This contribution focuses on initiatives aimed at protecting artists (writers, visual artists, musicians, etc.) who are at risk in their country of origin or residence due to their work. It discusses programs that operate at the intersection of arts and cultural promotion and the protection of human rights, such as the PEN Writers-in-Exile program, ICORN, or Freemuse. Based on document analysis, ethnographic exploration, and interviews with actors involved, this contribution illuminates the conditions and contours of such initiatives. A starting point is the observation that, in Europe, the engagement for freedom of expression and artistic freedom, as well as refuge for artists at risk, varies widely from country to country. How can these differences be understood? What are the central conditions for such programs? Special attention will be paid to the question of how the organizations involved deal with the tightening of border controls and mobility regimes by nation states and the European Union, and in what way these programs for the protection of persecuted artists differ from classical artist-in-residence programs.