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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 who are backed up by international support networks to accompany human rights defenders and communities in areas of conflict.
In over 30 years, PBI has protected the lives of hundreds of organizations and communities in 11 countries. In the face of threats, our presence has enabled these people to continue and even expand their work with greater confidence. Groups we have accompanied include indigenous communities, environmental organizations, lawyers, women’s organizations, trade unions, and relatives of the disappeared.
Accompaniment has proven to be very effective protection, even when the overall human rights situation deteriorates and death squads seem impervious to external pressure.
Accompaniment has three primary impacts:
Areas of work
The teams in the field provide international physical accompaniment to people and organizations whose non-violent work to promote human rights is affected by harassment and threats to their lives. Accompaniment is provided at the request of human rights defenders, is based on their level of risk, and can be long or short-term. The goal is to open spaces so that defenders can carry out their work without fear of violence or reprisals.
PBI collects and analyzes information regarding the political context and the situation for civil society organizations, and disseminates objective information about the human rights situation.
PBI meets with civil and military authorities in the municipal, state and federal government. In order to provide international coverage, PBI maintains dialog with the diplomatic corps and the United Nations agencies in Mexico in order to share our concern for the people that we work with, ask them to participate in our support and protection work, and create and strengthen our support network. Our support network is created together with PBI's Country Groups in Europe, North America and Australia and is composed of international NGOs, cooperation agencies, members of parliament and congress, ecclesial organizations, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps who have expressed their support for PBI's work.
As part of our advocacy work, PBI also elaborates and distributes publications in order to provide information about accompanied human rights defenders and the general situation for human rights in Mexcio.
The Security and Protection Program provides security workshops for members of organizations, human rights leaders, and local communities. The workshops offer basic tools for the elaboration of a risk analysis, and security and emergency plans.
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