In times of emergency or imminent threat to the people we protect, PBI can call on the influential individuals and groups that make up our support network.
In the UK, this network consists of more than 50 MPs, ministers and peers of the realm, as well as members of the legal community. PBI's international support network also includes diplomats and decision makers at EU and UN level.
Support network members can use their influence to protect threatened defenders in various ways, including through diplomatic channels or raising issues in Parliament.
In March 2019, Patrick Grady MP tabled a non-binding on the implementation of the Peace Accord between the Colombian Government and the FARC. The motion (which was signed by 86 MPs) gave specific reference to the death threats received by human rights defender Danilo Rueda, and the increase in violence against Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant rural communities in the Uraba region, Colombia.
Following a request from PBI UK, Ann Clwyd MP tabled on the protection of women human rights defenders to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, ensuring that this remains on the UK’s agenda. In July 2019 Kerry McCarthy MP submitted a to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in response to an urgent request from PBI UK. Clwyd asked if the Secretary would make representations to his Guatemalan counterpart on reports of threats against human rights defender Domingo Vasquez and other members of the Nuevo Dia Ch'orti Indigenous Association in Guatemala, which PBI accompanies. Minister of State Alan Duncan replied to this question, stating that Embassy officials in Guatemala were in contact with PBI, were following the threats against Domingo, and working to promote better protections for human rights defenders and indigenous populations.