This December, and continuously, PBI puts human rights defenders at the center, 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 recognizes 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.
Throughout December, we will feature several human rights defenders that we accompany in different parts of the world, to share their stories and let others know that they are not alone. Putting #HRDsAtTheCenter we hope to continue to support their important work.
“The majority of us defenders who do professional work, we have to go around with bodyguards, it’s absurd. But unfortunately, our lives are at risk every day.”
– Daniel Prado, human rights defender from Colombia, explains the huge risk faced by defenders across the world.
“I have been a defender since I was 15 years old. I started in my community, when I saw my father had been taken prisoner because of a piece of land that we were fighting for.”
– Lilian Borjas, human rights defender from Honduras, dedicates her life to fighting for her land.
“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.
“We shouldn't be afraid. We need to continue to seek the justice that so many of us need in Guatemala for the wellbeing of the children that come after us.”
– Bernardo Caal Xol, wrongfully imprisoned defender from Guatemala, whose vision for the future drives him to continue to fight for a better world.
“I have fought hard for values I believe in and this has helped me bring important discussions back home.”
– Rahma Wako, human rights defender from Kenya, is a community organizer and passionate advocate for women’s rights and children’s rights.
You, too, can support the important work of threatened human rights defenders by becoming a volunteer with a PBI project or by making a donation to support human rights defenders in carrying out their work. Human rights defenders risk their lives each day to protect and promote human rights in their areas of advocacy. Their work not only has an impact in their communities but their impact ripples throughout the world, making the full realization of human rights that more real for all of us.