"Together, we help the community become aware of their rights"
“There are very nice things about what we do. For example, working with communities in areas where nobody else goes," says Alexander, a human rights defender in eastern Colombia. Alexander and his colleagues are part of the "Human Rights Defenders Border Network,” a project implemented by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, with support from the European Union.
Through this project, UNHCR has been able to increase the number of defenders. Their work is focused on providing support to people who have had to flee their homes due to threats and armed conflict in the border region.
Human rights defenders play an essential role in preserving the rights of people forced to leave their homes, traveling to remote areas to speak to families and community leaders about how they can meet their protection needs.
“As a human rights defender, I have many roles. When I started working with my colleagues and we visited communities, no one knew we existed. Now, a lot of people are aware of our work," Alexander says.
“Thanks to the support we receive from international cooperation agencies, we can now reach other remote locations and help more people. It is really nice when someone tells me, ‘thanks to you, I am alive,’” says Juan Carlos, a fellow human rights defender.
In the captions below, Alexander and his colleagues share details about their work and daily lives.