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.


If human rights defenders are being threatened because of the work they do, they qualify for a stay of three months in one of the Dutch Shelter Cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Haarlem, Maastricht, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Middelburg, Zwolle, Tilburg and 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.



This spring Shelter City Amsterdam is receiving Tsiala. Tsiala is a human rights defender from Georgia who focuses on issues of LGBTQI and women’s rights. She is the primary lawyer for the organisation ’Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group’ (WISG) and has been engaged in LGBTQI activism for seven years. The organisation strives to ensure equal participation of women in all aspects of society, with a special focus on marginalised groups of women including women with disabilities and transgender women.
One of the goals of Shelter City is to broaden the networks of our guests. Do you think you could help Omayma with her work or do you want her to speak at an event or something similar? Contact us and we will get in touch!



Since 2015, Amsterdam has recieved ceveral human rights defenders from all over the world defening a wide range of human rights. Click on one of the pictures below to read more about them and their work.  

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