WITNESS is an international organization that trains and supports people using video in their fight for human rights.
WITNESS makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights
The story of WITNESS is one of both vision and evolution. It began in 1988, the year musician and activist Peter Gabriel traveled with Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! Tour. Peter brought along a Sony Handycam, one of the first small camcorders marketed to consumers, to record the stories he heard. In 1991, a bystander captured on videotape the brutal beating of Rodney King, Jr. by Los Angeles police. The footage, flashed on TV screens around the globe, initiated an international conversation about police brutality and racial discrimination. Those images demonstrated the immense power of video to capture the world’s attention and viscerally communicate human rights abuses.
With the momentum generated by reactions to the King video, Peter was able to realize his visionary idea of putting film at the forefront of human rights campaigns. With a one million dollar seed grant from the Reebok Human Rights Foundation and a partnership with the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), WITNESS was born in 1992, becoming an independent nonprofit organization in 2001.
WITNESS was founded in 1992 by musician and activist Peter Gabriel and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation as a project of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).
We create training modules, tipsheets, and other resources in multiple languages to help support you in your effective use of video for human rights. All are available for free on our Library: http://library.witness.org