Amnesty AGM Report

We had an interesting weekend at the Amnesty AGM arguing, debating & learning.

There was a riveting discussion on the Human Rights Act, with heartbreaking examples of how it worked from Age UK & The Children's Society.  We got a glimpse of future Amnesty campaigns & also activity currently under-way.  Most inspiring of all was meeting Amnesty activists from all over the country & even a few from abroad.

Below is a summary of the resolutions passed at the AGM. These are simple notes and we can discuss them in more detail at our next meeting on 11th May.

Governance Resolutions

These dealt with bringing Amnesty up to date with current government legislation. Areas included removing gendered terminology, clarifying the decision making process for removing a director, and allowing certain committees to co-opt members. The most interesting resolution calls for a comprehensive review of Amnesty’s constitution. All resolutions were passed overwhelmingly.  

International Resolutions

1. Calling on AIUK to use its influence during the development of the ongoing strategic goals in order to balance ‘new’ and ‘signature’ issues and a more explicit connection between economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. Passed overwhelmingly.

2. AIUK to continue to seek opportunities to work with trade unions, and to use its influence to focus the international movement on economic and economic equality rights. Passed overwhelmingly. 

3. Abortion. This motion requires AIUK to survey its members regarding their views on Amnesty’s current stance on abortion. That is all. There is nothing in the motion about actually changing our stance. The amendment our group requested requiring the survey results to be brought back to next year’s AGM was voted in. Passed narrowly.

4. Calling on AIUK to take action on human rights abuses in Guatemala. Passed overwhelmingly.

5. Calling on AIUK to defend imprisoned trade unionists in Colombia. Passed overwhelmingly.

UK Resolutions

1. Seeking to raise awareness of the Justice and Security Act 2013 and the need to have a judge led inquiry into UK involvement in rendition and torture. Passed overwhelmingly.

2. Campaigning on human rights issues for asylum seekers kept in UK detention including regarding Detention Fast Track and greater judicial oversight. Passed overwhelmingly.

3. Calling for a campaign against anti-Semitism in the UK. Debated vigorously and the only resolution from the weekend not to be passed.

4. To research wrongful immigration detention in the UK and impact of immigration legislation on victims of torture and trafficking.

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