ProtectDefenders.eu, through the European Union Temporary Relocation Platform (EUTRP), has supported the set-up of a new relocation programme 'Tbilisi Shelter City' in Tbilisi, Georgia, together with two local NGOs (Truth Hounds and Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation). This new shelter initiative is expected to host up to 20 human rights defenders. The first group of defenders in need of relocation will arrive in December 2016.
This new shelter programme is open to human rights defenders under threat coming from Central Asia, Russia and Turkey. Thanks to the advantageous conditions of the visa free regime in Georgia, the programme will be able to swiftly relocate human rights defenders at risk. Local organisations Truth Hounds and the Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation, who are running the Tbilisi Shelter City programme, have developed a comprehensive program to make out the most of the stay of defenders, providing meaningful opportunities for professional development. The relocation programme includes courses in human rights offered by the University, English and driving lessons, as well as trainings in communication, project writing and advocacy.