The effectiveness of PBI’s protective accompaniment is ensured by the network of supporters and political contacts through which we keep the international community aware of the security situation of the individuals, organizations, and communities we accompany and advocate for political decision makers to use their influence on behalf of human rights defenders. Our political networks provide an emergency support system for threatened defenders, opportunities for direct dialogue between human rights defenders and key decision makers, and channels through which PBI contributes to international debate on human rights issues. The advocacy of PBI country groups is crucial in raising the profile of PBI’s work and extending our support networks.
Building political networks
Establishing ongoing dialogue and relationships with political decision makers is a key element of PBI-USA’s support for threatened human rights defenders. In times of emergency or heightened threat to the people we protect, PBI can call on the influential individuals and groups that make up our support network. Support network members can use their influence to protect threatened defenders in various ways, including through diplomatic channels or raising the issues in Congress.
It is not only in moments of high alert that PBI engages with the members of our support network. All of the defenders we accompany are living with constant threat to their security. PBI’s advocacy is therefore an ongoing prevention activity, as we keep the members of our network informed of the situation faced by human rights defenders in particular regions or thematic areas, and share our expertise on the ways in which the international community can help protect them.