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

Pippa Cooper
Pippa Cooper

Human Rights Defender Hub Coordinator

Our stories

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
Clasien, part of a global movement of human rights defenders
Clasien shares with us her experience coordinating Shelter City Tilburg and what it means to her to work with human rights defenders.
Shelter City Tilburg

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