Human rights defender Justus speaks at the Rotterdam International Secondary School

On April 26, Shelter City Amsterdam guest Justus Ijeoma spoke to 65 students from the Rotterdam International Secondary School (RISS) about his work as a human rights defender in Nigeria.

With an internationally focused curriculum, RISS reached out to Shelter City to present to their student led human rights group. The group looks at issues relating to human rights and global challenges, and provides opportunities for students to research and learn more about these topics.

Rian van Spaandonk, teacher of English and Global Perspectives at RISS, invited Justus to speak at the school. When asked about “Sadly, what we can teach the students at school always seems a bit theoretical. For the students to hear the story of someone who actually works as a human rights defender is very valuable”.

Human rights defender Justus shared his experiences working as a human rights lawyer in Nigeria and the importance of universal human rights. Justus started his speech by thanking the students for having him as a guest. “I am very grateful to be here today. When you are in the midst of youths, you are in the midst of the leaders of tomorrow”.

After his speech, the students asked Justus several questions concerning police violence in Nigeria, his motivation to become a human rights defender and his personal safety. Justus is the current guest of Shelter City Amsterdam and has been in the Netherlands since early April.

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** Justus is a lawyer and the executive director of the International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation (I-REF). His work focuses on police violence. To learn more about Justus and his work, click here: