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

Fernanda Hunken Herrera
Fernanda Hunken Herrera

Programme Manager

Our stories

Yendri, mobilizing LGBTIQ+ communities in Venezuela
Yendri works on advancing the rights of Venezuelan LGBTIQ+ individuals. Find out more about his work through a podcast episode and documentary.
Shelter City Utrecht
Nataliia, a journalist in service of human rights
Nataliia documents human rights violations and the plight of minorities such as the LGBTQ+ community, migrants, and people living with HIV.
Shelter City Nijmegen
Angel Sulub, keeping Mayan values alive
Angel, an indigenous rights defender from Mexico, shares how he is working to keep Mayan values alive.
Shelter City Nijmegen
Juvie, using documentation as a tool against injustice
Juvie, a human rights defender from the Philippines, shares her journey of over a decade in grassroots activism and documenting human rights violations.
Shelter City Maastricht
Iván, reflecting on his journey as a human rights defender
Iván, former diplomat and Shelter City Amsterdam guest, shares his personal journey of becoming a human rights defender.
Shelter City Amsterdam
Iván, reflexionando sobre su trayectoria como defensor de los derechos humanos
Iván, antiguo diplomático y huésped de Shelter City Amsterdam, comparte su trayectoria personal como defensor de los derechos humanos.
Shelter City Amsterdam
Kiruba, fighting caste cruelties in India
Read Kiruba's story of challenging caste-based atrocities and discrimination in India.
Shelter City Nijmegen
Arsène, adding drops of justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Arsène shares his story as a human rights defender and lawyer in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Shelter City The Hague

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