Friday, February 8, 2008


19 July - 2 August 2008
Montreal, Canada

The WITNESS Video Advocacy Institute (VAI), the first of its kind, is an innovative program that trains human rights defenders to successfully integrate video advocacy into their campaigns. The 2008 VAI will be held in association with Concordia University's Communications Studies Program and Documentary Centre in Montreal, Canada from July 19 - August 2, 2008.

This intensive and participatory training program will provide an immersive introduction in video advocacy for a group of 25-30 dedicated human rights advocates from across the globe working on some of the most challenging human rights issues facing our world today. Specifically, the VAI is aimed at:

- Advocacy-focused staff members in human rights organization. They will develop a project during the VAI and implement the project through production, editing and strategic distribution after the course; and
- A limited number of individual activists with a record of successful collaboration with human rights organizations.

VAI participants will learn key video advocacy skills including how to:

- Plan for the strategic use of video as a targeted tool for change in a human rights campaign, and apply this learning to their own work;
- Shoot on Mini-DV video cameras, and learn the basics of editing;
Make appropriate decisions on safety, security and consent;
- Craft effective advocacy narratives - ‘storytelling for action';
- Distribute their video to key audiences- - including courts, tribunals, UN bodies, local, national and regional decision-makers in government and civil society, as well as solidarity activists and the general public;
- Use video as evidence; and
- Use online video for advocacy including the WITNESS Hub.

During this training program there will be focused sessions to apply the learning to planning for a video project that participants will be expected to implement in their home countries upon completion of the VAI.

Should you have any questions about WITNESS or the VAI, please do not hesitate to write us at

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