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 organises think tank gatherings and smaller events. One of the main campaigns currently is to develop a city-ID card in Amsterdam, (Urban Citizenship card) for all residents, including undocumented migrants. Other points of attention in the work is on the right to work and education.
Though the project is supported by the HtS foundation, it consists of a wider coalition of various organisations in Amsterdam representing undocumented people like IMWU Indonesian Migrant Workers Union, We Are Here and Wereldhuis.
Social rights are threatened the most in large cities. Municipal authorities have to deal with large groups of undocumented migrants in their city. This applies surely to the city of Amsterdam. However, policies from national or European level limit, if not block, the capacity of cities to offer solutions for the basic struggles and barriers faced by this marginalized group of people. Cities have to deal with many problems which other authorities don’t have an answer to and don’t have to engage with. On top of this, marginalised groups are most of the time not included in the current decision-making processes in the city. A lot of Amsterdammers with documents care about the marginalised and want to team up with them to fight together in the struggle for an inclusive city. A city where undocumented people can also participate.
This is where Amsterdam City Rights bases its starting point. It is 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.
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.
Amsterdam City Rights stands for community building based on human rights. It is an independent thinktank for and by undocumented people and refugees in limbo. It fights for human rights like the right to housing, education, empowerment, emancipation, a dignified life. It challenges both the city and its residents to develop creative and innovative iniatives which reach further than the standard framework of the national government. It focusses on the power of the city in the fight against inequality and exclusion and does this by supporting initiatives of undocumented people for self-organisation, education and empowerment.
An important part of the work done by Amsterdam City Rights foucesses on signaling and monitoring the bottlenecks and struggles around the position of undocumented people in the city. After signaling the team draft strategies for improvement by lobbying at the relevant institutions, like the effective lobby done on shelters. Amsterdam City Rights does this always looking for partnerorganisations to strengthen the coalition and the lobby power.
Amsterdam City Rights starts from the point of the view of the most marginalised in our society, people without documents. By putting them at the front of the fight for an inclusive city we strengthen the human rights of all marginalised groups in the city.