Protective accompaniment is a strategy inspired by Gandhi and other non-violent traditions that seeks to protect defenders and communities whose lives and work are threatened by violence and repression. International teams of volunteers backed by international support networks help expand the space within which local defenders and communities can carry out their work without fear of political violence.
Accompaniment ranges from volunteers standing side by side with highly threatened human rights defenders as they go about their work, to regular phone calls to organizations to check on their safety. The premise of accompaniment is that there will be an international response to whatever violence or potential violence the volunteer witnesses or receives reliable information about.
Protective accompaniment is effective as the presence of international raising the stakes for potential attackers. It provides moral support and international solidarity for civil society activism, inspiring the confidence of defenders to carry out their work. It finally strengthens the international movement for peace and human rights by giving accompanying volunteers a powerful first-hand experience that they can draw upon and publicize in their home countries.
To learn more about protective accompaniment, please see the , pages 11-12.
Solidarity and monitoring visits
Similar in some ways to fact-finding missions carried out by international delegations, monitoring and solidarity visits to defenders are carried out by other defenders from the same region, country or from other regions.
These solidarity missions respond to local needs and are undertaken at the request, or following a discussion on their usefulness with local members and partners. Missions can be aimed at addressing an individual case or at exposing the broader situation of repression or criminalization.
To learn more about solidarity and monitoring visits, please see the , pages 6-7.
List of Organizations
The following is a list of organizations sorted by region, that will perform protective accompaniment, solidarity and monitoring visits.
- International Federation for Human Rights
- Peace Brigades International (PBI)
- The World Organisation Against Torture