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Eight inspiring human rights accounts on Instagram

Instagram might still have a bit of a reputation for being full of vintage photos of cupcakes, but with more than 200 million active users around the world, it's a window into every aspect of our lives - if you know where to look.

If you want to add something more inspiring than lunches and sunsets to your Instagram feed, here are eight accounts and tags to follow to get another view on human rights. 

UN Refugee Agency

THe UNHCR provides vital aid and shelter to millions of refugees around the world - most notably the 3 million who have fled Syria so far. Each photo provides a snapshot into the daily lives on their camps, and the individual stories behind the massive figures.


Eight year old Joshua peers out through a hole in the plastic sheeting of a shelter in Kilimani IDP camp, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. UNHCR/ @briansokol ------------------------------ #DRC #IDP #africa #blackandwhite #bw #photooftheday #Africa #UNHCR #boy #instagood #bestoftheday #picoftheday #realpeople #picoftheday #instadaily #photojournalism #portrait #camp #NorthKivu #photoreportage

A photo posted by UN Refugee Agency (@unrefugees) on

Oct 10, 2014 at 2:10am PDT


Ai Weiwei

The infamous Chinese artist and dissident is barely off Instagram. Ai documents every part of his life and art, including solidarity protests for the Hong Kong movement, his human rights themed artwork in Alcatraz - and a great many selfies. Just after the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, He also started his own Instagram meme, posing with his leg cocked, apparently a sly dig at the Chinese regime


A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

Oct 10, 2014 at 7:59pm PDT


Human Rights Campaign

When the HRC asked their Instagram followers to post their pictures of equality using #time4marriage, the LGBTI community responded from around the globe. From championing marriage equality in the US to basic rights in Russia, you'll get both great photos and inspiring facts!


#Repost: Great to see @mallow610 and @lafond_66 showing their #pride and rocking HRC's Keith #Haring shirt for National #ComingOut Day! #WeAreHRC #NCOD

A photo posted by Human Rights Campaign (@humanrightscampaign) on

Oct 10, 2014 at 5:25pm PDT


#hongkong and #umbrellamovement

Social media has been integral to the protest movement just like any other form of publishing, but as countries like China and Turkey start blocking Twitter, Youtube and others to stop information being spread, spaces like Instagram have come into their own. The Hong Kong protest movement have shared thousands of photos showing the scale of protest and the police repression.


第三十四天 #umbrellamovement #umbrellarevolution #occupyhongkong #hongkong #hkclassboycott #佔領香港 #雨傘運動

A photo posted by Gabriel (@cheungkahing) on

Oct 10, 2014 at 8:51am PDT


Malala Fund

What could be more inspirational than a direct link to Malala Yousafzai, who recently recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for the rights of women and girls! Expect pictures and videos from her visits to the UN, refugee camps, schools, and the odd bit of football from Zaatari camp in Jordan....


At one of the athletic fields in Zaatari camp, #Malala practices football/soccer with a group of #Syrian girls. UNHCR / J. Kohler

A photo posted by Malala Yousafzai (@malalafund) on

Feb 2, 2014 at 10:17am PST


David Guttenfelder

A National Geographic photographer (and their own feed is also fantastic), he's photographed from within North Korea on several occasions. Even though the glimpse he gives us into the world's most secretive state is tightly controlled, it's still a compelling and at times sad look into life in and out of Pyongyang.


A public trolly car passes through the North Korean city of Chongjin. For more Instagram photos from inside North Korea please check out @everydayDPRK.

A photo posted by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder) on

Oct 10, 2014 at 7:31pm PDT


Vice News

Vice have a reputation for news and documentaries from some of the most dangerous places on the planet, and their YouTube channel has just hit 1,000,000 subscribers for good reason. Their Instagram account gives an amazing insight into the work they're doing from places as varied as Aleppo, Ferguson, and Belgrade Pride.


For two weeks this summer, we embedded with the Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad on one hand, and Islamic State militants on the other. Against overwhelming odds, members of the Islamic Front battled to retain control of Aleppo. See photos on (Photo by @frederickpaxton) #Photo #Pic #IG #Instagram #InstaWorld #World #Syria #Iraq #ISIS #IslamicState #IslamicFront #Vice #ViceNews

A photo posted by Vice News (@vicenews) on

Sep 9, 2014 at 10:52am PDT



Of course, we couldn't ignore our own Instagram feed! We try to put a human face on all the campaigns and issues we're working on through our account - and we'd love your feedback on the photos and videos we're sharing.


The NATO summit in Cardiff starts today - #Afghanistan is on the agenda, but women's groups are shut out of talks. So we went down to have a word.... #amnesty #amnestyinternational #womensrights #equalrights #halftheworld #likeagirl #equality #sexualviolence

A photo posted by Amnesty International UK (@amnestyuk) on

Sep 9, 2014 at 1:45am PDT


Who else would you recommend?

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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