Yesterday we brought you a video report from Eric Tars highlighting the work being done around the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.S. human rights record in Geneva, Switzerland. Today, we will highlight how video was incorporated, for the first time, as part of the Universal Periodic Review process.

The U.S. Human Rights Network (USHRN), in collaboration with countless other American human rights organizations, launched the Testify! Project to bring personal stories of human rights violations to the 400+ pages of detailed legal analysis submitted to the UN Human Rights Council and ensure the voices of American citizens affected by social injustices were heard in Geneva.

 

The Testify! Project asked individuals across the country to create a one- to two-minute video addressing how human rights had been violated in their communities and asking what actions the U.S. Government should take to protect these rights. Video topics ranged from access to adequate health care to the denial of rights of indigenous communities, to immigration issues faced by the gay and lesbian community. Ten of the videos submitted will be screened tonight in Geneva in preparation for the U.S.’s review on Friday.

One of the videos screening this evening is from the La Jolla Band of Indians. It highlights a community walk bringing attention to the disproportionately high rates of rapes and assaults on native women.

Also screening tonight in Geneva is a short assembly of the videos submitted to the Testify! Project. Soon after the UN’s recommendations to the U.S. are released we will share this compilation video entitled, Testify! Voice for Human Rights in America. The video is an effort to open a small window onto how international law applies to our lives and our communities. It also discusses how you can help support the UN’s initial recommendations to the U.S. Government. So stay tuned!

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