top of page
Copy of Audience and Lecturer_edited_edited.jpg

Shelter City Amsterdam Programme

The Shelter City Programme is a nationwide initiative of Justice and Peace Netherlands to protect human rights defenders. It is in cooperation with a growing number of Dutch cities and local organisations.


Human rights defenders fight for the rights of themselves and of others. Through their work, they play an important role in the promotion of democratic values, political freedoms, and civil rights. This is a challenging and dangerous fight: they are often silenced, threatened, arrested, tortured, and sometimes they disappear.


If human rights defenders are threatened because of their work, they qualify for a three-month stay in one of the Dutch Shelter Cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Haarlem, Maastricht, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Middelburg, Zwolle, Tilburg, or Deventer.


During their stay in the Netherlands, the human rights defenders continue their work in safety and they can take a breath. They grow their network of civil society organizations and political contacts in The Hague, Brussels, and elsewhere. They also follow trainings to improve their skills, for instance regarding safety or advocacy. And they can meet city residents.

Former Shelter City Guests

Since 2015, Amsterdam has received several human rights defenders from all over the world, defining a wide range of human rights.

Click on one of the pictures below to read more about them and their work. 


Shi Alarcón-Zamora

Costa Rican LGBTQI+ HRD, Feminist and Sociology Teacher 


Youngah Lee

South Korean Peace Activist

Screenshot 2024-03-26 at 12.10.48 p.m..png


Malaysian LGBTQI+ Activist


Justus Ijeoma

Nigerian Human Rights Activist and Lawyer



Egyptian Freedom of Expression HRD

Profile Pic Iván Chanis.JPG

Iván Chanis 

Panamenian LGBTQI+ Activist and Human Rights Lawyer 

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 15.13.08.png


Zimbabwean Queer Activist 



Mauritanian Artist, Activist and Researcher 


Karen Mejía

Honduran Human Rights Lawyer

Screenshot 2024-06-26 at 10.15.59 a.m..png

Danny Toro

Venezuelan LGBTQI+ HRD and History Teacher


Felix Márquez

Mexican Photojournalist



Indonesian LGBTQI+ Activist



Mexican Activist for Missing People 

bottom of page