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.
We believe that lasting transformation of conflicts cannot be imposed from the outside, but must be based upon the capacity and desires of local people. Our role is to open political space and provide moral support for local activists to carry out their work without fear of repression. Find out more...
“There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ in a PBI field project”
– PBI Volunteer
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For 35 years, we have worked at local, regional and international levels to protect human rights defenders and communities whose lives and work are threatened by violence.
Currently, our trained field volunteers provide protection to brave Human Rights defenders who are risking their lives in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya and Mexico.
Help us protect human rights defenders.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have not been involved with PBI before, it is unlikely we would have the capacity to support you in the creation of a new country group. Please try to volunteer with PBI first in order to learn about the organisation.
If you are a former PBI volunteer, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and help to set up a country/associate group.
Please make contact with your local PBI group from the interactive map in the homepage or contact our international office on email@example.com. However, if you are not a human rights or peace organisation it is unlikely that we would have the capacity to create a partnership.
We empathise with every individual and organisation that works for the respect of human rights but all the funds that we raise are to support our own projects and infrastructure. We are therefore not able to provide grants to other organisations.
As a largely volunteer organisation, there are very few paid posts within PBI. However, whenever we are recruiting new staff the posts are always advertised on our web site, so please check here from time to time.
PBI functions internally in Spanish and English so we rely heavily on a network of volunteers to translate internal PBI documents and information on our website.
Consensus decision-making is a basic principle of PBI's ethos, so all decisions that have an impact on the whole organisation are taken by PBI's International Council after a full consultation with all PBI constituencies. Making sure that all documents relating to these decisions are available in both Spanish and English is therefore vital to PBI's functioning. By volunteering to help with translation you will play a very important role in the organisation, while at the same time learning about our work.
We try not to send more than 1,500 words with each job, although sometimes we are short of volunteers and we might ask whether you could handle more. The flow of translations is difficult to predict, so there is sometimes a lot of work, sometimes very little. Although we set deadlines, we understand that these sometimes need to be flexible depending on what other commitments you have. If you would like to become a translator please contact the International Office on firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Office does not send out newsletters, but different PBI entities do - please check the website of PBI in your country or visit our Facebook page where you can see some of the latest news from PBI
The International Office and some country groups sometimes have opportunities for volunteering in their offices or supporting their work in other ways.
To volunteer with the PBI UK Country Group please visit PBI UK’s website, fill out the application form and follow the instructions here
Check the interactive map on the homepage to see if you live in a country which has a Country or Associate group.
If there is a country group where you live contact them to find out how you can get involved in the group and what the procedures are for joining a PBI project. Many groups organise introductory trainings on the philosophy, mandate and principles and the work of PBI which will provide an opportunity to gain a basic understanding of PBI’s work in order to decide whether you would like to move on to joining a team or getting involved in PBI in any other way.
If you live in a place where there is no PBI country group, contact the office of the project you would like to join directly.
If you are considering joining a project please consult with the Project Office about visa restrictions and the 'Own Country Rule', which states that citizens of one country cannot volunteer in a PBI project in their own country for reasons of non-partisanship and security.
Minimum requirements for becoming a project volunteer – see Get involved for more comprehensive information
- Fluency in the language of the country where the project is based.
- Commitment to the principles and mandate of PBI
- Willingness to undertake an intensive multi-day project training and additional long distance training
- Ability to adapt to living and working in rapidly changing, stressful circumstances
- Previous active involvement in a peace or human rights organisation
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Capacity to analyse complex political situations
- Willing to make a commitment for a minimum of one year (or 18 months: Colombia Project)
In order to get involved in PBI as a member/activist you need to be living in a country where PBI has an established Country Group or Associate Group which co-ordinates membership and all PBI activities within that country. See list of PBI Country Groups.
Volunteers are vital in maintaining and expanding the work of these Groups so your participation would be very much welcomed. Unfortunately PBI does not have an international membership or supporter scheme for people based in countries where we do not have an established structure. However, you can keep informed of PBI’s human rights protection and peace education, and contribute to our work in the following ways:
- Keep up to date with our latest news on this website and facebook page.
- Make a financial contribution to PBI's work by sending an international money order in US dollars, UK Sterling or Euros to the PBI International Office; or donate online.
- If you want to pursue your interest in PBI's work further, consider the possibility of applying to volunteer with one of the projects.
We generally only investigate the possibility of a new field project following the direct request of local human rights defenders.
If you are a human rights defender at risk in a country where we do not already have a field project please read the information about PBI on our website.
If you decide that PBI’s protective accompaniment and/or other protection services are compatible with your needs, please write to us at email@example.com stating the work you do, your current security situation and the current barriers to your work, and how you think PBI could support you.