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EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform - Support Centres

We are a global platform of national, regional and international organizations involved in programmes for the temporary relocation of human rights defenders at risk. Our activities are diverse and include identifying HRDs in need of relocation through our close work with them, providing temporary shelter within the same country, hosting HRDs in countries in their region or outside it, providing services or capacity-building opportunities to relocated HRDs, and contributing to the protection of HRDs on the ground.
Our website is a portal for members of the platform, as well as a source of information for actors interested in knowing more about HRDs, temporary relocation, and getting involved involved in temporary relocation programmes.
An initiative of the European Commission, the development and coordination of the platform is currently in the hands of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism.

Shelter City - Support Centres

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

Human rights defenders defend 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.

Justice and Peace established Shelter City in 2012 on the request of their network of international human rights defenders. After the first Shelter City in The Hague, Middelburg joined in 2014, followed by Nijmegen, Maastricht, Utrecht, and Amsterdam in 2015, Tilburg and Groningen in 2016 and Zwolle and Haarlem in 2017. In 2018 Deventer also joined the Shelter City network. Rotterdam followed in 2020. Tbilisi & Batumi (Georgia), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Cotonou (Benin) and San José (Costa Rica) have joined the network as International Shelter City Hubs. The expectation is that other cities (in or outside the Netherlands) will join in the future as well. The growing number of applications from Human Rights Defenders under threat shows that new Shelter Cities are strongly needed.

In every Shelter City the municipality, local organizations, universities, and Justice and Peace provide the shelter and take care of the program for the human rights defender. Together with the human rights defenders they organize meetings and workshops that contribute to the raising of awareness about human rights issues among the inhabitants of the Shelter Cities.

Shelter City is affiliated with the EU Human Rights Defenders Relocation Platform