Amnesty International launches its Youth Awards 2015

  • The TES is official partner of Amnesty Youth Awards
  • SOAS is the first university to sponsor Awards 

Amnesty International encourages all young people across the UK to celebrate their creativity in human rights writing, photography, campaigning, fundraising, singing and song-writing by entering its 2015 Youth Awards, which opens today (8 Sept). 

Young people, aged from 7 to 19 years old, can submit entries for any of the five categories – songwriter or performer; photographer, fundraiser, campaigner or reporter – highlighting a human rights issue of their choice. 

Amnesty International’s Youth Awards Project Manager Alice Edwards said: 

“Young people across the UK are incredibly creative, innovative and resourceful.  Here at Amnesty we regularly meet, and are motivated by, such creative minds which can turn a somewhat tricky or serious human rights subject matter into an inspiring song or photograph, making it accessible to a much larger audience. 

“We’re always overwhelmed by the extraordinary talent and passion of school children who cleverly communicate their human rights story through the entries they submit for these awards.  We are also greatly inspired by the teachers who support them.” 

For the first time this year Amnesty’s Youth Awards is being run in partnership with the Times Educational Supplement (TES) and sponsored by SOAS, University of London and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.  

Editor of the Times Educational Supplement Ann Mroz said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Amnesty International for this year’s awards. Every child should fully understand human rights and be able to recognise when they are being denied. 

“These awards provide a fantastic opportunity for teachers to ensure this happens through five curriculum-linked categories and a comprehensive collection of Amnesty classroom resources.”

Marva De La Coudray, Head of Widening Participation at SOAS, said: 

“SOAS are proud to be the first ever university to sponsor these awards. The Amnesty Youth Awards are a great way to get young people thinking creatively about important world issues – the sort of issues and debates we encourage our students to embrace here at SOAS. The sponsorship further evidences our commitment to human rights and supporting young people. We believe you are never too young to start grappling with big ideas."

The Youth Awards – which originally began as the Young Human Rights Reporter Award in 2010 – attracts some of the best in the creative industries to appraise the work submitted to the competition. Previous judges have included the Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, the Specials’ musician Jerry Dammers and the Guardian’s investigative reporter, Ian Cobain. 

Winners of the Awards receive a personalised Amnesty Youth Award and an invite to a stylish ceremony hosted at Amnesty International’s headquarters in Shoreditch – which has previously been hosted by BBC News’ Ellie Crissell and Radio 1Xtra’s Nick Bright.

Alice Edwards added:

“We’re really looking forward to receiving the same high calibre and diverse range of entries that we’ve had in previous years.  We want to hear from young people from all schools in the UK.” 

Notes to the Editor

Amnesty will announce more about the Youth Awards 2015 at the V&A museum’s ‘Teacher Twilight’ from 5.45pm on Friday 12 September.

SOAS, University of London is among the world’s elite university institutions, ranked sixth in the UK and 26th in the world and for arts and humanities (Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2013-2014), fourth in London overall (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014, Guardian University Guide 2014) and 32nd in the world for Modern Languages (QS World University Rankings 2014).  SOAS provides resources and knowledge about Asia, Africa and the Middle East to equip people for a global economy and a multicultural world.

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