Cameras Everywhere was published in 2011 and informs WITNESS’ Technology, Advocacy and Policy positions.


When people have suffered human rights abuses, it seems extraordinary that their experiences can then be effectively denied, buried and forgotten. Whenever there is video, their experience and stories are not only captured, but the video becomes a tool for change. WITNESS was founded in 1992 to bring video and technology into the human rights movement.

Today, almost 20 years later, technology is enabling the public, especially young people, to become human rights activists. With the global distribution of mobile phones, our original dream of getting cameras to the world is being realized and with that come incredible opportunities. Activists, developers, technology companies and social media platforms are beginning to realize the potential of video to bring about change, but a more supportive ecosystem is urgently needed.

This report asks the hard questions about how to protect and empower those who attempt to expose injustices through video. It provides specific recommendations for immediate and future actions that can reduce danger for those risking their lives. This report is an important step to understanding how we can harness the power of video and technology to empower activists to protect and defend human rights. This is the age of transformative technology.

Co-founder, WITNESS



SAMEER PADANIA runs Macroscope, a research, policy and advocacy consultancy working on the future of human rights, media and technology. From 2006 to 2010, he worked for WITNESS, running the HUB, the world’s first online platform dedicated to human rights video, and co-conceived the Cameras Everywhere Leadership Initiative. Prior to this, he worked at Panos London for six years to support and strengthen radio and online journalism in the developing world, and published policy reports on British public interest media and on local radio and journalism in Africa. Sameer has also worked as a documentary researcher and film writer, and is on the Board of New York-based archaeology foundation, Archaeos.


SAM GREGORY helps people use the power of moving images to create change. He is the Program Director of WITNESS where he oversees WITNESS’ programmatic work, including supervising the Campaign Partnerships, Tools and Tactics, and Leadership initiatives. Over the past decade he has worked extensively with human rights activists, particularly in Latin America and Asia, to use video to push for changes in policy, practice and law.

Within WITNESS Cameras Everywhere Leadership Initiative, he identifies solutions to the challenges, and ways to capitalize on the opportunities presented by increasingly ubiquitous video for human rights. Sam has created training tools and programs, including the WITNESS Video Advocacy Institute, was lead editor on “Video for Change” (Pluto Press, 2005) and teaches a course called, “Human Rights Advocacy Using Video and Related Multimedia”, as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. Sam graduated from the University of Oxford and completed a Masters in Public Policy as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar at Harvard. He currently serves on the Board of the U.S. Campaign for Burma, and the Advisory Board of Games for Change.


YVETTE ALBERDINGK THIJM is Executive Director of WITNESS. Prior to serving as head of the organization starting 2008, Yvette was on the WITNESS Board for four years. She has nearly two decades of experience in media, strategic partnerships and new technologies, which includes serving as Executive Vice President of Content Strategy and Acquisition at Joost, a global online video platform start-up launched by the founders of Skype. Yvette also spent more than a decade at MTV Networks International focused on its international growth and forays into digital media. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation Center, a leading authority on organized philanthropy, and serves on the Board of Access, a global movement for digital freedom and the Advisory Board of Uncensored Interview, a digital platform for independent musicians.


At the time of this reports release (2011) BRYAN NUNEZ was the Technology Manager at WITNESS. He oversaw technology for the organization as well as the development of projects like the HUB, a site for citizen human rights media, and the Secure Smart Cam, a camera-phone app for human rights activists. Prior to WITNESS, he was a technology strategist and consultant on a variety of projects ranging from online banking to interactive television. He is an alumnus of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and has a BA in anthropology from UC Berkeley.

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