Edition 1

Page 1


VOL. 01 October 2013



Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013




Editor’s letter Pg.5

Creative Activism: ARTillery Pg.10-11

University Group Network - Get involved! Pg.8

Activist Portal Pg.11

Amnesty After Hours Pg.9

Feature article: Consumer Science Pg.12-13

School’s Network Pg.9

Urgent Action Pg.14-15

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

CONSUMER CREATIVE CONSCIENCE ACTIVISM Global human rights and your shopping basket

‘Use art as your ARTillery’

© Janek Koza 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Janek Koza http://www.fungun.republika.pl/koza/index.html

All copyright material remains the property of the artist to whom copyright is attributed

Case Study: Anti-Death Penalty Pg. 18-19

Success stories: Arms Trade Treaty and Run Melbourne Pg.26-27

ADP Facts Pg. 20-21 Partnerships with UN Youth Pg.27 Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Interview with Nick Jones Pg. 22-23

Book review: The Happiest Refugee Pg.28

Write for Rights Pg.25

Human Rights Films Pg.29

All copyright material remains the property of the artist to whom copyright is attributed.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Mateusz Suda 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Mateusz Suda http://www.mateuszsuda.com

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

© Mateusz Suda 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Mateusz Suda http://www.mateuszsuda.com

All copyright material remains the property of the artist to whom copyright is attributed

EDITOR’S LETTER The Am-Unity team would like to welcome readers to our inaugural edition of Am-Unity; a magazine that will exhibit the passion and the power that is Amnesty youth. Am-Unity is a space to showcase the activism work of Amnesty youth. It will provide all audiences with information and inspiration on Amnesty campaigns, as well as informing readers of other pathways that young people passionate about human rights can pursue. The magazine will offer activists the opportunity to engage with like-minded people and groups. This aims to empower activists and to create a broader network of activism and advocacy, which we hope will promote future partnerships for young activists.


Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people campaigning to protect human rights. Amnesty exists through the dedication and passion of individuals just like you. This first issue arose from two recent Amnesty campaigns, which we feel have a lot of significance for all Australians. The Abolition of the Death Penalty and the Rights of Refugees are two campaigns that activists across Australia have embraced with zeal. The magazine team is a branch of the Victorian University Group Network and our members have combined their diverse skills to develop Am-Unity.


We come from across the Victorian university spectrum; Ellie from International Relations and Policy at the University of Melbourne, Emily from International Relations and Journalism at Deakin University, Lucy from International Relations and Writing at La Trobe and Swinburne Universities and Mileta from Writing at RMIT University. The creation of this magazine over the last several months demonstrates that a common passion for human rights can turn strangers into friends, unite people of all backgrounds and ignite action and change. We are incredibly proud to be a part of the amazing group of activists that are Amnesty youth and we would like to thank everyone who has been a part of this first edition. Young activists are in a unique position. You are fresh, adaptable, passionate and determined. Amnesty youth are already proving the power of social media and technology. The enthusiasm that you bring to every campaign and event is inspiring and remarkable. The opportunities to inspire change are endless. From the Am-Unity team, Ellie, Emily, Lucy and Mileta. If you would like to contribute to Am-Unity in the future, in any way, contact the magazine team at amunitymagazine@gmail.com

artist Janek Koza http://www.fungun.republika.pl/koza/index.html

Our Anti-Death Penalty Issue 2013 front cover was designed by artist Janek Koza from Poland. This image reflects the pain and suffering that individuals encounter on death row. The image is designed to expose you to the brutal reality of the death penalty and aims to encourage you to help. Whether you write a letter, post on social media or create art, undertaking any form of activism to advocate for change will be a positive contribution. The barbwire is symbolic of individuals who can not see their future, the rope around the neck and the gun in the mouth is used as a reference to individuals that do not have a voice, who are helpless, restricted and who do not have the power to stand up for their own rights. ‘Let Us All Unite and Make A Difference Today’.



VOL. 01 October 2013



Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Johnny Yue 2013

Image courtesy of Johnny Yue http://www.johnnyworkerpaints.com

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Join Your University’s Group

GET INVOLVED! The following universities already have dedicated Amnesty groups. Deakin (Burwood) Monash (Clayton) Deaking (Geelong) Monash (Caufield) La Trobe (Bundoora) RMIT (City)

Swinburne (Hawthorne) Victoria (Footscray) Melbourne (Parkville)

If you want to join your university’s group, or if you want to get involved but your university or campus doesn’t have a group yet, contact the Victorian University Group Network: vicuni@amnesty.org.au

Trivia Night with the University Group Network Written by Ellie McDonald The University Group Network ran their first social event for 2013 at the College Lawn Hotel in May. It was a fantastic night of trivia that included a focus on Amnesty International’s Afghan Women’s Rights campaign. The night was complimented by an address from a young Australian born Afghani woman, who spoke about her experience growing up in Australia and shared the difficulties her and her family faced identifying with their Afghani culture outside of Afghanistan. The night was a great success with approximately 60 people from universities across Victoria participating. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet members from different university groups and share in our mutual passion for human rights. Overall, a great first event for Amnesty’s youth volunteers! The University Group Network is based in Collingwood’s Activism Centre and works closely with Amnesty International university groups across the state.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Not at school or university but still want to become an Amnesty activist? Get involved in Amnesty After Hours! Written by Astrid Vala

Amnesty After Hours (AAH) is a brand new group for like-minded individuals who would like to be involved in Amnesty and human rights and aren’t currently part of a university campus or local group. AAH holds monthly meetings and runs great social events such as film nights to raise funds and awareness for Amnesty campaigns. We are always looking for new members, so if you would be interested, particularly if you’re graduating from university in the coming months or looking for networking opportunities please send an email to amnestyafterhours@gmail.com

Chan Nowge

e� g n a h C w No

Human Rights Schools Network for Human Rights For a young person who is passionate about defending human rights, it can be hard to know where to start. Amnesty International’s School Action Groups are perfect for those who want a hands-on approach to social justice. They play a vital role in the organisation by writing letters, sending online actions, organising creative awareness raising activities and fundraising in their communities. Over the past couple of months these groups have been very busy!In early May, over 80 students from eleven Queensland schools gathered at Brisbane State High School for the annual Amnesty Queensland Schools Conference. The one- day conference engaged with youth activists, educating and inspiring them to spread human rights awareness in their local schools and communities. School groups have also been campaigning hard to help protect and stand up for the rights of Afghan women by talking to the rights of Afghan women by talking to family members and teachers and asking them to sign our petition, which has now been signed by 58,000 Australians. Over 150 events supporting this issue have been held nationwide.

We W Cha ant nge

by Emily Williamson

Amnesty also took the campaign to Canberra, meeting with influential parliamentarians, AusAid and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure the Australian Government puts girls and women front-and-centre in its contributions to Afghanistan. Amnesty’s current focus campaign is to promote World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October. Abolishing the death penalty is an important issue for five reasons: 1. Everyone holds a fundamental right to life 2. The death penalty is a violent and inhumane punishment 3. It has been proved that it does not deter crime 4. It is not part of a justice system that reforms criminals 5. It is a punishment that can’t be reversed, and is susceptible to discrimination and errors For more information on how to get involved in the Victorian Schools Network, please email vicschools@amnesty.org.au

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013


‘Use art as your Artillery’ Artillery is an arts-based grassroots volunteer

project run entirely by young people in partnership with Amnesty International. Participants use their creativity to shine a light on the dark side of humanity and inspire us to see the world differently. ARTillery is about young people going to an exhibition or a gig with your favourite local artists but at the same time finding out about issues like poverty, torture, refugees, violence, censorship and indigenous rights.

Artillery in Victoria

Written by Anna from the Victorian Performance Group

How do you go about getting involved with ARTillery in Victoria? We are currently seeking submissions for both the Exhibition and the Film screening, which will be held at Loop Bar in Melbourne. In addition, if you are interested in contributing as an artist or a volunteer and would like some experience working on an arts festival for Amnesty, please email melbourne@artisourartillery.com For more information on ARTillery please go to our website http://www.artisourartillery.com or our Facebook http://www.facebook.com/artillerymelb

What sorts of events are coming up? From November 28th - 6th of December the Amnesty Victoria Performance Group will be running ARTillery Arts Festival in Melbourne http://www.artilleryfestival.com

Upcoming ARTillery Events November/December DIY guerrilla poster workshop lead by local and international street artists Art Exhibition (including photography, live art, installation and video art) Film Screening Poetry Slam and Spoken Word workshop Interactive City Tour by R.A.P.P. (Rebel Artists and Punk Performers)

WE ARE © Janek Koza 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Janek Koza http://www.fungun.republika.pl/koza/index.html

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Create Awareness About The Injustices Of Violence Against Women The last project that the Performance Group worked on was a video for the campaign, One Billion Rising. This was a global campaign that used dance to create awareness about the injustices of violence against women. The video was posted onto Youtube where viewers could sign a petition in support of Afghan Women’s Rights. Click here to view the video http://youtu.be/yBHUt_P-GkE Currently, the campaign I am working on at the m oment is in regards to the plight of asylum seekers under Australia’s current policy.

© Mateusz Suda 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Mateusz Suda http://www.mateuszsuda.com

The group R.A.P.P. is working on a performance to promote action towards a better policy solution.

Never Fear The Activist Portal Is Here!! GET INVOLVED! The Activist Portal was developed because our activists told us they needed a one-stop-shop for tools and materials to make supporting Amnesty’s human rights campaigns as simple and accessible as possible. For all your Amnesty campaigning needs visit the Activist Porta!

What’s on the portal? o o o o o

The latest campaign resources and updates Tools for taking action in your community A place to exchange ideas with other activists Training resources A calendar of key campaigning dates and suggestions for groups

The Activist Portal is part of Amnesty’s Grassroots Project, an initiative which aims to increase our campaign impact by empowering our activists and by growing the human rights movement in Australia. We hope that this site will give activists and groups the tools needed to get more involved in campaigns and to develop campaign plans and tactics that reflect their communities. The current site is a test site, so if you have any suggestions or feedback feel free to send it our way and we will let the developers know! Check it out today! http://bit.ly/15N7qrb

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Consumer Conscience Global human rights and your shopping basket By Sarah Mokrzycki

Just how do our grocery lists affect human rights? When it comes to shopping, the more ethicalsavvy amongst us automatically think of the environmental consequences of our purchases; but the idea of human rights violations as an everyday commodity of the weekly shop is a fairly new concept. In recent years there has been a gradual (some might say painstakingly slow) awareness building up and we are considered, on the whole, to be ‘informed’ about the truth behind our purchases. But how much don’t we know? And how can we become ethical consumers?

It is documented that workers are lured thousands of miles away from home with promises of paid driving work, and coerced to sign contracts with the plantations that surrender basic human rights. Workers are not allowed to choose the work they do, nor are they allowed to leave the plantations without permission duringthe entirety of their contracts. Plantations pay workers below minimum wage, but rather than receiving pay the workers are ‘loaned’ small sums of money per month to cover necessities.

Human rights atrocities have long been established in the clothing industry, and it is something that society largely turns a blind eye to. Some people choose not to think about it, others try to make more ethical choices – a lot of how we act and respond to the issue is dependent on our own situations: for many of us, it’s really hard avoiding those amazing bargains when we’re studying full-time and living off Centrelink. The same goes for food.

And things don’t fare any better in the cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast, where most of the world’s cocoa supply is farmed via child slave labour. Surrounded by poverty, children are forced to work to help support their families – some go willingly; others, it is documented, are abducted by traffickers or ‘sold’ by relatives. Their long days are spent doing dangerous work climbing trees and using machetes to open bean pods. Most of these children will not see their families for years after starting work on the cocoa farms – if ever again.

When we shop, most of us are shopping with a rigid budget in mind. We buy cheap – possibly unethical – food because we can’t afford not to. Except... Maybe we can. Two of the largest contenders in unethical food practices are unsustainable palm oil and cocoa. Palm oil plantations in Indonesia have a bad reputation with many plantation workers are feeling the brunt of this atrocious industry: forced to work – and stay – on the plantations in appalling conditions without adequate food or water access.

Now, here’s our problem as consumers: palm oil is in everything from potato chips to soap, and as it’s often listed as ‘vegetable oil’ a cursory glance at the fine print on almost any packaged food product means panic for the ethical consumer. And what about cocoa? Cookies, cake mixes, chocolate bars – am I really saying we have to give all that up? Good heavens, no. Luckily, there are ways around these ethical nightmares.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

You can help put a stop to forced labour in food production simply by boycotting unethical companies and products, and encouraging others to do the same. Palm oil may be in almost everything, but there are more and more companies using Certified Sustainable Palm oil (or CSPO); others still use ‘vegetable oil’ that’s completely palm oil free. As for cocoa, there are more and more fair-trade options hitting our supermarket shelves, and if fair-trade is in the ‘just how much money do you think I have?’ category, never fear, there are plenty of non fair-trade options that also use sustainable cocoa. Here’s what you do: go to www.ethical.org.auand familiarise yourself with the Ethical Guide. Simply look up the different products you buy to see how they fare – and if they’re not doing so well check out the ones that do; there are always alternatives. My grocery list has been unsustainable palm oil and cocoa free for some years now. I’ve had to say goodbye to some old favourites (farewell, Tim Tims!) and swap others for more ethical options (goodbye ramen, hello Fantastic noodles!) See what I mean? It’s not really so bad – but it does take some getting used to. If you want to be an ethical consumer, remember it takes time, and remember to go easy on yourself.

Making changes to your grocery list may not sound too taxing, but changing habits of a lifetime takes work and discipline. You might fall off the ethical wagon from time to time, but don’t let that deter you. Why not start small? Promise yourself to make a change a month, and slowly start scratching off those unethical items from your grocery list. If we all start making these seemingly small changes, just think what a huge difference we can make. Want to do more? Visit Shop Ethical’s ‘Get Involved’ page to find out how you can make positive changes at homeand in your community http://www.ethical.org.au/get-involved Visit Zoos Victoria’s ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign and check out their ‘Zoopermarket’. There you can view different products and send letters to companies encouraging them to switch to CSPO http://www.zoo.org.au/get-involved/act-forwildlife/dont-palm-us-off If you would like to see your article in the next edition of AmUnity, contact amunitymagazine@gmail.com

GET INVOLVED! Encourage Them To Switch To CSPO Visit Zoos Victoria’s ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign http://www.zoo.org.au/getinvolved/act-for-wildlife/dontpalm-us-off

This article was contributed by a guest author. This article does not necessarily represent the position or opinion of Amnesty International Australia.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

ACT NOW Chiou Ho-shun

Š ARTillery 2013

Image courtesy of ARTillery

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Chiou Ho-shun has been on death row in Taiwan since 1989. He was detained between the end of September and early October in 1988 and charged in connection with two separate crimes: the kidnapping and killing of a young boy, Lu Cheng, and the murder of Ko Hung Yu-lan. He was denied the right to communicate with anyone for the first four months of detention and denied a lawyer during their pre-trial detention. No material evidence, such as a murder weapon, finger prints or the victim’s bodies, has ever been produced. Chiou Ho-shun is Taiwan’s longest detained criminal defendant in its longest running criminal case. The case was described recently by his lawyers as “a stain on our country’s legal [ history ].” He could be executed at any time.

What can you do? 1. Write a letter: Demand that authorities ensure that Chiou Ho- shun

is re-tried in proceedings which comply with international fair

trial standards.

2. Write a letter or solidarity to Chiou Addresses and more information about this case can be found on Amnesty’s Activist Portal: http://bit.ly/GAy1ks

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Johnny Yue 2013

Image courtesy of Johnny Yue http://www.johnnyworkerpaints.com

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Shahn Griffin 2013

artwork courtesy of artist Shahn Griffin

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

“Hakamada Iwao Is One Of Japan’s Longest-Serving Death Row Inmates”

HAKAMADA IAWO Hakamada Iwao is one of Japan’s longest-serving death row inmates. He has been on death row in

Japan since 1968 – convicted after an unfair trial for the murder of a family of four. Hakamada Iwao confessed after 20 days of interrogation by police without a lawyer present, but later retracted his confession saying that he had been beaten and threatened during the interrogations. The case against Hakamada weighs heavily on nonsensical evidence as

Hakamada has spent over four decades in prison. He has sufferedfrom mental illness due to his imprisonment conditions, including solitary confinement. He remains at risk of execution at any time. If Hakamada is executed he will only be informed on the morning of his execution. His family won’t be able to say goodbye to him and will be informed only after his execution has taken place, a standard procedure in Japan.

What can you do?

well as this forced confession. One of the judges who convicted Hakamada Iwao, Kumamoto Norimichi, stated publicly in 2007 that he believed Hakamada was innocent, and that during the trial he had argued over the verdict with the other judges, but was outvoted.

1. 2.

Write a letter of solidarity to Hakamado Iawo. Write to the Japanese Justice Minister, Prime Minister or Prosecutor General.

Addresses and information about letter writing can be found at the Amnesty’s activist Portal: http://bit.ly/1fAmsrc

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

ADP Facts


Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Every day all over the world, men, women and even children are held as prisoners facing execution. The death penalty is cruel, inhumane and degrading. It is a violent punishment that has no place in today’s criminal justice system. It denies individuals their fundamental right- a right to life. With our encouragement, the Australian Government can make a difference. The vigils held across the nation, photos, and signatures collected, will help encourage the Australian Government to advocate against the death penalty.

QUICK FACTS • 21 of 198 countries still use capital punishment • 23 386 people were on death row at the end of 2012. • Amnesty International recorded 682 executions in 21 countries in 2012. • China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the USA were the five biggest executioners in the world.

POSITIVE MOVES IN 2012: • A number of countries who had consistently executed in previous years such as Vietnam – did not carry out death sentences in 2012. • In July, Singapore suspended all executions until new legislation to reduce the use of mandatory death sentences for mostly drug-related crimes could be implemented. • Benin and Mongolia both ratified, and Madagascar signed, a key UN treaty aimed at abolishing the death penalty. • In the USA, only nine states carried out executions, compared to 13 states in 2011. • The number of countries where death sentences were imposed fell from 63 to 58. • Latvia became the 97th country worldwide to abolish the death penalty for all crimes. A total of 140 countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

EMPOWER M ENGAGEME N EMERGENC AmUnity Interview with Nicholas Jones Volunteer Social Worker at ASRC as told to Mileta Rien Nicholas Jones has been a volunteer caseworker for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre since February 2013. He is also finishing off a BA Global (International Studies) at Monash University, and working part-time as a fundraiser for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Nicholas is considering a career in social work. The ASRC is Australia’s largest asylum seeker organisation, running a wide range of programs, from advocacy to emergency relief and community outreach. “In my second year of uni I studied a semester in the UK, and both before and after that was in Berlin because I was learning German at the time. I was looking for work and quickly found that my German wasn’t good enough, so I did another German class and through that I actually got an internship. It was at a small social work firm called Gesellschaft fuer Interkulturelles Zusammenleben which roughly translates as ‘Society for Intercultural Coexistence’. They did lots of different kinds of social work; they worked with unemployed people, they worked with troubled youth.

I got to meet a lot of people through that and just see how an organisation can be built up from the ground. Even in a short time, it was terrific. It was my first exposure to social work. I was already probably interested in vague ideas about working with people who are disadvantaged in the community, but that was definitely a big step, seeing how that could be done in practice. I heard about [the ASRC] from someone at uni and then I just went online. They have volunteer information evenings once every three months; I went along to that and that’s how you get on the mailing list for positions, so I then applied and was lucky enough to get an interview. The ultimate goal is to empower asylum seekers and refugees to be able to live in Australia without the organisation’s support. They’re not on a level playing field at the moment, and we’re doing our best to rectify that through services.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

MENT, NT AND Y SERVICES We’re hoping in the long term to boost community relations as well. But the reality is that emergency intervention at the moment is taking up a lot of our time as caseworkers because we’re seeing people in worse conditions coming to us. And that’s related to the broader politics.

Because the challenges facing some of my clients are so great and immediate, what Kevin Rudd is saying or what Tony Abbot’s saying is just so irrelevant to their lives. We’re talking about things like impending homelessness, major mental health issues, no income, these are very serious issues facing them. It’s the lack of access to work opportunities, the ongoing wait through the legal process which has a terrible toll on their mental health. The uncertainty. I look at the [social worker] role as: you’re a link between them and other services, and an ongoing support. A lot of the time they need legal assistanceso we try and make sure they can access legal advice. Housing options – a lot of people have no income and are not allowed to work, so sometimes crisis housing occurs. Health and doctors, counselling, and just more general social and community engagement. I always say, try not to listen to the politicians because they don’t represent the truth on the ground which is that there are a lot of people who do support the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees, like anybody else who is in need, and that side of the story is never portrayed. I see it every day when I go to ASRC.

There’s over 800 volunteers and all their information evenings this year have set a record for the number of people, so there’s a huge level of support. It’s very frustrating watching the news when every single day both sides of politics are not saying the truth. We’ve just got to keep working at it and eventually it will change.

There’s so many different things you can do, and that’s because asylum seekers are in need of aid with so many different things. There’s legal- so there are a lot of law students there or former lawyers- health, food bank, material aid, community, campaigning, there’s really such a range and another great thing about it is that when you are a volunteer there you get to be around volunteers of all ages and skill sets so it’s a huge asset to any career as well. There’s really so much you can do, anybody can be a volunteer and help asylum seekers and refugees.” To learn more about how you can contribute to ASRC, go to: http://www.asrc.org.au/get-involved/ If you’d like to attend the next ASRC information session, please contact them ASAP as these fill up very quickly!


Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Johnny Yue 2013

Image courtesy of Johnny Yue http://www.johnnyworkerpaints.com

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

DO THE WRITE THING: Defend People Facing Persecution by Emily Williamson

Are you passionate about all the injustice in the world? Then put it in writing and be a part of the Write for Rights campaign. Right now, people around the world are being subjected to harassment, wrongful imprisonment and worse by their government, although they’ve committed no crime. People like Gao Zhisheng, one of China’s most respected human rights lawyers, who was harassed, arrested, tortured and humiliated. Or Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi who was harassed and sentenced to six years in prison, leaving her two children behind. People such as this are targeted everyday just for who they are and for their contribution to defending human rights. Amnesty needs you to give these people a voice and demand their freedom, fair treatment and safety. Just by writing a letter you can improve the lives of people and communities at risk by putting the spotlight where it is needed most. You can get involved in Write for Rights in three ways: • get your friends together for your own letter-writing event • attend a public event • write a letter in your own time It’s that easy to make a difference! Visit the website for more information: http://www.amnesty.org.au/write

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

WE DID IT! NEXT STEPS After twenty years of campaigning, millions of petition signatures and letters, thousands of public demonstrations, and countless hours speaking to politicians, we finally have an international Arms Trade Treaty. We should all be proud of being part of this historic moment.

This treaty really does have the power to save millions of lives - and it couldn’t have been possible without you. You are the reason we are able to stand here today and celebrate an achievement that, two decades ago, we only just dared to believe was possible. Thank you for helping make this dream a reality.


Nigeria’s ratification of the landmark global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on Tuesday is a welcome move that should pave the way for more African nations to get behind the treaty, Amnesty International said. “By signing and ratifying the lifesaving Arms Trade Treaty, Nigeria has indicated its willingness to join the global society in ensuring strict control of the international trade in conventional arms,” said Lucy Freeman, Deputy Africa Program Director at Amnesty International. “ As one of the first handful of nations to ratify, we hope that Nigeria will promptly implement the treaty’s provisions at home and play a leading role in encouraging other African states to get behind the treaty.”

In order for the treaty to enter into force (become legally binding to any ratifying countries) it must be ratified by a minimum of 50 countries at both the international and national level.

At the national level this means a country has amended its national laws to comply with the global treaty; at the international level, this means a country commits to following the rules of the treaty.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

UN Youth Round Table

written by Laura Nicholson, School’s Network

It was early on a Saturday morning when around While the morning started out with some awkward twenty, 20 something’s gathered in the city to discuss ice-breakers involving hard-hitting questions about the issues facing the youth-led sector of not for profits. underwear, it ended in round table discussions about strategic planning, volunteer retention in We represented a range of organisations including the organisations, financial stability and how to amplify the It Gets Better Project, Oaktree and UN Youth allowing voice and vision of the youth led sector. for the transfer of ideas and knowledge surrounding not only the challenges of the industry but also the What came out of the day was not only some insightful challenges for us as individuals within it. new ways to approach the challenges faced by youth but also new friendships, a renewed enthusiasm for the The idea behind the network is to connect up young causes we are passionate about and some big plans for people who are passionate about social justice and the future of the sector. give them a space to connect, collaborate and learn from each other while developing partnerships on a larger scale between organisations.

RUNNING FOR RIGHTS Run Melbourne 2013

On the 21stof July a team of energetic and enthusiastic Amnesty volunteers and staff joined more than 19,000 people from across the state at Federation Square for Run Melbourne. Amnesty had people in each of the three events as well as an animated team behind the scenes gathering signatures for the Afghan women’s rights campaign and supporting the runners at the start line. The Amnesty Candle caught much attention dancing through the crowd and the excited team of yellow made Amnesty a strong presence among the dozens of other charities there. The event was successful on many fronts, and most of all it was enormous fun. If you’re a runner, walker orjust want to give it a go, start thinking now about being part of Amnesty’s team in the 2014 Run Melbourne on the 27th July next year, where we hope to be even bigger and even brighter.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

AM-UNITY Book Review:

The Happiest Refugee Anh Do Allen & Unwin, 2010

In 1976, after his father liberated two of his uncles from a communist re-education camp, Anh Do’s extended family fled Vietnam on a rickety, crowded boat. They were twice attacked by pirates before making it to Australia via a Malaysian refugee camp. But he doesn’t dwell on these events in his memoir, The Happiest Refugee, instead focusing on the long journey to prosperity that his family undertook once they arrived in Australia. Although that path was beset by poverty, the eventual breakdown of his parents’ marriage and numerous other problems, Do’s narrative tone is almost relentlessly positive. His warm personality is deeply endearing, and there’s no mistaking the sincerity of his gratitude to ‘this beautiful country that gave us a second chance’.

Mileta Rien

But he’s perhaps a little disingenuous when repeatedly insisting that he’s experienced very little racism in Australia, especially since he comments in passing that he wrote his own screenplay to star in because acting roles were rare for Asians. It wouldn’t be surprising for Do to wish to steer clear of politicising his story in what is basically a rags-to-riches showbiz memoir, except he deliberately draws attention to his origins with the book’s title. And then there’s this on the final page: ‘My parents set off on a boat trip many years ago to provide their children and grandchildren a better life.’ Do doesn’t focus on the politics of asylum seeker policy, but by writing this highly successful book he has helped to humanise boat people for a mainstream audience. He can add this achievement to the many contributions he’s made to Australian society.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013


Friday Film Night

After a hard week at uni, school or work, we don’t all want to sit down to watch a gritty and confronting human rights documentary. That doesn’t mean that Friday Film Night can’t get your mind and your morals ticking. Here are a list of ten human rights films to slot between you chick flick and spy thriller.

1. The Help (2011)

6. Take the Lead (2006)

2. Black Gold (2011)

7. Battle in Seattle (2007)

3. I Am Sam (2001)

8. Milk (2008)

4. The Kite Runner (2007)

9. The Hunger Games (2012)

5. Pray the Devil Back to Hell (2008)

10. And one for the cinema... The Book Thief (November 15, 2013)

An uplifting and inspiring film set in southern America at the birth of the civil rights movement which follows the unlikely friendship of three courageous women who go head to head with racism and prejudice. – A powerful story of greed, murder and corruption in the murky waters of the volatile oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. An intense story about one man with a developmental disability taking on the American legal system and societal prejudice to keep custody of his seven year old daughter. A riveting tale set in Afghanistan that follows two young boys and their friendship through the trials and tribulations of adolescence, ethnic conflict, war and social stigma. An uplifting documentary about the women of Liberia, who refused to accept the violence and civil war destroying their country.

A film based on a true story which explores the challenges and prejudice facing underprivileged youth in America.

A film about the 1999 historic protests against the World Trade Organization and the widening of the socioeconomic gap. A biographical film of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, which chronicles Milk’s battle in 1970s California for the rights of homosexuals.

A film that introduces the confronting and thought provoking issues of poverty, inequality and oppression to teenagers and young adults.

Based on the famous novel, The Book Thief follows a young girl through World War 2 Germany as she finds solace from the war and the horrors around her by stealing books and sharing them with others.

Am-Unity Magazine 1st Issue 2013

Š Mateusz Suda 2013 artwork courtesy of artist Mateusz Suda http://www.mateuszsuda.com


Future submissions and contact amunitymagazine@gmail.com