Minutes of Group Meeting November 10th 2014

Attending:

Carolyn, Paul, Claudia, Urko, Paddy, Helen, Beatrice, Leo, Pearse, Sarah, Carmel

Apologies:

Liz, Heiko

October minutes:

Paul advised October minutes has been sent to the group. No issues or queries regarding the minutes.

Group Casefile:

Claudia updated the group on Jacqueline Montanez. Leo queried some of the AI action of the case. Leo to email Claudia his queries & Claudia will forward to the country co-ordinator to clarify.

The group signed letters asking the Governor of Illinois for clemency.

Action of the Month:

Convention on the Rights of the Child. The group signed petitions urging the USA to ratify this treaty which has been ratified by nearly every other country in the world. The group also wrote letters to the US Ambassador in the UK .

Fundraising:

It was decided to have a fundraising pub quiz early 2015. Probably 1st Wednesday in March.  Leo will contact the Sunflower café to book a room. Helen suggested  we have music at the quiz. This was a popular suggestion. Further details to follow.

Claudia suggested the group hold an Amnestea event. Possibly tie this in with Refugee Week, with other NGOs to combine fundraising & networking.

Syria:

Paul advised AI wants to do more work on Syrian refugees. AI wants some local councils to put pressure on the government to provide resources for the settlement of refugees. AI has suggested working with a number of local groups, including Belfast, on this to encourage councillors to support this work. It was recognised that differences in the political structure of NI, such as devolved government, does mean if the group agreed to work on this we would face different challenges compared to English local groups. Another issue  is the current restructuring of local councils. This will be discussed further  at future meetings.

Write for Rights:

This will be Saturday 13th December 11am-3pm at The Black Box. Helen advised it’s being promoted as a family friendly event & Beatrice advised there would be cases suitable for children aged 8 & over.  Helen will forward the Human Rights Festival brochure to Paul & Beatrice to forward to the group. The group felt Helen’s work on this in including the event in the Human Rights Festival brochure & organising that it is held in The Black Box will do a lot to raise the profile of the event.

West & Central Africa:

Claudia advised that Rona Keen, one of the regions country co-ordinators, has asked if we’d like to continue working on the region. Claudia suggested we become involved as a “medium tier” group ie we get an action on the region every 3 months. The group agreed to this.

Regional Rep:

Paul advised the closing date to apply for the vacant Regional Rep role is 17th December. Beatrice will email the information to the group.

Group finances:

Pearse briefly updated the group on it’s finances. He advised the group has £3000 in funds & has to decide the amount it will send to AIUK by the end of the year.  This will be discussed further.

Instead of a December meeting  the group will be going out for a meal. Details to follow.

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