New Media Advocacy Project

We believe our unique approach is best “shown” rather than simply explained.  This page is an archive of the New Media Advocacy Project’s work, searchable  by region, by subject area, or by type of advocacy and audience.  Please explore, share the videos, and contact us to learn more.

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Words That Kill

Words that Kill: The Defamation of Human Rights Defenders is a joint effort between the Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Corporación Jurídica Yira Castro, Comisión Intereclesial Justicia y Paz, Bertha Foundation, and New Media Advocacy Project, this video series shows the shared experience of defenders who have suffered defamatory attacks on their character for their work defending human rights.

Wrongful Incarceration on Nigeria’s Death Row

To bring an end to the use of the death penalty in Nigeria, N-Map partnered with the Legal Defense and Assistance Project (LEDAP), a leading Nigerian criminal justice NGO, to create a media advocacy campaign for legislative reform to outlaw the use of the death penalty as a punishment. The campaign focuses on the staggering amount of innocent men who are sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. This video exclusively focuses on the story of Williams Owodo, who was wrongfully incarcerated for over 17 years. By focusing on one individuals’ experience—from arrest, to signing a forced confession, to conviction, to appeal—we show audiences the ease by which innocent people can be sentenced to die within Nigeria’s criminal justice system

This video is an attempt to answer the question “how can an innocent person be convicted of a capital crime?”

Encouraging The Human Rights Ripple Effect

In partnership with Accountability Counsel, with funding from the 11th Hour Project Foundation, we produced two short videos that demystify the process of using international accountability mechanisms to confront multinational corporations that threaten human rights. Both videos use the case of a hydroelectric plant in Oaxaca, Mexico to illustrate the process by which Accountability Counsel partners with communities to research the financing the behind projects and demand justice and accountability. This video, The Cerro de Oro Hydroelectric Plant: A Latent Threat will be used by the community members who participated in the process, who will share the film within Mexico in order to warn their fellow citizens about vulnerability to similar projects, and educate them about their rights. See our blog for more information on the project. 

Ensuring Quality and Equality in South African Schools

By November 29th, 2016 all of South Africa’s schools will be required to have electricity, drinking water, toilets, and safe buildings. Equal Education–a coalition of South African students, parents, teachers, and community members–launched a multi-pronged campaign to enact the Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, which establishes legally binding minimum infrastructure standards in schools throughout the country.

N-Map teamed up with Equal Education to create a video that documents the poor conditions at schools in the Eastern Cape, and captures first-person accounts from students, teachers, principals, and parents of how unsafe conditions and inadequate facilities negatively impact learning.

Girls Speak Out Against Child Marriage

 

 In Northern Nigeria 76% of girls are married before the age of 18. We teamed up with Nigeria’s Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative (IWEI) and the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) to create a series of videos that ignite new conversations about child marriage, and empower Nigerians with religious and legal arguments to bring about lasting policy changes.   

Our three videos will speak directly to girls, parents, community-level leaders, Islamic leaders, and legislators. Over the next year IWEI and WRAPA will screen our videos for these target audiences across Northern Nigeria in order to convince parents, Islamic scholars, and others to support education for girls and institute a national law that prevents girls from marrying before the age of 18.

Rare Opportunity for Justice in Maroko Eviction Case

In July, 1990, more than 300,000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes in the town of Maroko, Lagos State, Nigeria. Over the last 25 years, the Maroko community has sought recognition of and remedies to address the serious violations of domestic and international law that took place during the eviction and since.

In 2008, the Maroko community, with the assistance of the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre, filed a case before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This short film was created in October 2015 after the Complainants learned their case before the African Commission was to be heard. Because the Maroko Evictees were unable to travel to attend the hearing in Banjul, The Gambia, they created this film to share their stories.

Promoting Justice for Migrants & Their Families

Families of missing migrants face many obstacles while searching for relatives: it is difficult to navigate the Mexican institutions that investigate migrant deaths and almost impossible to recover the remains of a loved one–especially if they died in another country.  To address these difficulties, the Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD) helped families collectively organize and propose the creation of a transnational mechanism for migrant justice.  N-Map produced a video with FJEDD to visually explain the regional mechanism and urge diplomats to back their government’s implementation efforts during this important moment.

N-Map: A Look Back at 2015

2015 was a transformative year at N-Map. Our team of lawyers, advocates, and filmmakers worked across the globe to put the voices of people who have suffered human rights abuses at the center of advocacy and litigation. This short video is a look back at highlights from the 55 tactical media advocacy videos we produced over the last year to support our frontline partners working in Mexico, Nigeria, India, South Africa, the United States, and the Republic of Georgia.

Plaintiffs Speak Out Against Solitary Confinement

In September the case of Ashker v. the Governor of California reached a settlement that effectively ends indeterminate long-term solitary confinement in California. The settlement is a monumental success. But to ensure the plaintiffs’ voices were heard outside the deposition room, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) asked us to produce a video that highlights the stories of the men involved. Watch their stories here and please share the video to elevate the voices of the incarcerated. 

Waiting for Fahd: One Family’s Hope for Life Beyond Guantánamo

We partnered with the Center for Constitutional Rights to share a side of the Guantanamo narrative rarely told: the human story. Waiting for Fahd: One Family’s Hope for Life Beyond Guantánamo highlights CCR client Fahd Ghazy, a Yemeni national unlawfully detained at Guantánamo for more than 13 years. 

Advocating for Transparency in Mexico

Citizens have a right to know how authorities spend tax dollars. In partnership with El Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad A.C. (IMCO), we produced a series of five videos for the campaign #TengoDerechoASaber. The campaign encourages Mexican citizens to demand accountability, transparency, and efficient spending from the government. This video, the first in the city, uses animation to explain how the Mexican government spends public money and where the corruption often occurs. Learn more about the full campaign here: http://imco.org.mx/tengo-derecho-a-saber/

How does the government spend our taxes?

Citizens have a right to know how authorities spend tax dollars. In partnership with El Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad A.C. (IMCO), we produced a series of five videos for the campaign #TengoDerechoASaber. The campaign encourages Mexican citizens to demand accountability, transparency, and efficient spending from the government. This video, a series of man-on-the-street interviews, asks citizens a simple yet revealing question: In 2013, Mexico spent 4.47 trillion pesos of taxes–do you know how they were spent? Learn more about the full campaign here: http://imco.org.mx/tengo-derecho-a-saber/

Helping 49 Families Fight For Justice

On June 5th 2009, 49 children lost their lives when a daycare caught fire in Hermosillo, Mexico. It was not an accident. The nursery first resulted from corruption and government neglect. Six years have passed and the Mexican government has failed to investigate a single person implicated in the Guaderia ABC tragedy or the government agencies that oversee the national daycare program. 

Unable to find justice within their own country, the families organized as the Movimiento 5 de Junio and brought their case to the IACHR. Our video, designed specifically for the admissibility hearing, uses the voices of these 49 families to speak directly to the commissioners and demand that the court intervene. To further pressure the IACHR, our partners created an Avaaz petition to show civil society’s support for the case. The petition earned over 28,000 signatures in Mexico and just launched globally–add your support now! 

Giving Brooklyn’s Low-Income Individuals a Chance in Court

The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is an innovative remedy to the broken bail system in New York. The fund posts bail for misdemeanor defendants they are confident will return to court so defendants have the opportunity to fight their case, assist with their defense, and avoid pleading guilty just to go home. N-Map worked with the Bail Fund to vividly show the human cost of New York’s broken bail system. Avoiding an overly technical explanation, our video aims to illustrate through powerful first person stories that we have two justice systems in New York: one for those with means and one for the poor.

Water at the Foot of the Volcano

The watershed of the Amecameca and La Compañía rivers spans a region covering 11 municipalities of the State of Mexico. About 40% of Mexico City’s water comes from this very basin; however, overuse and mismanagement inflicted drastic effects on the environment and its inhabitants: from desertification and pollution to sinkholes and water shortages. 

Thankfully, there is a strategy to promote sustainability in this area: the Plan Hídrico. Developed by scientists, academics, and community members, the Plan Hídrico advises for sustainable solutions like building filtration wells to prevent further water loss and protecting forest areas to retain water. This film—produced in partnership with Controla Tu Gobierno and the Comisión—plans to translate the Plan Hídrico into political change. Our partners will use the video as an advocacy tool to encourage their communities and policy makers to adopt the Plan.

Combating Hate Crimes in Georgia

The Republic of Georgia is one of the few post-soviet States that legally prohibits discrimination against LGBT people; however, legal protection does not defend Georgians against the violence directed toward this marginalized group.

 The country’s entrenched homophobia surfaced in 2013, when a group of conservative ultra-orthodox supporters assaulted anti-homophobia demonstrators at a rally in the capital city of Tbilisi. Unfortunately, instances of targeted violence extend far beyond the events of May 17, 2013. Startlingly, one in three LGBT people were physically assaulted in the Republic of Georgia between 2011-2012.

N-Map partnered with Identoba to produce a short film designed to empower the Georgian LGBT community by encouraging them to report hate crimes, demand accountability, and join the growing LGBT movement in Georgia.

Why Monitor the CRPD?

In the Republic of Georgia, many people do not believe that people with disabilities are capable of living independent lives. Fortunately, the state recently ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and pledged to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in Georgian society. But the CRPD faces many challenges to successful implementation: violations are widespread and policy-makers generally unresponsive.

To explain the importance of actively monitoring CRPD violations and encourage citizen participation, we worked with a coalition of disability rights organizations to produce a poignant narrative that explains the situation through the personal stories of local advocates. The video is part of a larger campaign—the website ability.ge/en—a user-friendly, data-gathering platform to monitor violations of the CRPD.  We expect that this project will generate valuable lessons about using crowd-sourced information and technology to document rights violations effectively for advocacy, particularly when the system is based on sound legal research and an understanding of how to prove treaty violations.

Justice & Expert Testimony

Haiti faces a staggering epidemic of gender-based violence and the legal system has trouble prosecuting these cases. Local human rights lawyers have blamed this largely on the fact that expert witnesses are rare in these case since the testimony of medical and psychosocial experts is particularly important for sexual assault cases. For example, Judges are not familiar with the behavioral patterns of post-rape trauma and may dismiss a case due to inconsistent testimony from female victims.

This film is primarily intended for Haitian judges, prosecutors, and lawyers to show that expert testimony is vital for all criminal trials—especially in the case of rape. We set two goals for this film: first, to convince judicial actors of the importance of expert testimony and second, to show that expert testimony is effectively employed by peers and easy to implement. The video is being distributed among the Haitian bar and we plan to work with the Haitian Bar Association to include the video in the required curriculum for all new lawyers.  

Understanding Evidence-Based Advocacy

Many rural Georgian communities facing rights violations find it difficult to engage with policy-makers effectively. In the town of Chiatura, Manganese mining took a serious environmental toll the surrounding region. A local organizer, Shota Gaprindashvili, began his advocacy on mining in 2011 and saw progress: the mining company agreed to install water filtration devices at manganese processing sites and clean transport trucks before they pass through town. This kind of success is very rare.

In this case study on evidence-based advocacy, Shota explains his success and strategy to encourage more sophisticated evidence-based advocacy on environmental issues. This video represents one installation in a series of videos that profile successful advocacy campaigns in Georgia, granting successful Georgian advocates the opportunity to instruct others to engage with institutions of power.

How To Advocate Effectively

  Many Georgian communities grapple with economic and social rights violations but few organizations address community problems successfully. Local advocates face many problems, and particularly in rural areas, find it difficult to engage with policy-makers effectively. We partnered with the East-West Management Institute to produce a series of videos that profile successful advocacy campaigns in Georgia, granting Georgian advocates the opportunity to instruct others how to engage with institutions of power.

  We examined three successful advocacy campaigns in rural Georgia to answer a straightforward question: what are the strategies for effective advocacy? We used the human narratives often lost in activist work—to produce four videos with different focuses: three case studies and one instructional video. Collectively, the videos teach basic advocacy concepts and inspire citizens to take action. This particular video highlights eight strategies for effective advocacy that hold true not just for human rights work in the Republic Of Georgia but across the globe.

Navigating Consumer Debt Court

    Consumer debt lawsuits present enormous due process challenges for New York City’s civil courts. In 2008, debt collection agencies filed over 300,000 lawsuits and although filings decreased in recent years, the annual caseload still remains in the six-figure range. Low-income individuals make up the majority of these defendants and few can afford lawyers—in fact, only two percent retain legal counsel. Since most defendants enter the courtroom alone and uninformed, usually one obstacle prevents pro-se litigants from protecting their rights: knowledge.
    To increase the accessibility of legal information we created a series of interactive, rights-education videos to help New Yorkers sued for consumer debt. The example here—one of eleven videos—teaches defendants how to file an answer; normally, a convoluted set of instructions. Yet engaging animation helped us translate the dense legal information surrounding consumer law into a series of digestible, modular videos—increasing pro-se litigants’ ability to access legal information and consequently justice.

Truth & Justice for Guatemala

     In 2013, a Guatemalan court convicted former military leader, General Jose Efraín Ríos Montt, of crimes against humanity and genocide. The court found Ríos Montt responsible for a series of massacres, rapes, and the forced displacement of the Maya-Ixil ethnic group during his 17-month rule between 1982 and 1983. Securing this conviction was no easy task: our partner, Women’s Link Worldwide, used an innovative strategy that effectively incorporated gender crimes as a basis for proving genocide. Our film tells the story of the inclusion of women—most importantly the women of the Maya-Ixil community—in this landmark genocide trial.  
     The goal of this film is to document how advocates, attorneys, and victims came together to push for transitional justice in Guatemala. Although Guatemala’s highest court later overturned the Ríos Montt conviction, our documentary preserves a model for how courts across the globe can use similar strategies to ensure the inclusion of women in justice processes.
 

Solving Due Process Crisis In NYC’s Courts

  Consumer debt lawsuits present enormous due process challenges for New York City’s civil courts. In 2008, debt collection agencies filed over 300,000 lawsuits and although filings decreased in recent years, the annual caseload still remains in the six-figure range. Low-income individuals make up the majority of these defendants and few can afford lawyers—in fact, only two percent retain legal counsel. Since most defendants enter the courtroom alone and uninformed, usually one obstacle prevents pro-se litigants from protecting their rights: knowledge. 
   This documentary helps our partner—the Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office—explain the problem to stakeholders and policy makers and show the human impact of this due process crisis on New Yorkers. The video is now used to support advocacy in New York and Albany to improve access to justice in these cases. 

Protecting Property Rights in Georgia

From 2004 to 2012, the Georgian government undertook a series of economic development projects intended to improve infrastructure, encourage investment, and boost the country’s capacity for tourism. In order to complete many of these projects, the authorities illegally expropriated private property and refused to provide compensation for the property owners. Approximately 12,000 families were affected, and they all await justice. N-Map produced a short documentary with Transparency International –Georgia, profiling two of the land-owners who lost their farms. The goal of the piece is to force policy-makers to provide remedies for affected property owners and adopt legislative amendments that ensure greater legal protection for property rights.

Opening the Courtroom Doors for People with Disabilities

Across Europe, thousands of people with intellectual disabilities are placed in institutions, where they are mistreated without repercussions.  N-Map produced this video to support the case of Valentin Cåmpeanu, a young man who died in such a facility in Romania.  Mr. Cåmpeanu was a Roma man with HIV and a severe intellectual disability.  He was also an orphan.  When he turned 18 he was transferred from a youth facility to an adult facility.  The new facility was not informed of his HIV, so he never received his medication.  He died alone in a cold room. Because Cåmpeanu has no next of kin, there is no one to sue on is behalf. 

Several European NGOs are arguing before the European Court of Human Rights that they should have the right to sue on Mr. Cåmpeanu – or there will be no one to hold the Romanian government accountable for his death.  N-Map produced this video to support the case, and to humanize what is essentially a technical procedural issue. 

Silence Interrupted: Gender Violence in Armenia

Armenia faces a severe crisis of widespread violence against women and children. Due to the cultural and safety concerns of reporting violence, many women do not report violence and are often stigmatized for doing so.  As a result, the Armenian government is able to deny the problem.  Furthermore, Armenia currently has weak domestic violence laws and no law addressing sexual violence.  Encouraging reporting and greater awareness of the problem is the first step to legislative advocacy and legal enforcement.

In June 2012, N-Map worked with the Women’s Resource Center of Armenia and the Women’s Support Center to develop this film encouraging reporting and self-identification of survivors of gender based violence in Armenia.

Armenian Version: https://vimeo.com/57715802

Defending the Right to Counsel in the United States

In 1963, the Supreme Court, in Gideon v Wainwright, ruled that every criminal defendant is entitled to a lawyer. 50 years later, the United States has not lived up to the great promise of the Gideon case. Although there are many dedicated, talented, and tireless defense lawyers working heroically in challenging conditions, the overall system has failed profoundly to provide adequate counsel for many defendants.

N-Map produced this short documentary for our wonderful client, the Constitution Project, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Gideon and to illuminate the current state of public defender systems. The goal of the piece is to commemorate Gideon’s case, and show the long road ahead in fixing our broken criminal justice system. The film had its first screening at the Department of Justice, introduced by Attorney General Eric Holder, and will be screened at numerous venues around the country.

Breaking the Wall of Impunity

N-Map and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) co-produced two videos to advocate for reopening cases related to crimes committed under the military dictatorship in Uruguay (1973- 1985) and bring truth and justice for families of the disappeared, as well as victims of torture and rape.

This video, called Breaking Down the Wall of Impunity, is an 11-minute piece which provides an analysis of the existing barriers to truth and justice in Uruguay. It includes interviews with leading politicians, academics, journalists, family members and victims themselves.

These videos hope to encourage the entire nation to confront its past for the possibility of a better future.

Spanish Version: https://vimeo.com/61013642

 

Nunca Más Qué?

N-Map and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) co-produced two videos to advocate for reopening cases related to crimes committed under the military dictatorship in Uruguay (1973- 1985) and bring truth and justice for families of the disappeared, as well as victims of torture and rape.

This is the shorter 2.7 minute video called Never Again, What? which seeks to act as a platform for change by engaging ordinary Uruguayans about the relevance and importance of justice through testimonies by victims and their family members.

These videos hope to encourage the entire nation to confront its past for the possibility of a better
future.

Spanish Version: https://vimeo.com/60896975

The Gender Justice Uncovered Awards 2013

Billions of women around the world are still fighting for equal rights. Women’s Link Worldwide’s Gender Justice Uncovered Awards highlights the fact that in every country, regardless of its political system, culture or religion, what judges say has a tremendous influence on the day-to-day lives of people. Whether focused on reproductive rights, gender violence or discrimination, the Awards raise awareness about the influence court decisions have on women and their families and communities, and enable average citizens to help in promoting human rights.

In 2013, N-Map produced a short video to promote the Awards using animated storytelling to expose the importance of judicial decisions, and to encourage discussion and public participation in nominating and voting on cases. The Gender Justice Uncovered Awards tells every court, in every country, that we are watching.

Spanish: https://vimeo.com/58179184