As the birthplace of the founder of parliamentary democracy, Zwolle has a strong commitment to democracy, which goes hand-in-hand with human rights. After a successful start in 2017, the city became a permanent part of Shelter City in 2018.

Our support

Rest and re-energize

At Shelter City Zwolle, human rights defenders are offered a safe space in a quiet and secure environment where they can focus on their well-being and care for their physical and physiological health. Defenders are able to use this time to rest and re-energize, away from any threats and security risks that come with their work. 

Tailored support and capacity-building

Our team of dedicated students and volunteers ensure every guest has a fruitful stay. During their stay, defenders can access tailored support such as language courses, medical care, and recreational activities. They can also choose to participate in a range of courses at the local university, which provides them with the opportunity to gain knowledge, form new allies, and be equipped to reinforce their cause. 

Engage with local allies

We provide a platform for human rights defenders to share their stories and raise awareness on the human rights situation in their country with the youth and residents of Zwolle. We do this through events, lectures, and meetings, which enable defenders to obtain outside perspectives to strengthen their activism and expand their network.

Our team

Tom Duteweert
Tom Duteweert

Main coordinator of Shelter City Zwolle

Our stories

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
Clasien, deel van een wereldwijde beweging van mensenrechten verdedigers
Clasien deelt met ons haar ervaring met het coördineren van Shelter City Tilburg en wat het voor haar betekent om met mensenrechtenverdedigers te werken.
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

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