York (UK) becomes the 18th Shelter City



January 25, 2021

York (UK) joins Shelter City

The city of York in the United Kingdom (UK) has joined the Shelter City movement in its mission of providing a safe and inspiring space for human rights defenders at risk. York has long been committed to supporting changemakers, particularly through the Centre for Applied Human Rights, and by joining Shelter City it will continue to do so.

The city of York’s commitment to human rights

The Centre for Applied Human Rights forms part of the University of York. It is an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre with a focus on human rights defenders, to whom it has provided support for over a decade, including through temporary relocation and research opportunities. It runs the Protective Fellowship Scheme and since 2008 it has hosted 91 activists from across the world. Moreover, Justice and Peace Netherlands and the Centre for Applied Human Rights have worked closely together on a research project that resulted in the publication of the Barcelona Guidelines on Wellbeing and Temporary International Relocation of Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

The city of York also became the first Human Rights City in the UK in 2017.

Shelter City York

Justice & Peace Netherlands and the Centre for Applied Human Rights have signed a Memorandum of Understanding making the city of York the 18th Shelter City in the world and the first in the UK. The new Shelter City hopes to receive the first guests in September 2021.

The Centre for Applied Human Rights will coordinate Shelter City York, work together with local and global partners, as well as with Justice & Peace. It will continue to provide human rights defenders at risk with temporary relocation, tailormade support, training, and connect them with local allies.

“Global networks such as Shelter City have never been more important, and we are proud to sign up to its values of solidarity and collaboration.” – Professor Paul Gready, Director of Centre for Applied Human Rights

Our warm welcome to York

We are happy to welcome York in the Shelter City movement and we are proud of this further step towards building a stronger network of cities across Europe. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration with the Centre for Applied Human Rights over the upcoming years and learn from its extensive expertise and research.

“With more defenders in need of the support that Shelter City offers, this development marks a meaningful and necessary step to increasing and enhancing this support to defenders at risk.” – Sebastiaan van der Zwaan, Director of Justice and Peace Netherlands

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