April 20, 2022
Shelter City Netherlands: Call for Applications for September 2022
Justice & Peace Netherlands is launching a new call for applications for human rights defenders at risk to participate in Shelter City. The deadline for applications is 3 May 2022 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). Please be aware that special conditions apply because of the COVID-19 situation (see conditions below).
Shelter City provides temporary safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defenders at risk where they re-energise, receive tailormade support and engage with allies. The term human rights defender is intended to refer to the broad range of activists, journalists and independent media professionals, scholars, writers, artists, lawyers, civil and political rights defenders, civil society members, and others working to advance human rights and democracy around the world in a peaceful manner.
From September 2022 onwards, several cities in the Netherlands will receive human rights defenders for a period of three months. At the end of their stay in the Netherlands, participants are expected to return with new tools and energy to carry out their work at home.
Journalists’ Safe Haven Initiative
Justice & Peace aims to promote the safety of journalists, and in particular women journalists, worldwide so that they can build new strategies and continue their important work for freedom of expression in their country of origin. With support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Justice & Peace will be able to provide two additional temporary safe spaces per year in The Hague for journalists at risk and provide them with tailor-made support.
Asser Institute Fellowship (only available for English accompaniment)
Justice & Peace and the Asser Institute have established a collaborative relationship to strengthen and support the capacity of local human rights defenders worldwide. In the context of the Institute’s Visiting Researchers Programme, the Asser Institute hosts one Fellow per year within the framework of the Shelter City initiative by Justice & Peace. The selected Fellow will carry out a research project during the three-month period and take part in other human rights relevant (research) activities of the Asser Institute.
Shelter City and COVID-19
Please note that COVID-19 may pose certain challenges to the stay of human rights defenders in the Netherlands in 2022. These challenges can include:
- Limitations and/or changes in the programme that we can offer HRDs during their stay in the Netherlands;
- New measures and restrictions (including a lockdown) taken by the Dutch government;
- Cancellation of flights to/from the Netherlands;
- Postponement of return to the home country after 3 months because of travel restrictions;
- Participants might be requested to self-quarantine for 5-10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands (Shelter City programme will be adapted accordingly) and to take other preventive measures due to COVID-19, including a COVID-19 test before travelling to the Netherlands.
Please consider these potential challenges carefully before applying to the programme.
To be eligible for Shelter City, human rights defenders should meet the following conditions:
- They implement a non-violent approach in their work;
- They are threatened or otherwise under pressure due to their work or activism;
- They are willing and able to return to their country of origin after 3 months;
- They are willing to speak publicly about their experience or about human rights in their country to the extent that their security situation allows;
- They have a conversational level* of English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking human rights defenders);
- They have a valid passport (with no less than six months of validity) or be willing to carry out the procedures necessary for its issuance. Justice & Peace covers the costs of issuing a passport and / or visa (if applicable);
- They are not subjected to any measure or judicial prohibition to leave the country;
- They are willing to begin their stay in The Netherlands around September 2022.
*By conversational English we mean that participants’ level of English allows them to actively participate in a training, speak about their work, communicate with the host city, etc.
Note that additional factors will be taken into consideration in the final round of selection, such as the added value of a stay in The Netherlands as well as gender, geographic, and thematic balance. Please note that only under exceptional circumstances are we able to accept human rights defenders currently residing in a third country.
To apply for Shelter City, please click on the link below. Application forms must be submitted by 3 May 2022 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). An independent commission will select the participants.
Note that selected human rights defenders will not automatically participate in Shelter City as Justice & Peace is not in control of issuing the required visas to enter the Netherlands.
For more information, please contact us at sheltercity[at]justiceandpeace.nl.