20 December 2017

11 Dutch cities for human rights defenders: do you accept the challenge?

Message from Sebastiaan van der Zwaan (Director of Justice and Peace)

Last month it became official : Justice and Peace welcomes Deventer as the 11th city in its Shelter City network in the Netherlands.

I am proud of what Justice and Peace has achieved with the Shelter City initiative in 5 years’ time. We were able to shelter and support 60 human rights defenders in the different cities. Through meetings and events they were able to reach hundreds of people with their story. This could only be possible thanks to the great cooperation with cities, local partners, volunteers and the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

When we welcomed the eleventh Shelter City a few weeks ago, one of the first supporters of our programme reacted: 'Wow, eleven cities. I feel an “Elfstedentocht” (the name of the famous eleven cities skating tour in the province of Friesland) is coming up! '

I've thought about it and I can’t ignore that challenge. I'll take it! In the spring of 2018 I’ll travel the distance of 750 km along all eleven Shelter Cities by bike! And I challenge as many people as possible to support me during this Shelter City Bike Challenge! The proceeds will go directly to our work for human rights defenders within the Shelter City network (especially trainings).

Are you also up to the challenge? Will you sponsor me with € 0.05 per kilometer? More information will be available on our website soon.

Would you like to donate already? You can send your donation to:

NL 64 ABNA 064 208 98 41
Attn. Justice and Peace Netherlands, The Hague, The Netherlands

On behalf of everyone at Justice and Peace I wish you a happy new year!


Sebastiaan van der Zwaan

Director of Justice and Peace Netherlands