Security Training Course for human rights defenders taking place in The Hague

Eleven human rights defenders from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, the DRC, Georgia, India, Kenya, Krygyzstan, Nepal, and Zimbabwe are currently taking part in a one-week Security Training Course focusing on digital security and well-being as part of the Shelter City initiative. The participants will learn new skills or strengthen existing knowledge on how to secure themselves and their organisations better against unwanted and malicious attacks online, and focus on wellbeing and self-care.

The Shelter City participants will take part in a three-part Security Training Course during their three-month stay in the Netherlands with human rights organisation, Justice and Peace Netherlands. This training marks the second part of the three-part course, focusing on digital security and wellbeing and self-care. The first training focused on Security Management, and the third training will focus on Advocacy. 

“What I’ve learnt so far is so important for our work. We never had this training before, so we weren’t aware of the risks. When I return, I will share this with my friends and with my colleagues.” – STC 2019 participant

Building capacity and resilience

The increasingly shrinking space for civil society means that the environments that human rights defenders work in have become more challenging. Mass surveillance and stricter laws on civil society are all threats to the vital work and livelihood of a human rights defender and their organisation.

For human rights defenders and civil society to be able to continue their work safely and effectively, building resilience to these external pressures is key. It allows a human rights defender and their organisation to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to changes and disruptions so that they can survive and thrive. 

With a holistic security curriculum, Justice and Peace through the Shelter City initiative offers human rights defenders digital and physical security training, wellbeing and self-care training, empowerment training, including legal, investigative, organisational and advocacy tools, and long-term support for when they return home. Because each environment is different, Justice and Peace offers tailored training to human rights defenders and organisations based on their needs and requirements. 

“But above all, we provide them with a safe space where they can meet other defenders and feel that they do not stand alone in their fight. They come to realise that no matter where they are, where they work, they all face the same challenges as human rights defenders.” – Manon Muti, Justice and Peace Security Trainer for Human Rights Defenders

With experienced security trainers and the most up-to-date resources, we hope to support more resilient defenders and contribute to active civil societies worldwide. Aside from giving training, we’ve put together resources for human rights defenders covering topics including well-being and digital security and the latest developments in the world for human rights defenders