Frequently Answered Questions

What is WITNESS?


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. WITNESS empowers human rights defenders and citizen witnesses around the world to use video to fight injustice, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools that can pressure those with power to act. Read more.


Does WITNESS have offices outside its headquarters in New York City?


While WITNESS works with partner organizations around the world, we do not have offices other than our New York headquarters.


When was WITNESS founded?


WITNESS was co-founded in 1992 by musician and activist Peter Gabriel and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) with a seed grant from the Reebok Human Rights Foundation. Learn more about our 20+ year history.


What human rights issues does WITNESS work on?


WITNESS works on a broad set of human rights issues with activists around the world. To date, we have worked on over 100 video campaigns, which have called attention to issues like slavery, human trafficking and war crimes. WITNESS campaign partnerships have also secured basic rights to education, employment, housing and health care. And they have improved the lives of children, the disabled, indigenous peoples, minorities, workers and women.


Who supports WITNESS?


WITNESS is a registered 501c3 organization and we receive funding from foundations, individual donors and in-kind support. A full list of current supporters is available in our most recent Annual Report.


Does WITNESS make grants or provide funding?


No. WITNESS is not a grantmaking foundation and does not generally provide funds to individuals or groups for video productions or to purchase video equipment.


Does WITNESS provide legal counsel or advice?


No. WITNESS does not provide legal counsel or advice. If you are writing with concerns about legal status or action, please contact a legal aid center in your community. You may be able to locate the nearest office by visiting the National Legal Aid and Defender website at


Technical problems with the WITNESS website


If you are having any technical problems navigating through our website, or if you find broken links, please email our webmaster with the subject heading "Website problem."