HERE TO SUPPORT
Creating places for CoCreation, CoAction & Collaboration
Here to Support engages in projects initiated by a group of artists and theorists in close cooperation with refugees in limbo. Together we aim to shape partnerships based on equality within a society characterized by fundamental inequalities. At Here to Support we believe that an open and inclusive society can only exists if everyone in it is acknowledged and entitled to rights.
Here to Support does not primarily focus on providing humanitarian assistance, but it strives for emancipation of undocumented migrants. To make them seen, heard and essentially, to put them in charge of their own lives again. We initiate educational and cultural projects that enable them to express and develop themselves.
We are here to support.
AMSTERDAM CITY RIGHTS
Amsterdam City Rights is a project of the Here to Support foundation. It brings together Amsterdam residents with and without documents so as to bundle their powers in the securing and improvement of human and social rights in the city. Amsterdam City Rights organizes think tank gatherings and smaller events. Our main goal for 2019 is to push the city board to develop a city-ID card, (Urban Citizenship card) for all residents, including undocumented migrants. Next to this our main focus will be on the right to work and education.
Thousands of people in Amsterdam live precarious lives at the margins of society due to their not having the right documents. Because of this, they have little or no access to the most basic of (human) rights. Some of them are deprived of the right to adequate shelter facilities, social security, access to food, or even use of the most elemental facilities like access to water and toilets. This is to say nothing of the right to work legally, have a banking account, start a business, become member of a sporting club, or attend an educational institution. Social rights are in the most danger in big cities. There, municipal authorities have to deal with large groups of undocumented migrants in their city, which is also the case in Amsterdam. However, policies from national or European level limit, if not block, their search for solutions to the basic problems facing this marginalized group of people. Cities have to deal with a lot of problems the other authorities don’t have an answer to. Another problem is that marginalised groups are not included in the current decision-making processes in the city. A lot of Amsterdammers with documents care about this group and want to work together with them in their search for an inclusive city, where undocumented can also participate.
Amsterdam City Rights bases its starting point in the unrealised interests of the most marginalised group in our society: people without documents. By putting them first and improving their situation, we want to expand the human rights of other marginalised groups too.
The coming months, teams in Utrecht, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Eindhoven will also be strengthened as is already the case in Amsterdam. Every city is different with regards to politics, existing networks, facilities, active organisations and dynamics. We believe in the power of each individual city team to make changes locally but also strengthen the knowledge by forming a union of cities.
Amsterdam City Rights stands for community building based on human rights.
- It is a independent think tank by, for, and with people without documents and refugees in limbo;
- It stands up for their human rights like accomodation, education, self-development, i.e., the rights for living a life with basic human rights;
- It challenges the city and its inhabitants to create initiatives that reach further than the frameworks set by the national government;
- It emphasises the city’s power in the fight against inequality and exclusion by setting inclusivity and solidarity as the basis for society;
- It supports initiatives for and by people without documents in the city, and it supports initiatives for self-organisation, education and self-empowerment;
- It signals and monitors bottlenecks in the position of people without papers in the city (e.g., it lobbies for concrete improvements, like sheltering);
- It analyses, makes recommendations and works out plans with partnering organizations;
- It is a collaboration of inspired people, where it doesn’t matter if they have documents or not;
- It works together with migrant self-organizations, researchers, lawyers, artists, scientists, advocates, and policy makers (with or without documents).
Amsterdam City Rights - Network of Towns in the Netherlands, and across Europe
Although every city differs with regards to their politics, existing networks, facilities, active organisations and dynamics, the reality of undocumented migrants trying to raise their voice and ask for inclusive city policies is a constant feature to them all. Throughout Europe many different cities are homes to exciting, promising initiatives launched with undocumented migrants. We believe that the power of making changes locally calls for a union of cities (not just in the Netherlands, but also in Europe), where the knowledge and the movement of progressive initiatives is shared and strengthened. We are looking for partner organisations to exchange knowledge on co-creation, joint decision making, lobbying and empowerment. Together we want to create materials for a toolkit that will enable undocumented migrants to speak out and be an active part of city life.