Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Shelter City Netherlands: Call for Applications for March 2022

October 23, 2021

Justice & Peace Netherlands is launching a new call for applications for at risk human rights defenders to participate in Shelter City. The deadline for applications is 7 November 2021 at 23:59 CET.

It is part of Shelter City network –  a worldwide initiative to protect human rights defenders at risk and support them to reclaim their civic space! Seventeen cities worldwide offer temporary relocation and shelter, capacity-building tools, trainings and safety to human rights defenders worldwide who stand up against human rights violations in their home countries.

Shelter City provides temporary safe and inspiring spaces for human rights defender at risk where they re-energise, receive tailormade support and engage with allies. The term human rights defender is intended to refer to the broad range of activists, journalists and independent media professionals, scholars, writers, artists, lawyers, civil and political rights defenders, civil society members, and others working to advance human rights and democracy around the world in a peaceful manner.

From March 2022 onwards, several cities in the Netherlands will receive human rights defenders for a period of three months. At the end of their stay in the Netherlands, participants are expected to return with new tools and energy to carry out their work at home.

Journalists’ Safe Haven Initiative

Justice & Peace aims to promote the safety of journalists, and in particular women journalists, worldwide so that they can build new strategies and continue their important work for freedom of expression in their country of origin. With support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Justice & Peace will be able to provide two additional temporary safe spaces per year in The Hague for journalists at risk and provide them with tailor-made support.

Shelter City and COVID-19

Please note that COVID-19 may pose certain challenges to the stay of human rights defenders in the Netherlands in 2022. These challenges can include:

  • Limitations and/or changes in the programme that we can offer HRDs during their stay in the Netherlands;
  • New measures and restrictions (including a lockdown) taken by the Dutch government;
  • Cancellation of flights to/from the Netherlands;
  • Postponement of return to the home country after 3 months because of travel restrictions;
  • Participants might be requested to self-quarantine for 5-10 days upon arrival in the Netherlands (Shelter City programme will be adapted accordingly) and to take other preventive measures due to COVID-19, including a COVID-19 test before travelling to the Netherlands.

Please consider these potential challenges carefully before applying to the programme.

To be eligible for Shelter City, human rights defenders should meet the following conditions:

  • They implement a non-violent approach in their work;
  • They are threatened or otherwise under pressure due to their work or activism;
  • They can be relocated for a period of maximum 3 months. Limited spots are available for people who are not able to stay for the full 3 months;
  • They are willing and able to return to their country of origin after 3 months;
  • They are willing to speak publicly about their experience or about human rights in their country to the extent that their security situation allows;
  • They have a conversational level* of English (limited spots are available for French or Spanish speaking human rights defenders);
  • They have a valid passport (with no less than six months of validity) or be willing to carry out the procedures necessary for its issuance. Justice & Peace covers the costs of issuing a passport and / or visa (if applicable);
  • They are not subjected to any measure or judicial prohibition to leaving the country;
  • They are willing to begin their stay in The Netherlands around March 2022.

Note that additional factors will be taken into consideration in the final round of selection, such as the added value of a stay in The Netherlands as well as gender, geographic, and thematic balance. Please note that we can only accept human rights defenders currently residing in a third country under exceptional circumstances.

To apply for Shelter City, please fill in the form by clicking the link below. Application forms must be submitted by 7 November 2021 at 23:59 CET (Central European Time). An independent commission will select the participants.

For 2020 call see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/11/24/new-call-for-applications-for-human-rights-defenders-at-risk-to-participate-in-shelter-city-netherlands/

Apply now to Shelter City 2022

Women human rights defenders and journalists in Iraq receive training in Safety and Digital Security

April 29, 2019

To strengthen the resilience of Iraqi women journalists and women human rights defenders against online and offline gender-based attacks, Internews conducts workshops and other activities that focus on digital and physical security:

Iraq is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists according to Reporters without Borders, ranking 160 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index. Women journalists and activists in Iraq have a particularly difficult time due to online threats and attacks that adversely affect their ability to express themselves freely and advocate effectively. Women have witnessed an escalation in online abuse over the past few years, not just in numbers, but also in methods and sophistication. The risk of harassment and gender-based attacks online is not limited to the digital space as research has shown that online abuse and stalking often escalate into real world physical violence if left unaddressed.

In an interview with The New Arab, Hala ‘Asif, a 24-year-old journalist working as a correspondent for the channel NRT in Baghdad, noted that, “Foreign journalists often investigate political affairs in Iraq, which sometimes is impossible for us to cover as it would be too dangerous and would prevent us from working safely in our country. I would like to go to other provinces in Iraq and carry out investigations about relevant issues, but as a young woman it would cost too much to take care of my safety.”

To address the issue of women’s safety in Iraq, Internews, with funding from the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), is using a multi-pronged approach – building local networks, coordinating advocacy, and conducting targeted journalism trainings on gender-sensitive issues. Internews’ program, Women Voices (Aswat Al-Maraa), aims to challenge societal attitudes that stigmatize survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) by supporting journalists and women human rights defenders to shed light on sensitive issues through coordinated reporting and advocacy. The program works with female Iraqi journalists and media outlets to create a nationwide coalition of women journalists and human rights defenders to strengthen their resilience against gender-based attacks and build the capacity of journalists to report on sensitive human rights and SGBV.

Within the Women’s Voices project, Internews has conducted so far two training-of-trainers (TOT) workshops that focus on the digital and physical security of the project participants. Through a peer-to-peer program, TOT trainees have trained eighty women from Erbil, Najaf, and Halabja how to protect themselves from threats online and in their everyday lives.

….Another participant, from the Erbil workshop, said, “Females often have to face extreme scrutiny of their presence online, and are threatened with death in some instances for photos posted online without family consent or that are considered inappropriate; these kinds of workshops are incredibly important for every female in this country.”

To support the voices and participation of women in some of the world’s most challenging places, Internews’ MENA team ensures the implementation of digital as well as a physical security trainings in all of its projects across the region. ​

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2017/05/09/defenddefenders-launched-new-security-manual-for-human-rights-defenders-in-africa/

https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/uplifting-voices-women-supporting-their-physical-safety-and-digital-security

OSCE Human Rights Monitoring and Security Training for Human rights defenders: apply soon

March 23, 2019
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is pleased to offer a five-day training event on human rights monitoring and safety and security for human rights defenders (HRDs) working in three thematic areas: 1) human rights of Roma and Sinti, 2) human rights of people of African descent, and 3) environmental protection issues.
The objective of the training event is to enable human rights defenders (HRDs) to independently carry out quality and objective human rights monitoring activities in a safe and secure manner and taking into account relevant gender considerations. The event will take place in Montenegro from 27 to 31 May 2019, and will cover the human rights monitoring cycle and principles; physical safety and security of human rights monitors; and digital security, including secure information management. The language of the event will be English. The training will be based on interactive learning methods and requires a high level of active participation by all participants. During group exercises, participants will be divided based on their field of work/interest and coached by a senior professional expert. ODIHR will select up to eight participants per group.

The size of the entire group will be limited to 25 participants, selected according to the following criteria:
• Citizenship or residence in one of the OSCE participating States;
• Involvement as a human rights defender in one of the specified fields: environmental protection, human rights of Roma and Sinti, or human rights of people of African descent;
• Limited or no experience on human rights monitoring and reporting;
• No or limited previous training in safety and security (including digital security);
• Relevance of the training for future human rights activities in OSCE the region;
• Computer literacy;
• Fluency in English.

The OSCE/ODIHR recognizes as a human rights defender any person promoting and striving for the realization of human rights regardless of profession, age or other status. Human rights defenders carry out their human rights activities individually or jointly with others, as part of an informal group or as a non-governmental organization (NGO), and act in a voluntary capacity or professionally. ..The workshop is designed for activists with limited or no skills who can benefit fully from receiving the training. Accommodation and travel for the selected human rights defenders to attend the event will be covered by ODIHR.

Deadline for submission: 29th March 2019. If you have any questions about the content or the selection procedure of the training, please do not hesitate to contact David Mark david.mark@odihr.pl and Marine Constant at marine.constant@odihr.pl.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfQUm0t3S8vU3Kat8C46gbcRlxSaXQC6ZcMA7DwKmEyngknQA/viewform

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/02/28/human-rights-education-courses-also-exist-in-europe/

Security Firm Rift Recon teams up with Human Rights Foundation at Oslo Freedom Forum

April 25, 2014

RIFT RECON announced on 16 April that it will join forces with the Human Rights Foundation to present a comprehensive security workshop at the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum ‘OFF’ from 12-14 May 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

York University’s Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.

April 30, 2013
Professor Paul Gready at York University, with Nagi Musa, a human rights activist from Sudan.  Below: Karak Denyok

(Professor Paul Gready at York University with Nagi Musa, a human rights activist from Sudan)

 Sheena Hastings reports in the Yorkshire Post of 30 April 2013 on the programme offered by York University that lets human rights defenders stay on a fellowship that provides a safe haven and adds to their skills .

In the few months that Nagi Musa has lived in York, he has not lost the learned panicky response to the odd creaking noise in the night, and he does still find himself scanning any group of people in case there’s someone who looks like a threat. He tends to position himself where he can see the nearest exit, too.  Read the rest of this entry »