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About us

Global Witness exposes the hidden links between demand for natural resources, corruption, armed conflict and environmental destruction.


Many of the world’s worst environmental and human rights abuses are driven by the exploitation of natural resources and corruption in the global political and economic system. Global Witness is campaigning to end this. We carry out hard-hitting investigations, expose these abuses, and campaign for change.  We are independent, not-for-profit, and work with partners around the world in our fight for justice.


We want a better world -- where corruption is challenged and accountability prevails, all can thrive within the planet’s boundaries, and governments act in the public interest.

For two decades we’ve been campaigning for full transparency in the mining, logging, oil and gas sectors, so that citizens who own those resources can benefit fairly from them, now and in future.

See our Annual Report 2016 to find out more about our work over the last year. 

We believe that the only way to protect peoples’ rights to land, livelihoods and a fair share of their national wealth is to demand total transparency in the resources sector, sustainable and equitable resources management, and stopping the international financial system from propping up resource-related corruption.

Global Witness is the backbone of hope for journalism. I mean fearless journalism, tough and independent journalism, journalism that in a world of increasing oligarchy will tell us the truth about money and power and the corruption that is robbing everyday people of their rights and resources. Just as importantly, Global Witness goes beyond traditional journalism by advocating and helping to deliver systems changing solutions and accountability for injustice around the world. So, yes, the backbone of hope for journalism – and our spine for the future. - Journalist and political commentator, Bill Moyers

Conflict Minerals

How we work

The Global Witness team draws on a wide range of skills, from undercover investigations and painstaking financial research, to information gathering on the ground and close cooperation with partners and activists all over the world.

We use many techniques to gather evidence including interviews, secret filming, photography, document research and often just dogged physical presence – our investigators sometime spend days counting logging trucks across borders and through checkpoints to monitor illegal timber trades.

Our reports are known for their meticulous attention to detail and are months and sometimes years in the making. We are proud that when our reports are released, they regularly make headline news. Our undercover films are also increasingly making waves. Sarawak: Inside Malaysia's Shadow State, which exposed 30 years of corruption and illegality, had more than 1.3 million views online.

But exposure is not enough: our goal has always been to achieve system-wide change that will starve corrupt dictators and warlords of looted funds, stop brutal resource-driven conflicts, and protect the planet’s natural assets for the benefit of all.

Peru: Children stand on logsTo achieve our goals, we use our hard-hitting reports and investigations to drive strategic advocacy by targeting decision-makers, campaigning to change laws, demanding accountability from political leaders and justice for perpetrators of crime and human rights violations.

We often work in formal and informal partnerships and coalitions with individual allies and like-minded organisations in Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia.

Together we will continue to expose the shadow systems that enable corruption and conflict, and lift the resource curse that condemns millions of people to lives of poverty and violence.