If you have been following the blog for a while now, you might have noticed that we like to look at Human Rights issues, especially when interviewing authors. Human Rights are part of the British law, which means that our rights as human beings are protected, and anyone who abuses those rights are punished. Many people around the world do not have these rights protected, which means that suffering and unnecessary violations are part of everyday life.
What’s on – Amnesty International06/05/2015
Amnesty International is an organisation that campaigns for a world where human rights are enjoyed by everyone, and is a global movement of over 7 million people. They fight worldwide to expose situations where human rights have been violated, using facts to open eyes to what is happening in day to day life. By influencing governments and companies, they ensure that promises are kept and international law respected.
“Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.” Peter Benenson, Amnesty International founder.
One element that Amnesty International uses to show the world the truth about human rights abuses are case studies. They take the stories of people that they have worked with to expose situations, causing millions of supporters to campaign for change and stand up for our human rights.
Millions of people around the world still don’t have the protection needed to stop their lives from being made to seem worthless, and prevent a new generation of abused children coming into adulthood. In the world today, there is an estimated 150 million children (aged 5-14) engaged in child labour according to the UN, as well as 250,000 children forced into armed services.
Without Amnesty, we could be facing a not so distant future where our rights have been stripped and we are left in an all too real dystopian society. So many YA dystopias look to the abuse of human rights as inspiration as they are issues happening daily, which only indicates how serious and terrifying a world without human rights could (and would) be. We need to look at reality to be able to create our own versions of the future, but let’s not let our world become the dystopia we escape to in the books we read, let it be just that – an imaginary world that we can only read about, not live in.
So what can you do to help?
Amnesty International has its own campaign where ordinary people can write letters on behalf of victims of human rights abuses. These letters put pressure onto those in power and has lead to the stopping of torture, death sentences being reduced to less extreme punishments, prisoners being released and the investigation into unexplained disappearances. Any type of letter is valuable, whether that be a short note to an MP or a case study of someone you know – everything counts towards preventing a dystopia from arising.
Visit Amnesty International today to see exactly what you could do to help and make sure to share the work that they are doing and encourage others to take action.