Human rights defenders – courageous people who stand up for the rights and dignity of their communities because they believe in peace and justice for all – are at the heart of all we do. We use our international presence and global networks to protect, support and enable the work of human rights defenders and local activists for peaceful social change.

We provide protection, support and recognition to local human rights defenders who work in areas of repression and conflict and have requested our support.  We help human rights defenders make links with others and raise awareness of the issues they face.

We advocate at all levels – from the soldier at a local check point to national governments and international bodies such as the UN – for international human rights accountability. Our international volunteers send a powerful message that the world is watching and prepared to act.

PBI works in countries where communities experience violent conflict, intimidation or repression. Our unique approach combines on-the-ground expertise and local knowledge with international advocacy, aiming to ensure that human rights defenders are able to carry out their work, contributing to social justice and peace, in relative safety.

We always work at the request of defenders and in response to their needs.  We avoid imposing, interfering or getting directly involved in the work of the people we accompany. We don’t provide financial support or development aid to the organisations we work with.  Our work is effective because we take an integrated approach, combining a presence on the ground alongside human rights defenders with an extensive network of international support.

We currently work in


Advocacy is key to PBI’s work, and a vital element of international protective accompaniment. PBI advocates at local, regional and international levels for human rights accountability.

PBI is also a member of several national, regional and international networks, including: 

The Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN)

The EU-LAT Advocacy Network

The International Office for Human Rights Action on Colombia (OIDHACO)

Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC)

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.

Capacity Development

Where there is a clear need for training for human rights defenders which local organisations cannot meet, PBI provides as much support as possible – working in partnership with local organisations whenever possible. In this way we aim to support human rights defenders develop their capacity to carry out their work effectively and in relative safety. 

Awareness Raising

PBI collects and shares first hand information about the situation of HRDs with policy makers, institutions and members of the public so that they can provide protection and support. 

Material and financial support for HRDs through

More information can be found at