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Experiences of peace and conflict in Colombia

Founded in 1981, Peace Brigades International is a non-government organisation that promotes non-violence and human rights around the world. It pioneered a strategy called protective accompaniment for safe-guarding human rights defenders and communities that are threatened by political violence. Its work is based on the principles of non-partisanship and non-interference in the internal affairs of the organisations it accompanies.

This seminar will explore the difficulties faced by the human rights defenders that Peace Brigades International accompanies in Colombia. It will discuss the reasons why particular human rights defenders are targeted within the context of Colombia’s internal political conflict.

This broad context will be further interrogated through the experiences of a Peace Brigades International volunteer who has worked in Barrancabermeja and the wider Magdalena Medio region where mining interests and attempts at land reform are generating ongoing human rights concerns.

Ms Carly Dawson studied Media and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University and has lived and worked in South America for around five years. She worked with Peace Brigades International for two years in Colombia, where she was based in Barrancabermeja as a field volunteer. She has also spent time working in Urabá, a region to the far north west of Colombia, close to the Panamanian border. There she accompanied the San José Peace Community (among other organisations). It was formed in 1997 to practice non-violent activism as a response to political conflict.

Speaker/Host: School of International, Political and Strategic Studies
Venue: Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre, corner of Garran Road & Liversidge Street
Date: Thursday, 28 June 2012
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Enquiries: Olivia Cable on 6197 0015

Peace Brigades International works to open space for peace. Image courtesy of
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