40 years ago, in 1981, a group of international activists came together to create a movement for peace, solidarity and non-violent action. While our core mission remains the same, we have adapted our tactics to ensure defenders are protected despite the rapidly changing global context and ever-evolving risks and threats they face. 40 years on, PBI remains convinced of the vital role HRDs play in strengthening democracy, upholding the rule of law, and protecting our shared environment. Together, through their protection, we can create a more peaceful and just world.

‘We are forming an organisation with the capacity to mobilise and provide trained volunteers in areas of high tension, to avert violent outbreaks...We are convinced that this commitment of mind, heart, and dedicated will can make a significant difference in human affairs’ – Excerpt from founding meeting of PBI, 13th August to 4th September 1981

In 2021 we take stock of our achievements, and more importantly those of the brave individuals and organisations we have stood beside during their struggle to defend human rights over the past 40 years. The world has changed drastically, and many positive steps have been taken towards the progressive fulfilment of human rights. However, continued attacks and threats against HRDs, as well as increased digital attacks, criminalization and the persecution of environmental defenders, and subsequent demand for PBI’s presence in different parts of the world, indicates that there is still a long way to go.

Excerpt from Peace Brigades International website.