Access to information is very limited for undocumented people in European cities. Mostly because information in big cities is divided over various websites and organizations, and not bundled in one source.
Many NGO workers, volunteers and other supporters of displaced people do not know where to refer people for support. This causes undocumented people to lack the information they need in their daily lives and in being self-reliant.
During the COVID-10 pandemic, this group has been excluded from society even more, because many instances where they could normally go were closed down. The need for information - both online and offline - is pressing. Mohamed Bah experienced this lack of information himself during the lockdown, arriving in Amsterdam. He took the initiative to create an application, to bundle information and make it easily accessible for all displaced people arriving in the city. Here to Support became involved to facilitate building the Amsterdam City Rights app. In this app, information about people’s rights and places to go is shared and contact can be established between people in Amsterdam.
The app is divided into various parts. First of all, in a ‘know your city’ part, we provide information about various organizations in the city that provide support to undocumented people. In a ‘know your rights’ part, fundamental rights for undocumented people are explained. In the ‘journal’, updates can be given, and content is shared on topics relevant for undocumented citizens of Amsterdam. In the ‘calendar’, an overview is given by various organizations of the ongoing activities in Amsterdam. Through the ‘contact page’, questions may be asked, and contact details can be found. In ‘about us’, there is info about Amsterdam City Rights, foundation Here to Support and the app team.
The goal of this initiative is to expand and strengthen existing networks and give access to Human Rights in the cities for people on the move. We want to make the app open source so that the framework can be used in other cities in Europe. With the framework, we want to go to our network in European cities and help them with creating their own City Rights App. We thus want to make this app open-source, so that other parties can use the framework we are currently building.