York became the first Human Rights City in the UK in 2017 with the aim of integrating human rights into policy and practice. The city embraces a vision of a vibrant, diverse, fair, and safe community built on universal human rights. Shelter City York was launched in 2021 to strengthen links between CAHR's work with human rights defenders and its human rights engagements in the city.

Our support

Rest and re-energize

We provide human rights defenders with the time and space to recuperate and reflect upon their work, enabling them to return to their activism re-energized. Being away from difficult circumstances and surrounded by inspiring environments can stimulate defenders to focus on their well-being and strategically develop their activism.

Tailored support and capacity-building

During their stay, human rights defenders can benefit from educational resources designed to increase their effectiveness, their research capacity, and their ability to influence policy and practice when they return home. We believe that enhancing the defenders’ skills is a sustainable way to bring about medium and long-term social change in their home countries.

Engage with local allies

At Shelter City York, human rights defenders have the opportunity to conduct advocacy sessions to further their work, expand their network of contacts in the United Kingdom and Europe, such as with UK-based human rights scholars, and engage with the general public by sharing their stories and experiences in human rights activism.

Our team

Sanna Eriksson
Sanna Eriksson

Protective Fellowship Coordinator

Pippa Cooper
Pippa Cooper

Human Rights Defender Hub Coordinator

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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