Webinar: How to Use Video to Advance Justice (December 2016)

In the age of mobile phones, activists, investigators, journalists, and civilians around the world are capturing human rights violations on video on a daily basis. They are filming forced evictions, illegal dumping, police violence, stories of bribery and corruption, and countless other unjust acts. But all too often, they are not filming safely or effectively, and their videos don’t make a difference.

On Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, Kelly Matheson (@KellyMatheson ) from WITNESS gave an enriching webinar where we learned how to capture and use video footage to protect human rights and bring about justice. A total of 121 members joined us from around the globe, with 40 different countries represented.

Video recording:

In this webinar, we received practical guidance on what footage to capture and how to capture it in order for it to be serve as effective evidence. We also learned how best to organize, manage, and use the footage to bring about justice.

Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and explore the role that video and technology are playing in transforming the fields of justice and accountability. We highlighted a few questions and answer below:

Is there anything different about using videos for campaigns/story telling versus video for use in legal cases? (Can you share videos you want to use as evidence before you use them in court?)

When you use video to tell a story or support a campaign, you often will need to edit video and package it up into clips to suit your goals. When you are filming for documentation - that is, when you are filming because you hope your video will be used in a court case because it documents wrongdoing - it is really important that the whole video is preserved so the judge can see everything that happened. Keeping your video in its original format means that lawyers can decide later how to present it.

Is it better to only film things you know you need or should you film everything you can?

A good general rule is to try and film as much as you can - you never know what you might capture in your frame that will be useful later. The first question to ask yourself is always: is this safe? If yes, aim to film more of what you need rather than less.

Is there a problem with filming people without their permission?

It depends on a lot of factors, including where you are, the age of the person on camera, and the purpose of filming. If you are filming an interview, consent is very important. If you are trying to capture evidence of wrongdoing as it happens, it is different. Generally, if you are filming events in public, you do not need permission to film. This may change if you are filming events in a private space. There are also specific exceptions. For example, if you are filming police in places like the United States, you have a right to film in most situations and the police cannot tell you to stop. The best idea is to speak to a lawyer if you can before you start filming and generally use your common sense. If you already have the footage and are not sure about the legal situation, try to speak to a lawyer before you share it with anyone.

Find the full Question and Answer summary as answered by our presenters here.

If you have additional questions for WITNESS, contact Kelly Matheson (@KellyMatheson)

You can also visit https://witness.org and subscribe to the WITNESS Newsletter at http://eepurl.com/KEffT

Please find the WITNESS: Video as Evidence Field Guide discussed in this webinar in the resource library, linked below.


I really look forward to this webinar - I am a longtime friend and fan of WITNESS, and can see direct application of the information being imparted in this webinar to grassroots legal empowerment work, especially in countries with tricky security or political situations. Highly recommended!

Please register even if you are not sure you are able to make it on the day - we will make sure you get a summary of key learnings and a link to a recording. And please share this link with colleagues and friends who might benefit.

@namati_staff @exchange_2016tanzania @exchange_2016kenya


Looking forward to this one. Often think that we are not utilizing new technology - like video on phones - to our full advantage. It seems like a waste of such powerful tools. It would be great to do step-down training with community members, so they could film conflicts or issues too. Such evidence could really help with dispute resolutions.


I have register and now anxiously waiting for this very exciting moment to take part at webinar, which really promising a solution to many problems facing the HRDs to advance or even get justice done. Can some one tell me what time in GMT+1. ?


Hi @ndambamusa, that would be 2 PM or 14:00 your local time!

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Thanks very much Ashley for the time.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Struggle for Mbororo Land Rights in Cameroon continues despite persecution

The network team is really looking forward to this webinar presentation about using video to advance justice taking place next Tuesday! This is an important topic in this day and age, especially for practitioners working at the frontlines. There are still spaces available so please spread the word amongst your colleagues and register! Here’s the link:


The webinar promises to be well attended! So far more than 100 people have signed up from around the world, representing 37 countries and a wide range of organizations large and small working in legal empowerment. I can’t wait to learn from you all during the post-presentation discussion!

@namati_staff @exchange_2016kenya @exchange_2015philippines @exchange_2016tanzania @exchange_2015bangladesh @exchange_2015southafrica

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Dear Tobias and Michael, I registered for the Webinar event to be taken on next week.


Good to hear that.I I register for the webinar event.


I am a Human rights activist and will like to register in this net work. I work with MBOSCUDA a pastoralist organisation based in Cameroon Duni Jedoh

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Hi Duni! Great to hear from you, and hope to see you in the webinar which starts in just 35 minutes from now. Here’s the link to join:


Hello Network members! A quick update: the original post of this webinar topic has been updated to contain the most recent details including a link to the webinar recording, the Video as Evidence field guide, and more. Check it out! :sparkles:

@namati_staff @exchange_2016kenya @exchange_2016tanzania @kellymatheson @jacquelinzammuto @LaurenceW

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Greetings! Our wonderful WITNESS presenters have provided us with the full Question and Answer summary here. Take a peek!! :eyes:

If you have any additional questions, please direct them to Kelly Matheson (@KellyMatheson)

@namati_staff @exchange_2016kenya @exchange_2016tanzania @KellyMatheson jacquelinzammuto @LaurenceW




Good idea,congratulation you all,go on!