Video Highlights: Defending Human Rights

This section aims to showcase interesting and recent posts in Global Voices that show the many ways in which videos are helping people tell stories all around the world. You can follow the activity by regions in our YouTube channel.

Several stories using video this month have focused on human rights violations and the steps being taken to speak out on the abuses and try to protect minorities and disadvantaged communities. Click through to the stories to see more videos and learn more about each case.

The right to life and non-discrimination

Guatemala: Speaking Out on the Genocide of Indigenous Women

Thanks to activists the international courts following the genocide proceedings against Guatemala will be taking into account the violence indigenous women faced for more than 36 years where they were victims because they were women and because they were indigenous.

A documentary and several video testimonials tell their harrowing stories, stories that due to the discrimination the victims faced in their communities and the fear of retribution many kept silent for decades.

Fighting for sexual diversity

Uganda: The Anti-Gay Bill That Won't Go Away

The same bill that was presented in 2009 is showing up again for voting in Uganda:

Uganda has again re-tabled the controversial anti-gay bill. Ugandan member of parliament, David Bahati, who proposed the bill back in 2009 has again considered tabling the draconian bill but with changes. He claims to have dropped the death penalty and jailing of family members who fail to report homosexuals to the authorities.

However, under further scrutiny it has been noted that no changes have been made in the bill, and it is still exactly the same one presented back in 2009. The following video explains the impact this bill will have on the LGBT community as well as their families and friends:

Hong Kong: Videos Against Homophobic Bullying in Schools

In Hong Kong, students in schools admit that homosexual students are bullied and discriminated, so an organization has spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness on this issue, focusing on producing online videos of interviews with sexually diverse students and experts on the topic.

The right for an education

Spain: Police Violence Against Students in Valencia


Spain: Crackdown Against Students Continues in Valencia

In Valencia, school children decided to protest budget cuts that affected their schools, forcing them to carry blankets with them due to lack of heating, in what has been a particularly cold winter in Europe. Police reacted to the protests violently with students injured and detained; many videos have been made showing the abuses against minors, females and the elderly.

Just a few days after the brutal police crackdown at the Luis Vives Institute of Secondary Education in Valencia [es], students have again been the target of beatings, pushing and violence from the police at a pacific protest in which they were, precisely, demonstrating against police violence. This time,the crackdown started on the afternoon with unexpected force.

The right to a home

Brazil: Quilombo Community in Bahia About to Be Evicted

One of the oldest slave descendent communities in Brazil, Quilombo Rio dos Macacos, where around 50 families live, has a date for eviction: March 4, 2012. The claim for the land comes from the Navy of Brazil, that intends to broaden a condo for its officers in that territory, in the border area between Salvador and Simões Filho, state of Bahia…

Descendants of original peoples from Africa who, during colonialism, were taken from their land to become slaves in Brazil, the Quilombolas now see themselves under threat of losing their homes again, despite their right to the land they inhabit enshrined in the constitution.

This short documentary [pt] shows the situation the Quilombolas are facing: afraid to leave their houses, unable to move freely and fearing for their well-being, their families and their homes.

Colombia: Citizen Journalist Threatened Over Viral Video

A video [es] made of the violent response the government had to peaceful protesters standing up against the rerouting of a river in their community for a dam construction has caused the citizen journalist to receive death threats.

Brazil: The Deficient Prison Systems of the Americas

Recent events in Latin American prisons that cost the life of hundreds of inmates have people looking into the living situation and overcrowding faced in many penitentiary centers, and analyzing if they are tragedies waiting to happen. People who are being deprived of their liberty as punishment for their crimes should be guaranteed minimum living conditions, and sometimes these aren't met, as shown in the documentary of life in Brazilian prisons, which also provides possible solutions for this difficult situation.

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