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.
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.
Over three days, 40 human rights defenders from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia came together in Brussels to exchange experiences and knowledge about holistic protection. This meeting allowed us to analyze the global tendencies that impact our risk as well as identify our common needs as a collective of human rights defenders. The sessions allowed us to construct a common narrative and key messages and recommendations to political actors in the European Union and its member states.
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.
Dipendra Jha (pictured above with lawyer Courtenay Barklem) is a Nepalese Human Rights lawyer. He has been working as a human rights and constitutional lawyer since 2007, working on cases of human rights abuses in the Terai region including cases of torture, arbitrary arrests, and threats to human rights defenders. He leads the Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRDA) and the Terai Justice Centre (TJC). In April 2017, he visited the UK and PBI UK spoke to him about the human rights situation in Nepal. The following is based on excerpts from that interview.
It is an understatement to say that 2016 has been challenging for human rights defenders. And it would be naive not to anticipate an even more challenging 2017 ahead. Peace Brigades International chapters and projects worldwide are always working to prepare for the unknown, but now it is more important than ever that we do so.