Tuesday 4th March: International Women’s Week and the Scottish Students’ Conference

Hey everyone,

It’s going to be a very busy week! If you missed the last meeting, read Ellen’s blog about the CFCI.

Thanks to all of you who responded to the survey on the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Both the committee and sub-committee met last week to discuss the feedback, which has also been passed on to Billy Kirkwood as he is involved in organising the line-up. As soon as we hear back from Billy, I will forward you our response.

We have had an email from AIUK:

Re. Global policy consultation on sex work

‘As you may know, Amnesty’s International Secretariat is proposing to adopt a global policy on sex work. The global Amnesty movement is at the beginning of an extensive consultation process and is seeking views from its members around the world.’

Please see the end of this newsletter for more info.

Next meeting: Tuesday 4th March, 5pm in the QMU

International Women’s Week! 3rd – 9th March

There are lots of events happening this week, and you can find out what’s happening when by checking out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/guiww2014/info

Women’s Rights Talk 5pm

For our meeting, we have invited a guest speaker, Elena Soper to come and talk to us.  Elena is a qualified Amnesty speaker, who focuses on women’s rights, so will give a presentation on women’s rights in Afghanistan, which has been one of AIUK’s main campaigns this year.

Workshop 6pm

After Elena’s presentation, I shall deliver a workshop on the role of the media in the socialisation of men, women and younger girls. The workshop will look specifically at the impact of magazines on perceptions of women and womanhood.

Feel free to invite friends to the meeting! https://www.facebook.com/events/228853113967214/

Thursday 6th: Rape Crisis Scotland Event, 4pm, Room 507, Boyd Orr

Rape Crisis Scotland are screening ‘Consent’, a film revealing about people’s prejudices and the role these can play in the context of rape trials. A discussion will follow and we will hopefully reach some conclusions as to how to tackle the issue.

Again, please invite anyone else who might be interested in attending https://www.facebook.com/events/530050043775582/


Friday 7th: The Vagina Monologues!

Last year’s production of the VM was fantastic, and I have no doubt that this year will be just as good if not better, so do come along! https://www.facebook.com/events/259811474201212/?source=1

8th – 9th March: Scottish Students’ Conference

To end the week, Edinburgh University are hosting the Scottish Students Conference on International Women’s Day. Everyone is welcome; here is the event for the agenda.

11th March: ‘Free China: The Courage to Believe’

We are having a film screening for this meeting, with a guest speaker who has escaped China after being imprisoned and tortured for her beliefs. Here’s the event.

The growing number of Falun Gong members is forming a threat to the Chinese government and people seen practicing it are therefore prosecuted, brainwashed and tortured.

Unfortunately, since Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline with a very positive impact on your health often the practitioners are also being used for the illegal organ harvesting market.


GU Amnesty Climbs* Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Numbers have been finalised for our trip to Arran. For those of you who are coming, Maisie will upload a checklist to the fb event so that you know what to take. If you are not coming, please sponsor us!  There will be a Just Giving page created soon, and it would be great to have your support.

12th – 13th April: Amnesty International UK AGM

You must book by tomorrow. All members of AIUK can attend the AGM so let us know if you are interested and we can all go together.

Global Consultaiton on Sex Work Info

Last but not least, as mentioned above we’ve been asked to pass on the following which is a consultation from Amnesty International on a proposed adoption of a policy on sex work. Please read it and if you have views use the attached documents to feed back to AI on this important issue.

A fuller explanation:

As you may know, Amnesty’s International Secretariat is proposing to adopt a global policy on sex work. The global Amnesty movement is at the beginning of an extensive consultation process and is seeking views from its members around the world.

This pack is intended to provide you with more information on the consultation process and the draft policy proposal. It also includes a list of questions to help you explore the issues fully before sending your feedback.

In this pack you will find:

· Guidance notes for members
· The latest draft policy proposal*
· Q&A
· Feedback form

We understand that for some this is a sensitive and difficult topic to discuss but as a human rights organisation, we think it is important to have a genuine debate in order to establish our position. That is why we are encouraging all our Amnesty UK members to take part in the discussions. We will also be seeking views from a broad range of external stakeholders as part of this consultation.

The deadline for consultation is Friday 21 March and we will summarise the results for our Annual General Meeting in April.

We hope you will find these materials useful and please don’t forget to share them with your group or committee.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to email us at swc@amnesty.org.uk

The International Issues Sub-Committee
On behalf of the Board

AI Sex Work Policy Feedback Form

AI Sex Work Policy Consultation Pack

See you on Tuesday,



Tuesday 25th February: Human Trafficking and Conflict Minerals

Hello lovely people!

I really hope that those of you who came to the Secret Policeman’s Ball on Saturday had a great night and to everyone who helped out – THANK YOU SO MUCH. The night was a huge success and we have Debbie, the SPB sub-committee and many others to thank for doing an amazing job. We’ll have an announcement of the total funds raised soon, but in the meantime you can check out all the photos!

In order to make next year’s even better, there is an anonymous online survey that you can fill in to give your views: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/D2K79F6


Next meeting: Tuesday 25th February, 5pm in the QMU

Human Trafficking in Russia

Duncan will be taking the first half of the meeting to talk about sex trafficking in Russia. We then have a letter-writing action as a follow-up to last week’s meeting by Euan from STOP THE TRAFFIK (Glasgow).

Conflict-Free Campus Initiative

There have been some developments in our efforts to get the University to support our conflict minerals campaign ! Well we have been invited to a meeting with David Newall (Secretary of Court) and Jo Gallagher (Head of Procurement), so that’s a start!


Last year we joined the global student movement for a ‘conflict-free’ campus. Read about the conflict-free campus initiative (CFCI) and what the campaign is all about.

I am aware that it has been quite a while since we discussed the campaign and we have quite a few new members so I will go over what the campaign is about as well as giving an update on some positive steps towards ‘conflict-free’ technologies.


GU International Women’s Week 3rd – 9th March

Tuesday 4th:

Women’s Rights 5pm

An Amnesty speaker will join us to talk about women’s rights.

Workshop 6pm: The role of the media in the socialisation on men and women and children

I will hold a workshop looking at how the media socialises women and men and children to think about women and womanhood.

Thursday 6th:

Rape Crisis Scotland Film Screening and Discussion

An event page with all the relevant details will be made soon, so save the dates!

GU Amnesty Climbs* Goatfell!! 29th-30th March

Maisie has been organising our trip to Arran and needs to know exact numbers, so if you haven’t decided if you are going, please do by tomorrow!

Join the event or email us to let us know you are coming.

*walks/crawls up slowly, taking lots of breaks and eating lots of chocolate

Other news:

Document: International Human Rights Film Festival

There is a call for submissions to the annual Document Film Festival, so take a look to see how you can enter! http://documentfilmfestival.org/12/

8th – 9th March: Scottish Students Conference

This year Edinburgh University are hosting the Scottish Students Conference on International Women’s Day. Everyone is welcome; here is the event for the agenda.

12th – 13th April: Amnesty International UK AGM

Only one week left to book your place! All members of AIUK can attend the AGM so let us know if you are interested and we can all go together.

NB: The AGM is hosted annually in different parts of the UK so it may not be back in Scotland for another few years!

See you all tomorrow!


Tuesday 4th February: SPB and Guantanamo Bay Banner-Making

Hello GU Amnesty!

A big welcome to our new members who signed up at the re-freshers fair and to our new committee members as well. The results of our EGM last week are as follows:

Campaigns Coordinator – Ali Cooper

Press Officer – Ellen MacAskill

Ordinary Board Member – Alex Pancheva

Last week was especially busy with the events by the Coalition for Syrian Refugees, including the panel discussion, the challenge and the ceilidh. We raised over £600 for charities supporting Syrian refugees! It was great to see some of you at these events and you can read all about it on our website with Ellen’s first blog as Press Officer.

We are back in our usual spot on Tuesday for a more light-hearted meeting after last week’s hard-hitting documentary about Syria. Thanks again to Amby from UNICEF on Campus who came along for the discussion and if you missed the documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ then you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SD5QWi-FRU **This documentary contains footage of burn victims, including children and young people.**

Coca-Cola Petition

GU Amnesty’s petition to Coca-Cola has been live for about a week on Change.org. The petition demands that Coca-Cola put the LGBT rainbow on their products to truly support LGBT people as they continue to sponsor the Winter Olympics in Sochi. At time of writing, we have about 8,000 signatures!!

Our Publicity Officer, Nikola, has been tweeting celebrities all over the place and asking them to show support for our campaign. Please join her by tweeting everyone you know! Here’s the link.

Next meeting: Tuesday 4th February – 5pm Committee Room 1, QMU

We will be having a meeting to make some banners for the Secret Policeman’s Ball as well as campaign materials for the Guantanamo Bay demonstration which will hopefully be happening in the next couple of weeks.

See below for updates on the Secret Policeman’s Ball publicity campaign.

Proposed agenda for the next few weeks:

Tuesday 11th February: Human Trafficking (Campaign for February/March)

–          A discussion about recent cases in the UK

–          Presentation from Stop the Traffik Glasgow. Last semester we made plans to run a joint campaign so I will get back in touch with the group and check their availability to come and talk to us.

Tuesday 18th February: Illegal organ harvesting in China with Guest speaker, Yuyu Williams

–          Every year we hear a presentation from Yuyu about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

–          Documentary film screening of ‘Free China: the Courage to Believe’

Saturday 22nd February: GU Amnesty’s 6th Annual Secret Policeman’s Ball + Afterparty!

Our multi-award winning night of comedy is back. Once again we are bringing you the biggest student charity fundraiser on campus, hosted by Billy Kirkwood.

Our afterparty is being kindly hosted by Philanthrobeats who have recently gained official charity status and have raised money for many excellent causes since their first club night in 2012. Check out their website to see their events and how to get involved!

This year looks to be even bigger and better – remember to get your tickets in advance! Here’s the event page for those on Facebook and website page for those who aren’t.

Important updates – Flyering and photo competition

We have now received the posters and flyers and are ready to go crazy with publicity!

Debbie has created a Doodle for flyering so please add your name and spare an hour or so to hand out flyers on campus.

Very soon we will be launching a competition to see who can take a photo of themselves with a poster/flyer in the strangest place. More details will be announced at the meeting on Tuesday but the winner will receive a prize, so don’t forget to take away flyers from the meeting!

Upcoming events with Amnesty International UK

Action for Change: Friday 28 February & Saturday 1 March 2014 – Human Rights Action Centre, London
FREE activism training event for Amnesty Student Groups, perfect for new groups and new committee members.  Booking opening soon!  Keep an eye on amnesty.org.uk/student

AIUK’s National Conference & AGM: Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 April 2014 – Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh
This is the annual event where Amnesty members and activists from all around the UK come together for a weekend of learning, discussion, and decision-making. We’re a membership-led organisation, so decisions made at the AGM are reflected in what we work on, and the way we work.
Student Human Rights Reporter Competition
Amnesty, the National Union of Students, the Observer and Unreported World are proud to once again be running a competition to find the Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year. The first prize is two weeks’ work experience at the Observer, a behind-the-scenes tour of Channel 4 News, and an award to be presented at the Amnesty International Media Awards 2014.

The competition deadline is 20 June 2014. Please see here for the Terms & Conditions and details of how to enter.

Any student can sign up for AIUK’s monthly emails by filling in this quick form.

I can’t believe it’s SPB month already! Let the countdown begin.

See you Tuesday,