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Video as a catalyst for change.

Empowering human rights defenders for 20 years.

From Tunisia to Libya, Egypt to Iran, the ability of activists to capture visually events as they unfold and share them via online social networking platforms has defined a new era in video as a catalyst for change. Inspired by the effect of footage of the Rodney King Jr beating in Los Angeles, New York-based WITNESS, however, has been pioneering the use of film at the forefront of human rights campaigns since its founding by the musician Peter Gabriel in 1992. 

Committed to empowering victims in order to transform their personal stories of abuse into effective tools for justice, WITNESS partners with grassroots human rights organizations to bring the power of video into their existing campaigns, trains activists across the globe, plays a key role in shaping practices around the safe and ethical use of video online and offline, and operates an important preservation programme through the WITNESS Media Archive. 

Most recently, the organization has focused via its ‘Cameras Everywhere’ leadership initiative on the related areas of safety, security, consent, privacy and authentication in an environment saturated with digital content. In doing so, WITNESS reminds us all that the increasingly central role of technology in the new human rights landscape must be guarded as an instrument of change rather than repression.

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