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YOUNG HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTER AWARDS

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Amnesty International UK Young Human Rights Reporter

Pupils were presented with prizes in Assembly on Friday 20th April.

Alice Kelly, Youth Media Assistant from Amnesty wrote:

“The entries from Belfast Royal Academy were read by a panel of judges including Joseph Harker and Kathryn Cave who were all incredibly impressed with the standard of the pieces, and highly commended the quality of the work.

We would like to congratulate you on the unprecedented achievement of having six pupils reach the top ten of the junior category in the competition, which had over 3,000 participants. The diversity, originality and quality of each of the 6 articles was inspirational.”

The judges’ comments for each entrant can be found below:

Conor Ferguson

Niall Couper, a judge and Amnesty Press Officer said:

“This piece chronicles the writer’s first-hand experience of the poverty and wealth divide in San Francisco. It touches upon an array of contributory factors such as child labour, drug and alcohol abuse, and the social limitations placed upon children in poverty. It ends with a strong conclusion, the recognition that these issues are prevalent globally.”

Jonathan Evans

Emily Drabble, contributing editor of the Guardian Teacher Network said:

“This excellent article wove a wonderful balance of facts and the writers’ own views into a really powerful piece. Focussing on a recent example of racism in football (Suarez, Ezra), the writer accurately summed up the incident and offered his point of view. He then brought in the historical angle with the story of Rosa Parks and finished with President Obama! A really spellbinding achievement in just 250 words.”

Douglas Adams

Niall Couper, a judge and Amnesty Press Officer said:

“This article tackles a difficult subject that is a relevant and current debate to a UK audience, forming an in-depth argument on a subject that is often overlooked as a human rights issue. It is commendable for a young school student to recognise the complex problems surrounding addiction and the NHS system.”

Adam McTeggart

Emily Drabble, contributing editor of the Guardian Teacher Network said:

“A very strong, well-written article, showing some impressive research in wikileaks on a subject most 11 year-olds will never have heard about – the death of Nick Christie. It was an unusual and topical story to cover. It’s hard to sum up such a story in under 250 words, but this writer has succeeded brilliantly in the task.”

Jillian Lynn

Emily Drabble, contributing editor of the Guardian Teacher Network said:

“Elder abuse is not a subject you would expect a junior school child to be thinking about, but it’s a very current story of the abuse that is happening all over the country, mostly hidden away. There is no overt opinion here, but the solid research and uncovering of the story shows the outrage of the writer in an understated way. You are left with the facts swimming around in your head, of old people having to choose between getting fed or getting washed. Sobering stuff.”

Masha Holmes

Niall Couper, a judge and Amnesty Press Officer said:

“A very clever, well-structured piece which questions common prejudices and opinions. It successfully takes the reader all the way from the personal account of a homeless individual to hard statistics on global poverty. A very mature connection to form for someone of that age.”

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