Scotland: Scottish pupils challenge apathy accusations

Young people from around Scotland debate human rights issues at Amnesty International Conference.

150 school pupils will gather on Tuesday 17th July at St Aloysius' College, Glasgow,
for the Amnesty International Scotland Youth Conference, demonstrating that far from
being apathetic, young people are keen to debate political and human rights issues and
learn how to campaign effectively.

Keynote speaker, Asif Mohammed Naureen, will talk about the security situation in
Afghanistan, the obstacles to building a human rights culture there, and the problems of
repatriating Afghan refugees.

Young campaigners from twenty different schools, many of whom are members of
Amnesty International, will use the occasion to get more informed about Afghanistan,
and to build on their campaigning skills in order to see what they can do to help.
The conference includes a variety of workshops on other human rights issues, such as
the death penalty, the Arms, street Children's rights and torture. Young people will also be
able to take part in a variety of hands-on skills based workshops, including working
with the media, making posters, and using drama for political change.

Scottish Campaigner Claire Duncanson said:

"Amnesty's Youth Conference gives young people the chance to debate issues
of real importance, such as the Arms and the human rights implications
of war on Iraq. We've had interest from twice as many schools as last year,
indicating how keen young people are to discuss these issues, and to get
involved in campaigning for an end to human rights abuses around the world."

Teachers also are showing increased interest in events such as this, due to the
increasing importance of Education for Citizenship one of the Scottish
Executive's National Priorities for Education. Events such as Amnesty's Youth
Conference help schools reach the goal of Education for Citizenship: enabling
young people to develop the capacity for thoughtful and responsible participation
in political, economic, social and cultural life.

Notes for Editors:
1. The conference is being hosted by the Amnesty International Group at St Aloysius'
College, Glasgow.
2. It takes place on Tuesday 17th June, 03, from 1-4pm and the keynote speech is at
1.15-1.45. Program for the day available on request. Media are welcome at any point
during the day.
3. Teachers, speakers and Amnesty International UK representatives will be available
for comment on the day.
4. Participating schools include:
St Aloysius' College, Glasgow
Drummond High School, Edinburgh
Mearns Castle High School
Clydebank High School
Glasgow Academy
St Andrew's Academy, Paisley
Hillhead High, Glasgow
Chirnside Primary, Berwickshire
Lenzie Academy
Stewarton Academy
St Maurice's High School, Cumbernauld
Our Lady's High, Cumbernauld
Knox Academy, Haddington

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