Project Details

Three African men stood in a row, the middle man is holding a video camera


People suffering human rights abuse find allies around the world.

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @witnessorg

  • Audiovisual
  • Social Software

Abusers of human rights thrive on secrecy, often work in the dark and usually pick on those who are vulnerable, isolated and powerless. Witness has helped thousands of people defend their human rights by using digital video technology to bring abuse out into the open. Through Witness, people suffering abuse of their human rights can broadcast their stories and find allies around the world which make them more powerful.

Inspired by the slogan “See it, film it, change it”, since 1993 Witness has partnered with more than 300 human rights groups in 86 countries to train more than 4,500 human rights defenders to use video technology to record and publish the stories of people having their rights abused. The organisation created the HUB, the first dedicated online platform for user-generated human rights media, to connect the film makers to their supporters. Over the past 20 years Witness media has reached more than 262 million people around the world.

Witness has consistently been ahead of the pack in using digital technology to innovate at scale to help those most in need. Not only did it spot the power and reach of video before YouTube was a mass phenomenon, but it has shown how digital technologies can create new kinds of global media organisations. Witness could not have existed without the web and has led the way for initiatives such as Videre and the use of digital tools by activists (Twitter, Facebook, Bubbly).

Image courtesy of WITNESS

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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