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

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
Olga, resilient in her journey for justice
During her three-month stay in The Hague, Olga penned a story to share her personal journey as a human rights defender in Venezuela.
Shelter City The Hague
Olga, preseverante en su búsqueda de justicia
Durante su estancia de tres meses en La Haya, Olga escribió un relato para compartir su trayectoria personal como defensora de los derechos humanos en Venezuela.
Shelter City The Hague
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

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