Photography 4 Humanity

About the United Nations Supported Project - Photography 4 Humanity

Photography 4 Humanity calls on photographers around the world to bring to life the power of human rights. With compelling images that illustrate courage, despair, hope, injustice, hate, compassion, and human rights victories and failures, large and small, this project aims to inspire people to get involved and take a stand for human rights.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is the leading UN entity on human rights with a unique mandate to promote and protect all human rights for all people. Under the leadership of the High Commissioner, with a staff of 1,300 working in more than 70 countries, it aims to make human rights a reality in the lives of people everywhere.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

Human Rights are Universal

The principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law. This principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has been reiterated in numerous international human rights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. The 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights noted that "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated."

The United Nations and Human Rights

The promotion and protection of human rights - civil, cultural, economic, political and social - is a key purpose and guiding principle of the United Nations, which have created a comprehensive body of human rights law and established mechanisms to promote and protect these rights and to assist states in carrying out their responsibilities.

"The first words of the Charter -- “we the peoples” – are a summons to place people at the centre of our work. These rights are not a favour to be rewarded or withheld. They are an endowment for simply being human...every measure to uphold human rights helps deliver sustainable development and peace" -

- António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and has been translated into over 500 languages.

2021 Eminent Judges

  • Kristen Ashbrun - Photographer
  • Elisabeth Bondi - Photography Editor
  • Robert Clark - Photographer
  • Amanda Hajjar - Director of Exhibitions, Fotografiska NYC
  • Michael Itkoff - Co-founder, Daylight Books
  • Graham Nash - Musician, Photographer
  • Robert Pledge - Photographer, Founder Contact Press Images
  • David Rose - President, Photography 4 Humanity
  • Jashim Salam - Photographer
  • Laurent Sauveur - Chief of External Relations, UNHR

Winning image: "A Thirsty Earth", West Bengal, India (March, 2021). Women searching for water because they do not have sufficient sources of water for daily use due to severe droughts. Photo/Apratim Pal

Photography 4 Humanity is an international initiative that calls on photographers around the world to bring to life the power of human rights through their images. Highlighting the most compelling human rights imagery - illustrating courage, despair, hope, injustice, compassion in ways small and large, the images serve to inspire people to personally get involved and take a stand for human rights.

At the core of the Photography 4 Humanity initiative is a global call to action for amateur and professional photographers alike, to submit images for an annual competition where the top finalists each year have their photographs exhibited at the United Nations.

The exhibit is developed to highlight the top finalists of the Photography 4 Humanity Global Prize Competition and to inspire photographers to document the power of human rights around the world. It is created and organized by David Clark Cause (DCC) in collaboration and support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Fotografiska New York.

Stay Home

Novocheboksarsk, Russia

In 2020, humanity has been forced to live in new conditions. Civilization is intensively engendering a new normality. (November, 2020) Photo/Yuri Pritisk

Gender Discrimination

Tehran, Iran

One of the biggest problems in our society is gender discrimination, which begins during childhood. "Why should we teach this to our children?" (September, 2020) Photo/Parichehr Zhian

High Hopes

Mediterranean Sea

A group of rescuers try to save the victims of a shipwreck until the end. (November, 2020) Photo/Fabrizio Maffei


Dhaka, Bangladesh

A young man is hoping for some help, but the man inside the car is taking pictures without helping him. The photographer is trying to show that this type of behavior is injustice. (June, 2021) Photo/Mohammed Saiful Islam

Ten Years After Acid Attack

Parand, Iran

Masoumeh Ataei, a victim of an acid attack, holds her portrait, taken before the attack. (March, 2021) Photo/Morteza Nikoubazl

All I Want Is Love

Assam, India

Two transgender youths hold each other in a bond of love and friendship. Exposed to bigotry and prejudice, basic human rights are often withheld from transgender people. (March, 2021) Photo/Somenath Mukhopadhyay

Isolated And Connected

Jakarta, Indonesia

A health worker is having a video call with his family while using personal protective equipment in a break room. (January, 2021) Photo/Gerdie Hutomo

Golden Child


Ghana exported approximately US $10 billion in gold, while the majority of people working in small-scale illegal gold mining live on just US $2 per day, and child labour is mostly free. (September, 2020) Photo/Mariusz Smiejek

Protest Has A Woman’s Face

Minsk, Belarus

Belarus women resist attempts by the Police to detain them during the protest rally that was held on September 8, 2020, in support of opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova. (September, 2020) Photo/Yauhen Yerchak/EPA


Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

A mother holds her baby after a huge fire swept through the Rohingya refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. The UN has said that 15 people died and some 400 others are missing. 45,000 are displaced. (March, 2021) Photo/M. Yousuf Tushar

A New World (New Reality)

Lafia, Nigeria

A public school pupil wearing a covid face mask in her classroom. (July, 2021) Photo/Fatima Yusuf

At Home

Ankara, Turkey

The photographer and his grandmother spent a lot of time at home during quarantine. In this process, he tried to rediscover the light at home and in daily life. (May, 2021) Photo/Emre Cakmak

Belarusian Ghetto

Minsk, Belarus

The slogan "Long Live Belarus" (Zhyve Belarus) became a symbol of the Belarusian opposition when mass protests began in the country, after results from the Presidential election were announced. (December, 2020) Photo/Alexandra Bozhok


Yasuj, Iran

An earthquake-stricken family celebrates a birthday in a tent. (March, 2021) Photo/Eshagh Aghaeimansourabad

Covid-19 And Its Impact

Varanasi, India

A family member bows his head and sits completely broken at Harishchandra Crematorium. His loved one passed away of Covid-19 and the body can be seen wrapped. (January, 2021) Photo/Mohit Khetrapal

Deadly Fire At Rohingya Refugee Camp

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Rohingya refugees search for their belongings after a massive fire that tore through a sprawling refugee camp in southern Bangladesh. The fire killed at least 15 people and some 400 others are missing. (March, 2021) Photo/M. Yousuf Tushar

Devi Boron

New Delhi, India

Married women, clad in traditional red bordered white sarees, wear covid face shields and blow conch shells to perform the ‘Devi Boron’, the last puja before immersion of the goddess Durga. (October, 2020) Photo/Sourav Karmakar

Emergency Nurse

Naung Goe Village, Myanmar

An emergency nurse works to cure people who live in the village, where there is no clinic or hospital. (January, 2021) Photo/Pyae Phyo Aung Amarabo

Family Outing

Kolkata, India

After the lockdown of Covid-19 lifted, a family experiences the morning mist and a short outing in the heart of Kolkata, India. (January, 2021) Photo/Rajesh Dhar

Girl Smiling In The Color Of The Sky

Dashtak, Iran

The joy and smile of a girl in a remote village shine while living in her poor house. (March, 2021) Photo/Seyedmohammad Tabrizi

Human And Plastic

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the top plastic polluted countries in the world. Approximately 3000 tons of plastic waste are thrown out per day. Most of it ends up in landfills and water causing serious threats to the environment. (December, 2020) Photo/Mithail Afrige Chowdhury

Masked Women

Sabzevar, Iran

Women in Iran are required to cover their bodies with a chador. With the spread of Covid-19, these limitations have been exacerbated by masking. The image shows hope that one day all women around the world will have equal rights. (September, 2020) Photo/Hadi Dehghanpour

SOS Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia

#SOSCOLOMBIA was one of the most used hashtags to make visible the Human Rights violations that were committed by the Police during the nationwide protests in Colombia that began on April 28th. (April, 2021) Photo/Julia Maria Schmidt

Sport And Fun Instead Of War And Fear

Idlib, Syria

In the Syrian village of Al-jina near the city of Aleppo, Wasim Satot has opened a karate school for children. What makes it special is that girls and boys with and without disabilities are taught together. They are between six and 15 years old. With his school, Satot wants to create a sense of community and overcome any war experiences - Aleppo was fiercely contested - in the minds of the children. (October, 2020) Photo/Anas Alkharboutli

Water Shortage

Seikhtein Village, Myanmar

Two children in a local village fetching drinking water between the rocks. (January, 2021) Photo/Aung Kyaw Zaw