Amnesty International: Write for Rights Campaign 2018

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty International’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked across a two-month period. In 2017, Amnesty supporters – students, teachers, cleaners, market stallholders, and so many more – took an unprecedented 5.5 million actions as part of Write for Rights. Among them were carefully crafted letters, drawings and postcards. Their collective impact was undeniable. As a result, Amnesty International have chosen 12 deserving case studies to support again for this year’s campaign and we have shared this with Y7-11 in form time, through their awareness day activities and having an Amnesty speaker coming in to tell the students more about in their assemblies for the last week.

Just some of the names in the 2018 case study which students at OPGS have been writing messages of solidarity and letters to advocate change to include:

Geraldine Chacón who was wrongfully imprisoned without sentence in Venezuela for 4 months for teaching human rights. She now cannot leave the country and has to report to the court every 30 days yet has not done anything wrong. Students have been writing on her behalf in an effort to keep her out of jail and from being wrongfully detained for a second time.

Atena Daemi, the anti-death penalty activist, who was jailed for handing out leaflets in Iran. She was taking part in peaceful protest to try to stop the death penalty in her country and has since been beaten, pepper sprayed and kept in solitary confinement for her actions in defence of human rights, which includes our right to life. Students have been writing to those in charge with the ambition to have her freed from prison.

Nonhle Mbuthuma, who was threatened for defending her land in South Africa, from a commercial company looking to use it for mining. Nonhle’s colleague who was helping her has been killed and she herself fears for her life.

They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters; students should feel enabled to become actively involved in the campaign through petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards.

This year, as you can see with some of the examples outlined above, we honour some of the millions of women rising against injustice – and paying a heavy price as a consequence. Your words really can change their lives.

Every year, real change happens because of your letters and actions. Write a letter, change a life. Join us and Oakwood Park’s Amnesty International Group by getting in touch with Miss Marchant or the Sixth Form team hoping to expand the number of activist involved in the New Year.