What Image Has Opened Your Eyes to Human Rights?

Witness is an international non-profit organization that uses video and online technologies to shine a light on human rights abuses around the world. For the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, Witness staff discuss some of the videos and images that have touched them over the past few years.

At the end of the video, viewers are asked what image has opened our eyes to human rights. For me, this picture is one of the most enduring symbols of how the demand for human rights can inspire extraordinary courage in ordinary people.


What images most symbolize human rights to you? Send an email to undispatch AT gmail.com and we will update this post with your response. Please indicate if you would like to keep your response anonymous.

UPDATE: See some reader responses below the fold. Blogger Adele Stan send us this note:

Though there are no images I know of depicting the Stonewall riot of 1969, there is this. “Stonewall” today refers to the resistance exercised by the patrons of a gay bar in Greenwich Village when New York City Police officers entered to arrest them for the crime of being “homosexual.”


Reader NYCartis sends this note:

Roman Vishniac photos of Warsaw in the 1930s, the ghetto, poor Jews……totally erased people (I saw the photo for the first time in the 1960s. There is a YouTube video, with wonderful music)

A reader from Argentina, Federico B, sends this:

The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo…this is also important for me because today is also the day that the military dictatorship ended and democracy returned to Argentina! (you have to appreciate the symbolism)


Reader N.K. from Bosnia sends this picture from the siege of Sarejevo and says, “This is the reason why I am dedicated to fight for human rights.”


Victor Ochen, who directs a non-profit in Northern Uganda called the Africa Youth Initiative Network, sends this image of an victim of mutilation. You can read a column I wrote about the amazing work that Victor does to promote peace and justice in Northern Uganda, in part by caring for the physical and mental health of mutilation victims.


Reader Zaynabuo sends this picture and says “I lived in Africa and it’s become the Motherland for me–I have very emotional feelings toward the continent and its people.”