Video: Zoë Wanamaker presents PBI at The Funding Network Festive Funding event

At PBI UK we were thrilled to raise a record £10,900 at The Funding Network's Festive Funding event on 2 December.

The actress Zoë Wanamaker brilliantly pitched PBI UK's new environmental and land rights defenders project.

The project will ensure that PBI can provide protective accompaniment to threatened environmental and land rights defenders and include a campaign to raise awareness of the risks they face, including with the UK government, which recently published an action plan on business and human rights. 

Protecting human rights defenders through building capacity and visibility

In Brussels on 5 November 2013, a consortium made up of PBI UK, the Mexican Commission to Defend and Promote Human Rights (CMDPDH) and Conexx presented the project “Protecting human rights defenders through building capacity and visibility”.

The three-year project is financed by the European Union and will provide human rights defenders (HRDs) in four Mexican states (Baja California, the Federal District, Guerrero and Oaxaca) with tools to help them strengthen their capacities in documentation, advocacy, profile-raising and media relations.

PBI UK's Gala 2013 - Honouring defenders of the rule of law

“Since 1991, over 400 lawyers have been murdered in Colombia and no one has been prosecuted for any of those murders.” Alirio Uribe, CCAJAR

PBI UK and the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk held a Gala on 13 May to celebrate and honour defenders of the rule of law.

Actors Juliet Stevenson, Samuel West, Hattie Morahan and Scott Brooksbank performed a dramatisation of the stories of human rights defenders Mandira Sharma (Nepal) and Alirio Uribe (Colombia) and of two volunteers who travelled to Colombia to work with PBI. Their words, recorded in recent interviews, were powerfully woven together in a script by Christine Bacon from iceandfire. Guitarist Steve Smith set the mood with musical interludes, playing classical melodies from Colombia and South America.

G8 Adopts Declaration on Sexual Violence in Conflict

PBI UK's conference on Women Human Rights Defenders, Oct 2012At the G8 meeting on 11 April in London, delegates adopted a Declaration on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Paragraph 7 of the Declaration was a result of PBI's engagement with the Government's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) team, both at our October 2012 conference on Women Human Rights Defenders, and in subsequent consultation meetings with the PSVI team, together with GAPS and Amnesty UK:

The Ruggie principles: a remedy for Colombian communities facing the environmental and human rights impact of multinationals?

In June 2011 the UN Human Rights Council endorsed "Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework" proposed by UN Special Representative John Ruggie. Key features of this document are the duty of states to protect the human rights of those in contact with businesses; the corporate responsibility towards respecting human rights throughout their activities; and the need to ensure access to remedies when abuses take place.

Human Rights Day 2012 - Protection continues to be crucial

Mayan women see themselves in a PBI bulletin, Guatemala.

On International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2012, PBI reaffirms its solidarity with human rights defenders around the world, and its commitment to the promotion of human rights and the protection of those who struggle in the face of threats to nonviolently uphold the rights of their communities. 

The courage, strength, perseverance and resilience of these brave women and men continues to humble and inspire all of us – volunteers and staff – at PBI. 

Women Human Rights Defenders: Empowering and Protecting the Change Makers

The work of women human rights defenders (WHRD) is crucial to building long-term sustainable and stable futures within their countries, but they face a heightened risk of violence on account of being both women and change-makers.

PBI UK’s conference on 24 October 2012 brought together WHRDs from Afghanistan, Colombia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico and Nepal with professionals working in the fields of human rights, government, law and academia, including representatives of the European Union and United Nations.

Oaxaca: PBI hosts roundtable with UK ambassador, HRDs and journalists

The UK Ambassador to Mexico, Judith Macgregor, and Father Solalinde, at the PBI house in OaxacaIn early August 2012, PBI facilitated a meeting between the UK Ambassador to Mexico, Judith Macgregor, and Father Solalinde Guerra, who runs a migrants’ shelter, Hermanos en el Camino, to talk about migrant rights and the threats that Father Solalinde has been receiving as a result of his work.

We also facilitated a roundtable with other human rights defenders and journalists based in Oaxaca: Alba Cruz (Código-DH) spoke about impunity and the failures of the justice system in Oaxaca; Pedro Matías (journalist from Proceso magazine) spoke of the dangers facing journalists in Oaxaca; Nora Martínez (Barca-DH) spoke about the lack of protection of HRDs in Oaxaca and about the “invisible human rights defenders” in the communities of Oaxaca; Marco Leyva (from the human rights organisation Educa) spoke about the risks facing those who speak out about human rights abuses related to the exploitation of natural resources.

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