Cities of Refuge in Västra Götaland –
Taking a stand for democracy and freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is constantly under threat and many authors, journalists and artists around the world are victims of discrimination and persecution, limiting their ability to work. Region Västra Götaland wants to take a clear stand for democracy and freedom of speech. Threatened authors, journalists and artists should always be able to find a safe place in Västra Götaland, so since 2014 Region Västra Götaland has run a Cities of Refuge operation within the framework of ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network).
In addition to taking a clear stand on behalf of democracy and freedom of speech, being a Cities of Refuge region means that artists under threat anywhere in the world can be invited to a safe city or municipality in Västra Götaland for a period of two years. At the Cultural Development Administration there is a Cities of Refuge Coordinator who works to support those municipalities that already are or wish to become a safe haven. These municipalities are offered regional financial support as well as assistance in the form of information and expertise to help their establishment as City of Refuge municipalities. They are also offered the chance to take part in the long-term development programme that is run in joint networks regionally, nationally and internationally.