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Who's in the Video
Gillian Caldwell is the Executive Director of WITNESS, an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy capaigns.[…]

Technology changes everything.

Well like I say I think it was very much in the wake of a massive world war that the conversation was placed squarely on the table and a decision was made to begin to talk in universal terms about rights, and to come to a shared understanding. I mean what’s remarkable is not just the emergence of a codification – you know in a system of human rights, treaties, and conventions; but also that it was complemented by a massive proliferation of civil society worldwide. So the last 50 to 60 years when people say, you know, argue _______ if you look at the scope and scale of the human rights abuses we’re facing. In fact, not only is it really hopeful to look at the ways in which the human rights treaties and conventions have proliferated and have gained currency and are being discussed and debated between and amongst governments at a very high level; but also if you look at the massive proliferation of civil society and what that ______; the possibility that presents for ensuring that those rights will be respected, and they will be upheld, and they will be understood, and embraced. So you know, as far as what it is that’s enabled that, I think we go back to technology and communications again. Because it’s only been in the last few decades that we have been able to have a global conversation; a simultaneous global conversation by virtue of the ability to travel, and to send e-mail, and faxes, and make telephone calls, and watch television and all of this. I mean previous to that there was no opportunity to talk in global terms or to create a document which reflected a global conversation and a global understanding. So again I think the technology underlies a lot of the events that have taken place and holds a lot of promise for the future.

Recorded on: 8/13/07