What is Freedom Challenge

17 April 2015, 11:45 UTC | New Zealand
Gracy and friends at Nelson College for Girls writing postcards to double NZ’s refugee quota in 2015 © Private / Amnesty International

What is the Freedom Challenge?

The annual Freedom Challenge is your chance to take action for human rights while having lots of fun! You’ll learn heaps and build up great leadership skills, all while raising awareness about important human rights issues. It’s an easy way to get involved and helps create lasting change - a win-win all around!

We focus on a different human rights issue every year. It’s up to every registered youth group to take the reigns and highlight the theme in a way that will engage, inspire and educate people in their school and community. The Freedom Challenge is open to youth all over the country - and you and your friends are invited!

How do I take part in Freedom Challenge?

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you think big and go hard - be as creative as you can! Campaign with your voice and social media accounts, host an event, take over your school assembly or dabble in arts and drama. Make your voices go even further and louder - why not try getting your actions covered by the media?

Freedom Challenge officially runs in the week of 12 August which marks International Youth Day. If you can’t make this date for any reason, pick one that does and let us know!

We unveil each year’s Freedom Challenge theme in April. Feel free to register your interest at any time though to make sure you're the very first to hear about it!

Register for Freedom Challenge 2017 and order your resources here »

Some successes you’ve contributed to

Youth all over New Zealand have been taking up the Freedom Challenge for almost 10 years. No matter how old you are, no human rights issue is too big to tackle.

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 Azerbaijani government to release the remaining four.

In 2010, you helped raise 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 and supporters all round the world, 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!

Check out photos from previous Freedom Challenges »

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