NED supports the Shelter City Network for human rights defenders

With the Security Training Course for Human Rights Defenders starting tomorrow, Justice and Peace Netherlands would like to take the opportunity to express its sincere gratitude to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for supporting the Shelter City Network for Human Rights Defenders from October 2018 to September 2019.

With the support of NED, Justice and Peace will be able to strengthen the resilience of human rights defenders and their organisations. This will enable them to better anticipate and respond to threats, and adapt to changes and disruptions in their work. NED’s vital support will also contribute to the enhancement of the International Shelter City Network for HRDs by bringing together its stakeholders in order to share opportunities, challenges and best practices. 

Why strengthen the resilience of human rights defenders?

Human rights defenders are on the front line of defending human rights, safeguarding and promoting democratic values worldwide. Whether they are journalists, lawyers, activists, or artists, HRDs have a critical role in promoting human rights and democratisation. They provide indispensable contribution to a safer, more secure, and sustainable world.

The work of HRDs and the environments they work in, however, expose them to various threats that hinder or can stop their human rights work altogether. With the increasingly sophisticated nature of threats and challenges as a result of shrinking spaces for civil society and advancing technologies, their ability to adapt to environments, withstand crisis, and sustainably deflect attacks is essential.

In order for HRDs and their organisations to continue their work in a safer and more enabling environment, Justice and Peace has developed the Shelter City Programme. The initiative focuses on the HRD as part of an organisation and its inherent strength to withstand crisis and sustainably deflect attacks, building long term autonomy objectives.

Security training for human rights defenders at risk

From 10-19 of October, eight human rights defenders from Colombia, Nepal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Palestine, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and Venezuela will take part in the Security Training Course for HRDs in The Hague.

The security training will include modules on security management, digital and organisational security, as well as sessions on well-being and self-care. The training will enable HRDs to better understand the concepts of threats, risks, vulnerabilities and capacities, to undertake personal risk assessments, to develop a security plan for themselves and their organisations, to adopt improved digital practices, to implement security policies and to practice self-care and cultivate psycho-social resilience in the face of threats.

Human rights defenders taking part in a security training course in The Hague in 2015.


Justice and Peace Netherlands is grateful for NED’s support, involvement and dedication to promoting freedom worldwide.


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,600 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.