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Kelly Matheson

Netherlands  
WITNESS
Joined October 2013
Kelly Matheson is an attorney, filmmaker and human rights advocate with a specialty in environmental human rights and the use of video in criminal justice investigations and proceedings.

As an attorney, she worked in East Africa researching citizens’ rights to bring suit against their governments when governments broke their own laws.

She then practiced throughout the western United States working on issues where environmental and human rights converge. Her film career began in 2003. Her film projects focused on indigenous and environmental rights in Central America and the United States. This led to a year-long research project as a Fulbright Scholar in Congo-Brazzaville where she collaborated with a video-centered outreach project to determine the effectiveness of video to increase knowledge and, in turn, change behaviors to prevent the transmission of the Ebola virus.

Currently, she is a Senior Attorney and Program Manager with WITNESS, an international human right organization that specializes in using video to support change in human rights practice, policy and law. At WITNESS, she launched the inaugural Video Advocacy Institute, began the North America program and now leads WITNESS’ Video as Evidence project which supports human rights lawyers and activists to enhance the evidentiary value of the video they collect in hopes that it can be used to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable and free the wrongly accused.

Having graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law and Montana State University’s MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking, Kelly’s passion is traveling to different corners of the world to support on-the-ground activists to use law and film to secure our basic human rights.



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