programme manager

Fernanda Hunken Herrera
Fernanda Hunken Herrera

Programme Coordinator

Our stories

Nnedinma, regaining her mojo in Shelter City
Nnedinma tells us how her three-month stay in Tilburg with Shelter City enabled her to re-energize and regain her mojo to continue her work.
Shelter City Tilburg
Alice, on the frontlines of a high-risk profession
At the end of her three-month stay in the Netherlands, Alice wrote a story to share her experience as a journalist in the DRC.
Shelter City The Hague
Alice, en première ligne d’une profession à risque
A la fin de son séjour de trois mois aux Pays – Bas, Alice à écrit un article pour partager son expérience de journaliste en RDC.
Shelter City The Hague
Fabianna, reflecting on her connection with human rights defenders
Fabianna, a former intern at Justice & Peace Netherlands, reflects on her experience accompanying Shelter City guests participating in the initiative in the Netherlands.
Shelter City The Hague
Giving your all for the things you believe in
Wouter Ermens recounts his experience interning in the role of a programme coordinator of Shelter City Nijmegen and supporting a Shelter City guest.
Shelter City Nijmegen
Sheyla: “Freedom is my favourite word”
"I am Sheyla Urdaneta, I am a journalist, and a woman: a double risk in Venezuela, where liberty of expression and press are constricted."
Shelter City Haarlem
Sheyla: “Libertad es mi palabra favorita”
"Soy Sheyla Urdaneta, soy periodista y mujer: un doble riesgo en Venezuela, donde se viola la libertad de expresión y de prensa."
Shelter City Haarlem
Zabib, balancing motherhood and activism in South Sudan
"Being an activist shouldn’t stop women from having children, and having children shouldn’t stop women from their activist work. Let’s not give up."
Shelter City Rotterdam

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