September; AMNESTY

2 Aug

This month, Amnesty International a non-for-profit organisation is setting out to raise awareness and money to improve human rights around the globe through an even called AmnesTea. Anybody can be involved, including this family of six in Ireland who opened up their garden to visitors and collected money for Amnesty International Ireland.

“Human rights recognise the inherent value of each person, regardless of background, where we live, what we look like, what we think or what we believe.”

What are human rights?
As the population increases so is wealth inequality leading to reduced healthcare, education and social rights for people around the globe. People born in developing countries are currently the most vulnerable, however, not isolated. Within Australia, a range of human rights violations occur with the an article from The Stringer highlighting wealth disparity.

The treatment of asylum seekers is also a common rights concern shared by Australians, with reports of asylum seekers suffering from isolation and abuse with minimal financial and medical support. The Age reported an asylum seeker on Manus Island, who set himself on fire after alleged being denied health treatment. This unfortunately is a global trend that has led to asylum seekers self-harming.

With so many different human rights violations there is a lot to think about. Former US, President Jimmy Carter delivered a TEDtalk on what he felt the greatest violations are. This talk despite its difficult to swallow information provides a glimmer of hope about how we can change our behaviours to help others.

If you would like more information about global human rights issues please read this article, Reinvigorating Human Rights for the Twenty-First Century, which discusses a handful of human rights violations and how we can fix these.

Are you contributing to human rights violation?
Unfortunately, yes we all are contributing to human rights violations. It could be simply the brand of clothing, coffee, chocolate or food that we purchase unknowingly. This article from Science Daily, talks about human slavery within the commercial fishing industry and the lead on effects this has for local communities.

You can use the popular website, Slavery Footprint to identify and estimate your contribution to unsustainable industries is. Within this site you will answer questions about your lifestyle and consumer behaviours. The results you receive, like mine, may shock you at first but also hopefully empower you to make a positive change and know you are in control of what you purchase.

For information about sustainable brands, visit Fairtradeyou hold the power.

What can we do to make a change?
Consumers hold all the power! Purchasing power!!!!
In 2016, sustainable investments were a massive 20 trillion dollar industry. These are investments into renewable energies and sustainable industries providing fair wages and safe working conditions for workers. You can add to this by ensuring your super and other large corporations invest in sustainability.

Audrey Choi discusses in an incredible TEDTalk how we can maintain financial stability whilst making a positive impact by investing your money in ethically conscience, sustainable companies.

If you’re interested, there are monthly Amnesty meetings held on Hunter St, Newcastle. You can find out about the group and events via Facebook.

Other online tools including Global Citizen help raise awareness of issues whilst giving you the opportunity to voice your opinions and take action. It is important in an ever changing world to not remain naïve about human degradation and to make a change were we can.

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