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Films for human rights and development

Film directors from different parts of the world used documentaries to draw attention to human rights and development. They told stories of rape victims fighting for social change, islanders coping with climate change and families paying the human cost of the global financial crisis.

Women are urged to break the silence about rape within marriage. © Ilse & Femke van VelzenThese were some of the 45 documentary films screened at the ‘Millenium’ International Film Festival earlier in Brussels. The event was inspired by the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sought to encourage efforts to achieve these goals by 2015. The MDGs range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education.

The United Nations Human Rights office (OHCHR), which sponsored the Award for Best Human Rights Content in the Festival, advocates a human rights approach to achieving the MDGs. Governments that pursue development hand-in-hand with human rights stand a better chance of reaching the MDGs.

The Award went to "Fighting the Silence" by Dutch directors Ilse & Femke van Velzen. The documentary tells the story of ordinary men and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo fighting for a change in their society, which tends to blame the victims of rape before prosecuting the rapists.

See the trailer of Fighting the Silence.

20 August 2010