Presentation on theme: "1 Amnesty International The Student Friendly Version."— Presentation transcript:
1 Amnesty International The Student Friendly Version
2 Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand The global voice of human rights
Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand (AIANZ) is part of a worldwide movement of more than 2.2 million people who contribute their time, money and expertise to the promotion of human rights. Amnesty members campaign against some of the most horrific violations of those rights, such as torture, killings, and imprisonment for who people are or what they believe. What is Amnesty International? Amnesty has over 10,000 supporters in New Zealand, including over 100 school groups, 5 University groups and 14 Youth groups
Amnestys vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. Amnesty Members from Auckland University What is Amnesty International?
How Does Amnesty Work? Amnesty's international network of volunteer members and professional staff generate thousands of appeals on behalf of individuals and communities at risk. These appeals often take the form of letters, faxes and s sent to governments and political groups responsible for abusing these individuals and communities human rights. Amnesty also holds protests and vigils in support of human rights We also feed a constant stream of information to the media, governments, the United Nations and others, urging them to take action where human rights abuses are occurring.
Does Amnesty Work? In over 30-40% of Urgent Action cases Amnesty undertakes a difference is made. This can be as dramatic as preventing an individual from being stoned to death, to the conditions for a prisoner-of-conscience improving. We know we make a difference because the people we have been trying to help tell us that our pressure has had an effect. Many people say that support from AI members gives them hope and strength.
Good News Stories Amina is a Nigerian woman who was sentenced to be stoned to death under Sharia law for having a baby out of wedlock Amnesty members campaigned on her behalf by writing letters and s, signing petitions and lobbying the Nigerian government Due to public pressure, Aminas conviction was overturned by the Sharia Court of Appeal Amina with her lawyer She was released from custody on the 25 th September 2003, and now lives in Nigeria with her daughter. NIGERIA - Amina Lawal
Good News Stories Thank God, I am well, but only God who created us knows when I will come back. Murat Kurnaz wrote these words to his family from Guantánamo in March His dreams of returning home to Germany took more than four years to realise. GERMANY/GUANTANAMO - Murat Kurnaz released Murat's mother, Rabiye Kurnaz, dedicated these past years to campaigning for her eldest sons release. It was only after intense lobbying from his family, lawyers and AI members around the world, that the German authorities began to act on his behalf, finally paving the way for his return. In a statement, his lawyer said: "He is now again in the circle of his family. Their joy at embracing their lost son again is indescribable. Released from Guantánamo on 24 August 2006, Murat Kurnaz had been held for four years and eight months without charge or trial.
9 Amnesty Internationals Beginnings
How did Amnesty begin? In 1960, two Portuguese students raised their glasses to freedom in a Lisbon café. + To Freedom! = Because of this innocent act they were arrested and sentenced to seven years in jail.
How did Amnesty begin? A British lawyer named Peter Benenson read about this in his morning paper and decided to take action. On 28 May 1961, in an article in the British newspaper The Observer, he asked members of the public to demand the release of prisoners of conscience. Thousands of people, from London to Uruguay, offered their help and the human rights campaigning movement Amnesty International was born!
Peter Benenson Mr Benenson started as a student described by his college school principal as having revolutionary tendencies. Peter died on 25 February 2005 He continued to support human rights throughout his life, especially the human rights of student activists. He was a student activist who began his activism days protesting about the poor quality of food at his school. "The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prisons, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who disappeared. Thats what the candle is for."
Prisoners of Conscience Amnesty works on behalf of prisoners of conscience – people who are imprisoned for their beliefs, who they are and what they say Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy prime minister of Malaysia, released in 2002 General Gallardo, reunited with his family after 8 years imprisonment in Mexico They are often human rights defenders They have never advocated or practiced violence
The Death Penalty Amnesty calls for the abolition of the death penalty in all cases Today over half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice It does not deter crime more effectively than other punishments. It can be inflicted on the innocent. It is irreversible. It violates the right to life. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. However places like China, Iran, Viet Nam and the USA still practice the death penalty.
Torture Torture or any other treatment that is cruel, inhuman or degrading, is both immoral and illegal Amnesty International opposes torture under all circumstances In the War on Terror, governments not only used torture and ill- treatment, they made the case that this is justifiable and necessary Torture is widely condemned and prohibited by the UN Convention Against Torture, but is still widespread Were it not for Amnesty International … I think we would have suffered a fate worse than mere torture... we could even have been killed" Gabriel Shumba, Zimbabwean torture survivor
Stop Violence Against Women Violence Against Women is the greatest human rights scandal of our times. Up to 70% of female murder victims are killed by their male partners. About 120 million girls worldwide are genitally mutilated. 1 in 3 women have been beaten, coerced or otherwise abused in their lifetime. In New Zealand one woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every 5 weeks.
Stop Violence Against Women In the home and in the community, in times of war and peace, millions of women and girls, every year, are beaten, raped, mutilated and killed with their perpetrators going unpunished. María Isabel Veliz Franco was abducted and murdered in Gutemala in December year old Fatima (not her real name) shot in the legs by her husband in Iraq in 2003 In 2006 thousands of women and girls all over New Zealand were subjected to severe physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Violence against women should never be tolerated. Until we as New Zealanders realize the extent of this problem, thousands more women and girls will be subjected to violence in our country.
Stop Violence Against Women Support the numerous New Zealand organizations working to end domestic violence against women. How can I take action? Marist Colleges pink bake sale in support of womens rights Be part of Amnestys Stop Violence Against Women campaign Organise an event to mark International Womens Day on 8 March, or take part in Amnestys 16 Days of Activism beginning on 25 November.
Crisis campaigning in Sudan "The Janjawid entered the school and caught some girls and raped them in the classrooms. I was raped by four men inside the school. When they left they told us they would take care of all of us black people and clean Darfur for good." Testimony of a schoolgirl from Tawila, North Darfur, Sudan, February Today, she is looking after the baby she had as a result of the attack.
Crisis campaigning in Sudan In 2003, Amnesty International alerted the world to the human rights crisis unfolding in the Darfur region of Sudan. The response of the international community was silence. We continued to speak out. In 2005 the UN Security Council finally recognized that war crimes and crimes against humanity were being committed in Darfur. Yet the killings, rapes and forced displacements continue today, and have spread to neighbouring Chad. An injured Sudanese refugee
Crisis campaigning in Sudan Since 2003: Thousands of women and girls have been raped 2 million people have been forced to flee from their homes 200,000 refugees are camped in Chad An unknown number of civilians have been killed The vast majority of these abuses have been committed by Janjawid militia groups armed and funded by the Sudanese government AIUK members demonstrate in support of sending UN Peacekeepers to Darfur
Child Soldiers Amnesty is a member of the Coalition Against the Use of Child Soldiers This coalition works to: prevent the recruitment of child soldiers secure their demobilisation ensure their rehabilitation and reintegration into society Amnesty continues to campaign on behalf of child soldiers, providing our student groups with information and actions in ACTIVE, our termly student newsletter, and giving them the opportunity to join the Childrens Rights Network. Despite progress achieved over the last decade, large numbers of children continue to be exploited in war and placed in the line of fire.
Child Soldiers There are more than 250,000 child soldiers in the world today These children are forced to fight in armed conflict They can be as young as 5 years old They often live in harsh conditions and are frequently beaten and tortured As part of their initiation, children are often required to kill a member of their family or community Girl soldiers are frequently raped and abused at the hands of their male captors
How can we make a difference?
Making a Difference 1.Stay informed! - Check Amnestys website for up to date and accurate information about human rights abuses happening across the globe. - Keep up to date about social injustices occurring in New Zealand and around the world. 2.Take action! - Sign an online petition on our website - Join Amnesty with a $20 annual membership - Start a school group or a Freedom Challenge team at your school! - Write a letter using the Flame or Active for cases Petition signing at Diocesan Girls
What do Amnesty school groups do? Amnesty NZ has over 100 school groups, from Auckland to Invercargill! Our school groups usually meet weekly or fortnightly, often getting together more frequently before events such as Freedom Challenge They take action for human rights often by facilitating group letter writing, petition signing, or taking action on the Amnesty International website Marist College students completing an online Urgent Action Senior College letter writing
What do Amnesty school groups do? School groups can also become part of the Urgent Action Network, Freedom Writers Network, and Childrens Rights Network by ticking the appropriate boxes on their registration form. Groups organise fundraising events such as debates, guest speakers and movie showings. Amnesty also requests a $20 minimum annual membership fee, or funds from participation in Freedom Challenge… Roncalli College fundraising netball match TV celebrity Bomber Bradbury addresses Amnesty students at Mt Albert Grammar
FREEDOM CHALLENGE What is the Freedom Challenge? Freedom Challenge is a team challenge for Amnesty school and youth groups in New Zealand to take action for human rights around the world. It takes place every year in early August. How does it work? Each team stages an event or events to highlight a pressing human rights issue. The aims are to: Raise awareness of the issue in your school or community Inspire others to take direct action of some kind (such as signing a petition) Raise money for Amnesty's work. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND Baradene College student cages herself in support of Freedom Challenge
In 2005 our Freedom Challenge teams took part in Amnestys Control Arms campaign by collecting photographs and signatures for the Million Faces Petition. The petition called for the creation of an Arms Trade Treaty to better regulate the international legal trade of small arms, which are responsible for the death of one person every minute (see for more information). Our schools collected over 4000 faces – more than half of NZs total at that time. In November 2006, 139 governments voted in favour of a UN resolution to start work towards an Arms Trade Treaty!! FREEDOM CHALLENGE 05 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND
In 2006 our Freedom Challenge teams campaigned on behalf of Human Rights Defenders: The Real Superheroes. FREEDOM CHALLENGE 06 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND Human Rights Defenders The Real Superheroes Superheroes at Roncalli College Aorere College students gagged and blindfolded They held events ranging from speed-dating to superhero fun runs in support of Amnestys three defenders, got HEAPS of media coverage, and raised over $29,000 in the process!
In 2007 Freedom Challenge focused on the Irrepressible Internet Repression campaign. Our teams worked on behalf of two prisoners of conscience – a Chinese journalist imprisoned for 10 years for sending an and an Egyptian student imprisoned for writing a blog criticising his government. They also collected over 50 signed gumboots to send to Yahoo! in California as part of the Boo Yahoo! campaign, asking it to reboot its policies on repression of freedom of speech on the internet. FREEDOM CHALLENGE 07 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL NEW ZEALAND Awatapu College gumboot signing Marist College teacher boot camp
Last years FC theme was human rights in China and the Beijing Olympics. This campaign was part of a global campaign run by Amnesty before and during the Olympics to highlight the human rights abuses occurring in China. Amnesty International has broad human rights concerns in China, but the Beijing Olympics campaign focused on four clear issues: - the death penalty - detention, torture and the lack of fair trials in China - repression of human rights defenders - censorship of the internet, media and journalists FREEDOM CHALLENGE 08 Dont play games with human rights
What can Amnesty do for you? Amnesty International provides you with the opportunity to take part in real human rights campaigning. Whether you become a member of an Amnesty school group, Freedom Challenge team, or take action online, you will be making a real difference in ensuring that all human rights are enjoyed by all people. McAuley High School Students
Amnesty International: It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Contacts Page Margaret Taylor Activism Support Manager Ph Youth Intern Yasmine Chilmeran Freedom Challenge Coordinator Ph Amnesty International Box 5300 Wellesley St Auckland Ph 0800 AMNESTY Fax