Since 1981, Peace Brigades International has worked in 11 countries and on four continents. At the request of local organisations, our teams of volunteers provide protective accompaniment to human rights defenders threatened with violence.
Project work centres on:
Building support networks
Raising the profile of those we accompany
Political analysis and spreading information about the situation on the ground
Peace building/Peace education
PBI has 17-19 volunteers in three sub-teams protecting NGOs, individuals and communities in Barrancabermeja and the Magadalena Medio, Bogotá, Urabá, Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Casanare, Arauca and Sucre among other regions. The teams operate as observers, accompanying people or organisations under threat, making regular visits to conflict zones, distributing information about the evolution of the conflict, carrying out advocacy, lobbying and public relations work with representatives of the international community as well as with civil and military authorities, and campaigning for international support.
PBI first operated a project in Guatemala from 1983-1999, which closed following the Peace Accords. Unfortunately, the human rights situation soon began again to deteriorate, and local organisations asked PBI to return. The current project opened in 2003. PBI now accompanies around 10 organisations nationwide with 10 international volunteers based in Guatemala City protecting organisations working on land rights and impunity.
In October 2013 the first two field volunteers arrived in Tegucigalpa, in time to provide international observation during the Presidential and General elections the following month. We also published a report on the situation for human rights defenders in Honduras and developed a new protective accompaniment project in the country. PBI Honduras provides protective accompaniment to 5 local organisations.
PBI launched its first ever field programme in Africa, in Kenya, in 2012 in response to the many risks and challenges Kenyan defenders face when carrying out their work.
10 volunteers protect human rights organisations, focusing on impunity, upholding indigenous rights and environmental protection.
The NepalMonitor tool maps and forwards human rights and security reports to human rights defenders located close to where the incidents happen, and allows them to submit reports through e-mail and text message.
PBI began a new Indonesia Project in 2014. The project aims to promote human rights in Indonesia through strengthening the capacities of Human Rights Defenders in remote areas, with a focus on their ability to document human rights abuses, advocate to the Indonesian government and internationally, and build their personal security and protection networks.
We are collaborating with ELSAM (Institute of Policy Research and Advocacy) to conduct extended trainings for Human Rights Defenders, who are strengthening their skills through a combination of classroom activities, building advocacy and protection networks at the national level, and conducting field research. 20 Human Rights Defenders have already completed these extended trainings, and have done field research covering a wide range of topics, including economic rights of indigenous women, the criminalization of political organizations, violations of labour rights of shipyard workers, socio-economic surveys and the impact of palm oil expansion. Other activities of alumni include coordinating a campaign to address religious-based violence, a speaking tour in Europe, working as a contributing journalist for an international news agency, organizing events to establish the truth of previous human rights abuses, accompanying legal cases of gender-based violence, and conducting their own human rights trainings for students and rural communities. Read a report of our work there up to 2011 (pdf 1.4mb)