If you share PBI's vision of a world where individuals and communities are free to protect their rights and lands without fear of reprisals and violence, you can help by donating to our Shoulder to Shoulder campaign.

Many human rights defenders are not human rights defenders by choice.

Some become defenders by necessity - because the alternative is loss of the land and resources on which their communities, livelihoods, environment and culture depend.

For others, their discriminated social position means that they must either speak up to defend their rights or submit to a lifetime of stigmatisation, abuse and grinding poverty.

Many face both of these situations simultaneously.

This reality is compounded by the fact that their marginalised social position makes it extremely difficult to access the education, networks and resources which facilitate successful campaigning. It also means that those whose interests they challenge are much more likely to be able to attack them with impunity.

Under such circumstances, to carry on speaking out for the rights of the marginalised, to struggle non-violently for peace, dignity and human rights for all, requires an uncommon resourcefulness and courage.

For October, our Shoulder to Shoulder campaign focuses on sharing some of these marginalised voices. From indigenous feminist mobilisation in Guatemala to displaced communities in Colombia and rural environmental activists in Honduras, these defenders' words convey inspiring stories of hope and determination in the face of enormous adversity. They also show the life-saving difference that international support can mean for such marginalised struggles.

Click on the images below to read their stories: