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Home » Ten years of Shelter City: From The Hague to a global movement

Ten years of Shelter City: From The Hague to a global movement

We are excited to announce that this year we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Shelter City and Shelter City The Hague.

At Justice & Peace, we believe in the potential of change makers and in the importance of supporting local action for change. That is why we founded Shelter City 10 years ago as a concrete and accessible way to support human rights defenders at risk.

Today, Shelter City is a global movement that creates safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defenders at risk where they re-energise, receive tailormade support and engage with allies in order to reinforce their local actions for change.

10 years of Shelter City: a growing global movement

The Hague became the first Shelter City in 2012, and after that, 12 other Dutch cities and 8 cities in Georgia, Tanzania, Benin, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom joined. Today, Shelter City is a global movement of 21 cities, over 300 individuals and 100 organisations, embassies and institutions around the globe that are committed to supporting human rights defenders.

As we celebrate 10 years of Shelter City, we want to thank all of our international and local partners, funders, and supporters that stand side by side with human rights defenders from all over the world.

10 years of Shelter City The Hague

The Hague has been a safe space for human rights defenders for ten years, thanks to the important support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Municipality of The Hague.

To kick off the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of Shelter City The Hague, the city will host a photo exhibition at Turfmarkt outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition showcases 6 portraits of human rights defenders who have been guests of Shelter City: a journalist and women’s rights defender from Honduras, a civil rights defender from Thailand, a young activist who supports families of missing people in Mexico, two LGBTIQ+ rights defenders from Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and an activist who dedicates his life to prisoners unjustly detained in Pakistan. You can visit the exhibition until 20th May 2022 and read more about the portraits here.

The future of Shelter City

In these 10 years, Shelter City has supported over 400 human rights defenders. Their stay in Shelter City has made an important impact in their lives and in the lives of their communities.

As we celebrate our achievements, Justice & Peace reaffirms our commitment to stand side by side with human rights defenders and support the growth of the movement. More Shelter Cities are needed for human rights defenders to re-energise and connect.

Municipalities, educational institutions or other organisations can all take the initiative to set up a new Shelter City and contribute to change. The Shelter City team has published some guidelines to support partners in the creation of a new Shelter City. You can find them here and you can reach out to them at info[at] sheltercity.org.

What can you do?

Feel inspired? Want to help?

We believe that everyone can contribute to supporting human rights defenders, and there are many possibilities to do so.
Get involved  and volunteer to support Shelter City guests before, during, and after their stay.
Raise awareness on Shelter City or visit the exhibition near The Hague Central Station and post about it on your social media.

Want to help now?

As you may understand, for Justice & Peace to keep helping our Shelter City guests, we need funding.