Freedom Challenge Past Success

6 May 2020, 15:51 UTC | New Zealand

You are never too young to take a stand for human rights. Youth all over New Zealand have taken up the Freedom Challenge for over ten years now, and helped create lasting change. 

In 2015 you helped us to highlight the plight of people seeking safety in the global refugee crisis and how New Zealand can contribute to a solution by doubling our annual refugee quota from 750 to 1,500. In June 2016, the Government announced an increase to 1,000. Your actions and events were an important part of getting us this far, and now we need to keep the pressure on!  

In 2014 you helped us fight for eight of your fellow student activists imprisoned in Azerbaijan. Four of the N!DA activists are free today because of your efforts, and we continue pressuring the Azerbaijian government to release the remaining four. 

In 2010, you raised the profile of Khun Bedu, Khun Kawrio and Khun Dee De. The Kharenni youth activists from Myanmar had been arrested and tortured for their peaceful protest. Thanks to you, all three of them are free today. 

In 2008, we took advantage of the spotlight on China during the Beijing Olympics to demand they improve their human rights record. We focused on imprisoned pro-democracy journalist Huang Jinqiu, and Ye Guozhu who was arrested and tortured for protesting the bulldozing of his home. Your voices were heard - Jinqiu’s prison sentence was reduced in 2009 and he was released in October 2011; Ye Guozhu was released in October 2008! 


Previous Freedom Challenge themes 

2020 Shouting out for Climate Justice
Human rights are as much under threat as the environment when it comes to climate change. It’s why within Freedom Challenge 2020 youth were  “Shouting out for climate justice” 

2019 Lives hanging in the balance 
Challenging Iran’s use of the death penalty against child offenders 

2018 Stand Up For The BRAVE
Azza Soliman- Egypt; Tashi Wangchuk - China; Tep Vanny - Cambodia

2017 The Great Palm Oil Scandal - #NotInMyTrolley
Labour abuses in Indonesia's Palm Oil plantations 

2016 Ignite Minds Not Bombs  
​​​​Supporting of the rights of kids in Yemen to live in dignity.  

2015 Double The Quota 
Encouraging the New Zealand government to double the annual refugee quota  

2013 Chalk like an Egyptian: Stand up for women's rights 
Standing against sexual and gender-based violence in Egypt through street art 

2012 Stop bulldozing people’s lives: End forced evictions 
Focusing on housing rights in Cambodia and in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories 

2011 Be a lifesaver: Keep the heartbeat for human rights 
Protecting freedom of expression of at-risk communities in Zimbabwe and Colombia 

2010 - Free the speech: Make some noise for Myanmar students
Standing with Khun Kawrio, Khun Bedu and Khun Dee De, imprisoned for holding peaceful protests in Myanmar 

2009 - Kids against camouflage: Keeping children out of conflict 
Turning the spotlight on the plight of child soldiers in Liberia, Colombia and Sudan 

2008 - Don't play games with human rights 
Taking advantage of the Beijing Olympics to ask China to improve its human rights record 

2007 - Shut down repression, reboot human rights 
Fighting repression of internet freedoms in China and Egypt by advocating for detained journalist Shi Tao and blogger Kareem Amer 

2006 - Human rights defenders are the real superheroes 
Focusing on human rights heroes in Zimbabwe, Colombia and Rwanda 

Contact us at or 0800 266 378.