Shelter City Tanzania and Benin
About Shelter City Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Dar es Salaam joined the Shelter City Network to protect human rights defenders in 2017. It was founded by the Africa Human Rights Network (AHRN).
The Great Lakes Region is one of the most conflict-ridden areas in the world, and yet often overlooked by temporary relocation initiatives in neighbouring regions. It has been subject to decades of armed conflict and human rights violations. Struggles for power between armed groups and ethnic and political conflicts have led to large human rights violations in almost all countries within the region. Dar es salaam hosts HRDs from the Great Lakes region including DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan for a period of 3 months and offers the opportunity to rest, continue their work from a safe environment, and offer training and tools to strengthening and be able to return home and continue their work in a stronger and safer way.
Shelter City Dar es Salaam has a large focus on psychological support. Many of the HRDs supported through the initiative were arrested, tortured or disappeared for a while. Its main services focus on providing them with medical and psychological assistance to relieve stress, reduce burnout symptoms and provide more emotional stability. It is also the first Shelter City with an emphasis on protecting women HRDs and youth.
About Shelter City Cotonou, Benin
Shelter City Benin is currently a pilot project that officially began mid-2019 by the coordinator of Shelter City Dar es Salaam, the African Human Rights Network (AHRN). The Shelter City was founded to support more human rights defenders from West Africa. with french-speaking capacities.
Shelter City Benin focuses on three main activities aimed at building the capacity of human rights defenders, namely regional networking and exchange, the protection of HRDs to ensure safer working conditions, relocation and follow up on safety. Benin has already hosted 8 HRDs from Chad, DR Congo, Senegal and Burundi.