Article by Julia Lowis, Barrister, 3 Hare Court
“They were heaven sent. They always seemed to be there at the right time.” - Tita Dadilla, Mexican human rights defender, on PBI volunteers
In celebration of International Human Rights Day, we are proud to announce the release of ‘The Defenders’, a short film by Manu Valcarce exploring the experience of being a human rights defender in countries where the rule of law is fragile.
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.
Every day, more women all over the world are taking action to promote equality, peace and justice. It is these women who, whether they mean to or not, are transforming traditional gender roles and power structures by dedicating their lives to defending fundamental human rights. More and more, these extraordinary women are identifying themselves as human rights defenders. In general, it is said that women are doubly vulnerable, for being women and for defending human rights. However, they are strengthened by their determination to create positive change in our societies.
I was born in Kibera and then I moved up country with my family. When I came back to Nairobi, I ran a community-based organisation (CBO) in Dandora to empower women on their human rights, in particular gender-based violence and defilement cases. We also taught entrepreneurship because we used to build women’s skills so they can survive on their own.
On the 20th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, defenders accompanied by PBI reflect on the importance of the Declaration as well as the accompaniment and international solidarity provided by organizations such as PBI.
May 24, 2018
In 2017, PBI’s community of activists provided effective protection and support to more than one thousand women, men and LGBTI defenders, despite the challenging context and huge risk those working to change the world continued to face. Click on the report below to read more about our work in 2017 and some of the ways we made space for peace and supported (women) human rights defenders in 2017.
March 8, 2018
PBI celebrates the incredible and vital work done by Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Honduras, Mexico and Kenya, despite their continuing struggle against oppression and human rights abuses.
January 18, 2018