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Chairperson of the Shelter City Independent Selection Committee

Would you like to contribute to the protection of human rights defenders? Be involved in the selection of our Human Rights Defenders programme?  We are looking for a new chairperson for the Shelter City independent selection committee as of April 1!

Justice & Peace initiates Shelter City, coordinates the national and international network of Shelter City, and implements the activities in Shelter City The Hague. Shelter City is a global movement of 21 cities around the world that provide temporary safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defenders who are at risk in their own country. In the Netherlands alone, there are 13 cities that participate in the initiative. During their temporary stay in Shelter City, human rights defenders follow a tailormade programme that focuses on capacity building and training, rest and respite, lobbying and awareness raising, and network expansion.

Effective April 1, we are looking for a:

Chairperson of the Shelter City Independent Selection Committee

Every year about 30 human rights defenders are selected to participate in the Shelter City programme in the Netherlands. This selection process is carefully prepared by the Shelter City team and the longlist of candidates is independently reviewed by the Shelter City selection committee to arrive at a list of participants. The committee consists of 5 members, including the chairperson and meets twice a year in a half-day meeting: once around June and once around December in The Hague. The logistics and preparation of the longlist is handled by the Shelter City team. The chair is responsible for reviewing a part of the applications, and for the smooth running of the committee meetings in which Shelter City participants are selected.


  • Managing and chairing the semi-annual selection committee meeting;
  • Preparing for the meeting: reading through and reviewing approximately 15-20 profiles of human rights defenders who have applied for Shelter City.

We are looking for a candidate with the following competences:

  • A chair with a good reputation in the field of human rights and an independent profile, for example with a background in academia;
  • At least 10 years of relevant work experience with human rights defenders;
  • Relevant education at academic level and demonstrable affinity with human rights defenders. Knowledge of the human rights field;
  • Excellent oral and written skills in English and Dutch. Knowledge of Spanish and/or French is a plus;
  • Availability during the months of June and December to prepare and chair meetings. From experience, this requires about 8-12 hours of preparation per meeting, in the two weeks preceding it. The meeting itself takes half a day and takes place in The Hague;
  • Experience in effectively and efficiently chairing meetings where difficult decisions need to be made;
  • Strategic insight and sense of relationships and sensitivities;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Enthusiasm, decisiveness and a hands-on mentality.

What we offer:
We offer an influential position on a unique committee that annually selects 30 human rights advocates to come to the Netherlands temporarily. This position is unpaid. Relevant travel expenses (within the Netherlands, 2nd class) will be reimbursed if desired. 

About Justice & Peace

Justice & Peace Netherlands is a human rights NGO based in The Hague that has been working for more than 50 years to promote respect for human rights and social justice, in the Netherlands and internationally. We believe that local change makers are the key to human rights and social justice for everyone, everywhere. To achieve this, we work on pragmatic and result oriented approaches to fulfil and protect human rights. We believe in innovation and through our projects and initiatives such as Shelter City and Samen Hier, we create new ways to effectively tackled those challenges, ensure positive change as well as sustainability and to create real impact.

Are you interested?

Please send a motivation letter (max. 1 A4) with CV (max. 2 A4) before March 6, 2023 to Mr. Sebastiaan van der Zwaan, Director: vacature@justiceandpeace.nl. Please mention that you would like to be considered for the position of ‘Chairman Shelter City Selection Committee’. For more information, please contact Maral Khajeh at vacature@justiceandpeace.nl.