Peace Brigades International PBI

  • PBI is an international NGO that has been promoting nonviolence and protecting human rights since 1981.
  • Our work is based on the principles of non-partisanship and non-interference in the internal affairs of the organisations we accompany … (about 1/2).

Vision, Mission; News; Projects; We accompany; Publications; Country groups; Get involved; Donate;
Address: PBI, International Office, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT, U.K.;
Contact and map.

About 2/2: … We believe that lasting transformation of conflicts cannot be imposed from outside, but must be based on the capacity and desires of local people. Therefore we do not take part in the work of the organisations we accompany.

Rather our role is to open political space and provide moral support for local activists to carry out their work without fear of repression.

Our unique access to information and our objectivity increases our credibility with all parties to the conflict and gives us access to authorities nationally and internationally.

About Protective Accompaniment

  • Protective accompaniment is a strategy pioneered by PBI for protecting human rights defenders and communities whose lives and work are threatened by political violence.
  • PBI sends teams of volunteers backed up by an international support network to accompany human rights defenders and communities in areas of conflict.
  • Over 26 years PBI has protected the lives on hundreds of organisations and communities in 9 countries. Our presence has enabled them to continue and expand their work with greater confidence despite threats. because of the feeling of greater security and moral support provided by PBI volunteers from more than 30 countries. Groups we have accompanied include indigenous communities in Mexico and Guatemala, environmental organisations in Guatemala and Indonesia, lawyers in Colombia and Nepal, women’s organisations in Colombia and Indonesia, trades unions in Guatemala, and relatives of the disappeared in Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala.
  • Accompaniment has proven to be very effective protection, even where the overall human rights situation was deteriorating and where death squads seemed impervious to external pressure. In 26 years PBI has successfully protected the lives of thousands of activists while never losing a volunteer.

What difference does accompaniment make?

  • Protective accompaniment has three simultaneous and mutually reinforcing effects. The presence of international volunteers protects threatened activists by raising the stakes for potential attackers. It provides moral support and international solidarity for civil society activism by opening space for threatened organisations thereby giving them the confidence to carry out their work. In addition it strengthens the international movement for peace and human rights by giving accompaniment volunteers with a powerful first-hand experience that becomes a sustained source of inspiration to themselves and others upon their return to their home countries.
  • The accompaniment volunteer is the embodiment of international human rights concern, a compelling and visible reminder to those using violence that their actions will have repercussions nationally and internationally. When the level of threat is high accompaniment is sometimes round the clock. In other situations volunteers stay with threatened communities or remain in the offices of organisations, and accompany threatened activists when they travel. Another form of accompaniment is regular phone calls to organisations to check on their safety.
  • The premise of accompaniment is that there will be an international response to whatever violence or potential violence the volunteer witnesses. Behind such a response lies the implied threat of diplomatic and economic pressure—pressure that the sponsors of such violence prefer to avoid.

Moral support: … (full long text).

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