This December, and continuously, PBI puts human rights defenders at the centre, in the position they deserve given the fundamental role they play in the protection of human rights and the construction of fair and peaceful societies. Human rights defenders continue to provide voices for the voiceless, pushing for social justice. They often risk their lives to stand up for what they believe in, holding states to account and pushing for human rights to be respected, protected and fulfilled.
PBI believes that a world without human rights defenders is a world without human rights. We will continue to ensure that, despite the huge challenges that defenders face in the current political and economic contexts the world finds itself in, they receive the recognition and support they deserve so they are able to continue their fundamental work in secure conditions.
PBI recognises human rights defenders and the value of the work they do. PBI provides accompaniment support and is present in situations where human rights defenders are threatened and attacked. International solidarity can often provide these human rights defenders with the life-saving protection they need to continue their work.
From PBI we accompany several human rights defenders in different parts of the world. We want to share their stories and let others know that they are not alone. Putting #HRDsAtTheCentre we hope to continue to support their important work.
“I have been a defender since I was 15 years old. I started in my community, when I saw my ather had been taken prisoner because of a piece of land that we were fighting for.” - Lilian Borjas from Honduras, dedicates her life to fighting for her land
"We shouldn´t be afraid, we need to continue to seek justice that so many of us need in Guatemala for the wellbeing of the children that come after us” - Bernardo Caal Xol, human rights defender from Guatemala who’s vision for the future drives him to continue to fight for a better world.
“There are human beings, not things, inhabiting these lands.” - Javier Avila, human rights defender from Mexico works to ensure indigenous people are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve in their struggles to defend their land.
“I have fought hard for values I believe in and this has helped me bring important discussions back home.” - Rahma Wako is a community organizer and passionate advocate for women’s rights and children’s rights in Kenya.
“We felt very important, when we began to arrive at meetings with authorities alongside PBI, with their green vests, the authorities started to look at us differently.” - Yaneth Bautista from Colombia, on PBI volunteers who feel immense pride being able to accompany these brave people.