Support Networks

Support Networks

Support Networks

The members of Peace Brigades International (PBI) form the basis of this mainly volunteer organization. We do most of the actual work and we provide financial stability.Why become a member of PBI?
The most important reason that people join PBI is perhaps because they want to support a nonviolent, grassroots alternative to international peacekeeping. Every new member is another link in the chain of support that helps our volunteers keep space open for peace. You can make a difference. Your support is important to us.

What does membership involve?
A small yearly sum supports our volunteers and brings you up-to-date information on what’s happening on the ground in countries where PBI is working on developing nonviolent solutions to conflicts. PBI-USA members discuss issues before the National Gathering 1998.With more members, PBI can continue its work of preventing human rights violations, and also respond to some of the many requests being received from other areas of the world.

You can be as active as you want. Some members only want to be kept up to date on what is being done. Others volunteer some of their time to help out in ways that fit in with their lives. A few of us find that the work that PBI does is so important that they feel drawn to volunteer on a team.

How do I join?
To join or to get more information, please contact your country group, if one exists. We’re pleased to have you with us.

If your country is not listed, please contact PBI at the International Office address given below. The office maintains a list of contacts in countries where country groups have not yet formed. PBI’s Support Networks are activated when there is a critical human rights violation of the groups or individuals whom PBI is accompanying, or to PBI volunteers themselves. Members of the public, institutional and governmental bodies around the world apply immediate international pressure on the appropriate political or military figures, by sending faxes, emails, telegrams or letters protesting the violation and urging respect for human rights.

Network activations do not happen often, as this form of international pressure is, for PBI, the last resort – we aim to avert violations through our diplomacy work with groups in conflict, and use the Support Networks only when the situation is critical.

There are two parts of the Support Networks: the Emergency Response Network (ERN) of individual activists, and the high-level contact network of in-country embassies, overseas ministries of foreign affairs and parliamentarians.

The ERN is a network of people who agree to send faxes, e-mails, or letters when a human rights alert reaches them. Alerts are a last resort in our deterrence, and they are not issued often.

To join the ERN and receive immediate e-mail notification when there is a human rights alert, choose your location from the drop-down list:

Be aware that in the last 3 years, PBI has relied increasingly on the high-level contacts more than the ERN’s grassroots public support. This is because our analysis of the results of the two forms of pressure shows that the influence that high-level contacts can have on aggressors is significantly greater than that of the grassroots public.

Consequently, PBI is not activating the ERN as much as it did 3 years ago. PBI is analyzing how it can make more strategic use of the ERN (for example, through asking members to write to their own parliamentary representative and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get them to lobby our target countries). As these new strategies are better defined, activations of the ERN may well increase. The ERN remains an essential part of PBI’s strategy for supporting human rights defenders and the communities they support.