Let's Talk Safety

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Discrimination, harassment, and gender-based violence persist as issues lurking in the shadows of the Dutch asylum system.

In response to these issues and their underrepresentation in policies and research, Fairspace, with funding from Share-Net International, initiated the Let’s Talk Safety project. The aim was to integrate the perspectives of asylum seekers and refugees into the policies and practices concerning safety in Dutch asylum centers. The project recruited participants from diverse backgrounds, currently residing in or having previously lived in AZCs, to discuss their experiences and collaborate on designing solutions.

The outcome is a knowledge product in the form of a policy brief titled “Lessons from the Inside: Participatory Solutions for Safer Dutch Asylum Seeker Centers (AZCs).” This brief addresses the challenges and dangers faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Dutch asylum centers, along with the causes and impact of harassment and gender-based violence in this context. It also explores potential opportunities for change and solutions informed by the personal experiences of the target community.

Knowledge product details

  • Knowledge Activation Grants

  • 2021

  • Netherlands

  • Discrimination

  • Gender-based violence

  • Refugees

  • Share-Net International

  • English

  • Policy Brief

KP creators involved

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This policy brief focuses on two areas where change is needed which, based on extensive discussions, have the potential to prevent harassment and violence in AZCs. 1) Improving asylum seeker’s knowledge and accessibility to rights, and 2) Improving standardization and accountability throughout COA through consistent independent monitoring and evaluation procedures.

KP creators involved


Fairspace is based in the Netherlands. They are a part of an international network of grassroots organizations and are powered by a local passionate team, made up of trainers, scholars, policy advisors, and creatives. Fairspace builds safe, inclusive public spaces. Fairspace envisions a society in which everyone in the Netherlands, regardless of sex, race, gender or gender expression, feels safe moving through public spaces.

Fairspace is working to build free and fair public spaces. Whether it’s transforming experiences on our streets, in bars and nightclubs, in schools or in the workplace, Fairspace tailors their workshops to the needs of their partners. Their work focuses on three areas: Education, Co-creation and Policy advice.