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

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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