WITNESS is an international nonprofit organization that uses the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. Founded in 1992 by musician and human rights advocate Peter Gabriel, Human Rights First, and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation, WITNESS has partnered with more than 300 grassroots groups, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders, developed widely-used training materials and tools, and supported the inclusion of video in more than 100 advocacy campaigns.
The WITNESS Media Archive was launched in 2004 to manage the collection of video created within these campaigns and partnerships. Today the archive is the repository for over 5000 hours of video, both original raw footage and edited productions used in advocacy campaigns, from over 80 countries and 100 grassroots human rights partners. Included are witness and victim testimonies, abuses caught on tape, interviews with human rights defenders, evidentiary submissions, hidden camera investigations, and more. The materials represent a broad range of issues, in addition to those in the collections below, such as forced displacement in Burma, slave labor in Brazil, violence against women in Zimbabwe, and torture and disappearances in Chechnya. The Media Archive will be depositing collections with the Human Rights Documentation Initiative on an ongoing basis.