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

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
Félix, shedding light on the harsh reality in Mexico, despite the dangers
Learn more about Félix, a Mexican photojournalist and a human rights defender.
Shelter City Amsterdam
Jhon León: defensores de los derechos humanos unidos por Shelter City para cambiar el mundo
Jhon es un defensor de derechos humanos colombiano. Aquí reflexiona sobre cómo Shelter City ha impactado, de manera positiva, su vida y trabajo.
Shelter City The Hague
Jhon León: Shelter City unites human rights defenders to change the world
John is a Colombian human rights defender. Here he reflects on how Shelter City has positively impacted his life and his work.
Shelter City The Hague
Raúl, creating safe spaces for the LGBTIQ+ community
Read about Mexican LGBTIQ+ defender Raul and his work to provide shelter to LGBTIQ+ persons.
Shelter City Utrecht
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

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