Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Call for Videos: Tell Your Human Rights Story to the United Nations!

Nationwide, United States of America: You now have a chance to speak at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Through the Testify! Project you can submit 30 second to 2 minute video testimony on human rights concerns in your community. Selected submissions will be played for UN officials during preparation for the first ever UN review of the US Government's entire human rights record, called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

WHAT: The Testify! Project documents human rights concerns and violations in the United States using short videos and 1 page written testimonies. These videos and testimonies are
an important way to explain to the US Government and representatives from the rest
of the world whether the US is complying with its human rights obligations and how
it can improve.

Submissions should tell a story about an injustice occurring in your area and
suggest a solution to the US government. Submissions can focus on virtually any
social justice issue, including but not limited to: labor rights; women's rights;
immigrant rights; access to necessities like food, housing, education, health care;
discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability or identity;
environmental (in)justice; racial profiling; censorship; and any other rights
mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or other key human rights

WHERE: This online contest is on Videos can be uploaded directly to the YouTube Group.

WHEN: A compilation of submitted videos will play in Geneva, Switzerland at the UN
in September and again right before the U.S. government is reviewed as part of the
UPR on November 5th, 2010. Finalist videos will be shown in their entirety. Each
deadline will have one winner, receiving the following prizes:

1) To qualify to join a US Human Rights Network delegation to Geneva to present
your story to UN delegates in-person, submit your video on or before August 20th
at 11:59 pm.
2) To qualify for a new Flip Camera, to continue your video activism, submit
your video by October 8th at 11:59 PM EST.

WHY: For the very first time, the United States faces a review of its entire human
rights by other countries as part of the UPR. This new review process, developed in
2006, reviews every country in the world by the same standards. The United States
government will have to answer questions from other countries about how well the US
follows the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Charter, and
international human rights treaties.

To be sure that the questions asked and recommendations made reflect what is
happening here in the United States, we need you to tell your story. Individuals and
non-profit organizations from the U.S. will share your stories at an event at the UN
in Geneva this September to influence the questions that are part of the November
review. Testify! Project submissions will show these delegates what violations we
are facing in the United States.

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