2018 has been a challenging year for human rights across the world. Many of those defending human rights have been threatened, attacked and undermined, despite the celebration of 20 years of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. PBI remains committed to protecting the space in which human rights defenders continue their arduous work in steadfast conviction that only when this protection is truly guaranteed will peaceful and democratic societies advance across the world.
During 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 analyse 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 it´s member states.
The shifting nature of international power relations has meant that transnational companies often exercise greater power than governments across the world.
Photo: "The industrialisation of the countryside", mural by Grace Greenwood in the Abelardo Rodriguez market, Mexico City
For PBI, as for many other civil society organisations, 2017 posed significant challenges. The six years of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration have been characterised by a continuation of the widely-questioned security policies initiated during the presidency of his predecessor Felipe Calderón, and by a marked reduction in the political space available to Mexican and international civil society organisations.
From the 17th til the 23rd of July this year, three human rights defenders from Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras left their homes and headed North of the contient in order to participate in a speaker tour organised by PBI in Washington DC. The tours we organise to the United States are always aimed at shedding light on the security situation for human rights defenders before key actors who can advocate in some way to improve their protection on the ground.
Desde el 17 hasta el 23 de julio de este año, tres defensores de México, Guatemala y Honduras salieron de sus hogares hacia el norte del continente para participar en una gira de incidencia organizada por PBI en Washington DC. Las giras que organizamos en los Estado Unidos siempre tienen el objetivo de visibilizar la situación de seguridad de las personas defensoras de derechos humanos con actores claves que pueden incidir de alguna manera en la protección de dichas personas.
Read about PBI´s work in Mexico in 2017, taken from PBI´s Annual Review 2017, with information on our work in Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya and Nepal as well as updates on the activities in our country groups, an overview of how we spend our funds, where our 399 volunteers come from and testimonies from those we accompany throughout the world.