Become a College Rep 2017-2018!

Do you want to get more involved in Amnesty, or make a difference in your college?

CUAI are looking for college reps for Michaelmas and Lent 2017-2018. With the support of college reps coordinator Molly Hales, you will set up weekly letter writing sessions in your college, as well as termly fundraising events, and get involved in CUAI’s termly campaigns.

Being a college rep for CUAI is a great way to get involved in human rights and feel like you’re doing something useful, whilst also giving you the freedom to make as much of the role as you want to.

To find out more, or to let us know that your interested comment below, or email Molly at

2017 International Symposium on North Korean Human Rights

Some of our members were lucky enough to go to the 2017 International Symposium on North Korean Human Rights on the 18th May! The conference focused on the state of Human Rights in North Korea currently, and on finding solutions for improving human rights.

Attending were the the All Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, and the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea will co-host the 2017 International Symposium on North Korean Human Rights. The conference brought together policy makers, UN representatives, politicians, North Korean exiles, academics, and members of the public. Topics of dicussion included media access in North Korea, children’s rights, and accountability.

Our chair Laura Bates, was able to attend, and took some interesting notes at the conference:

Seminar 1: Media Access

  • many people have Chinese phones
  • peer to pear sharing of information
    • USB, DVD etc
  • foreign radio is key to establishing human rights
    • broadcasted from South Korea
    • we need to pay attention to content and language
      • needs to feel relevant and familiar
    • incredibly low levels of internet access
      • even elites only have intranet access
      • digital media
        • we should look at who is providing blocking software
          • some are produced in the EU
        • could be interesting to try broadcasting satellite internet from the border
          • see if Chinese phones can connect
        • North Korea has produced many of the best hackers
          • possibly responsible for the NHS attack
        • GCHQ has looked into offensive attacks
          • very small numbers use intranet so there is not much point
          • perhaps look at spreading false information?
        • psychological effects of censorship
          • people don’t know what they think because they can’t discuss
          • North Koreans are very keen to know what other people about the leadership
        • if North Korea falls it will be due to a elite coup
          • so we should focus on them because they are easier to access
        • foreign attempts to access North Korea
          • BBC is starting a broadcast in September
          • US may pass a law to fund media access
          • leaflet dropping used to happen from South Korea
            • but 2004 was banned by the government
            • NGOs continued
            • but it’s getting harder due to threats of missile attacks
            • exiles say it is incredibly effective
          • experiences of exile
            • she watched South Korean movies and US dramas
            • she owned a Chinese cell phone
              • to stay in touch with her mother in China
            • media exposure made leaving less unimaginable
          • why is media access significant?
            • media is not a silver bullet
            • but effect on individuals can become collective action
            • media sharing creates horizontal bonds
              • counteracting atomisation
            • preference falsification – why revolutions erupt so quickly
              • everyone keeps private thoughts of dissent
              • but only once other people voice them do people suddenly express them
              • cascade effect
            • look at private economic enterprise
              • stalls and small trading are basically legal
              • within these there are markets for information


Continue reading 2017 International Symposium on North Korean Human Rights


We are proud to announce that Cambridge University Amnesty International will be supporting the Women’s Environmental Network.

Here at Cambridge University Amnesty International we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who voted in our poll to decide which charitable organisation we will be supporting in Easter Term 2017. The Women’s Environmental Network are the only UK organisation that consistently link the right’s of women, and women’s wellbeing with environmental issues such as global warming, and production practices. They work for ‘environmental justice through feminist principles’, and consider how not only are women more affected by environmental issues, but are less involved in creating solutions for environmental solutions.

To learn more about the Women’s Environmental Network watch the video, or visit their website:

Which environmental charity should we support in Easter 2017?

Create your own user feedback survey

From Downing College to Downing Street!

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Downing Bar to sew together the calico petitions we collected during the Cage Campaign!

We collaborated with Aydua, an amazing group of Cambridge students who sell incredible embroidered clothing, and create protest art. We’ll now send this amazing petition to 10 Downing Street, asking Teresa May to condemn the use of torture, and condemn Donald Trump’s open support for torture. We estimated that we collected approximately 600-700 signatures, although there are so many it is difficult to count!


CUAI Michaelmas 2016 Campaign for Syria Relief

During the month of November, CUAI held a daily social media campaign to raise money for Syria Relief.

Syria Relief is a charity providing emergency medical care, food aid and education for those 7.6 million internally displaced by the conflict, thus helping to reduce the mass migration from Syria. Overall, we raised 125.55 pounds.

Every day, we would post a statistic about the refugee crisis, which the UN has determined is the largest since WWII, followed by a link to our fundraising page. These statistics were contributed each by a different member of the university-wide group, and the donations by both members and supporters of the cause. The participation from the entire university, as well as the awareness-raising from those who follow us on social media world-wide, is part of what makes Amnesty an effective organization-by encouraging participation, and through education, we are able to influence opinion and bring light to the issues featured.

The campaign culminated in a candlelight vigil, where members of Amnesty got together and led a procession around Cambridge town center, a visible demonstration of solidarity making use of the well-known Amnesty candle logo. The procession ended at Clare College Chapel, where we were met by musicians and hot drinks. Each participant was invited to read out a statistic to be put in a video (forthcoming) of the entire campaign, a lasting product to commemorate CUAI’s efforts, but more importantly, a permanent artifact to raise awareness of the refugee crisis.

One in five people in Lebanon are refugees.

2 million asylum applications were processed worldwide this year, with Germany receiving the most applications.

Yusra Mardini is a Syrian refugee who swam for 3 hours to push a sinking boat to safety, saving innocent lives. This summer, she competed as a swimmer at the Rio Olympics!

Continue reading CUAI Michaelmas 2016 Campaign for Syria Relief

College Reps Update Michaelmas 2016

Newnham had a film night at 7pm in the JCR watching Casablanca. This was in line with our awareness raising campaign this term for refugees as the film is centred around the plight of refugees in ww2. Many of the actors in the film were refugees at the time. Eleanor Turnbull, college rep for Newnham, made a brief speech about the film and it’s relevance to amnesty’s campaign, and said where funds raised would be going. We watched the film and people made voluntary donations. At Emma they organised a pub quiz in Emma bar and raised £43. They organised it with the Emma Access Officer during the CUSU shadowing scheme so the shadows got to play for free and see how relaxed/approachable Emma is. Everyone else paid £1 each to participate. The quiz was a mix of Human Rights rounds and more fun rounds like a picture round, a music round, etc.. The general feedback was that everyone really enjoyed themselves and people stuck around for a drink afterwards so it was generally very chilled out. In total the reps have raised £53.01 this term for our chosen charities!

2016 Amnesty Student Conference

Contributor: Octavia Akoulitchev

I was lucky enough to attend the second day of the 2016 Amnesty Student Conference, which took place at the Human Rights Action Centre, in Shoreditch. Despite the searing rain and cold without, the atmosphere inside was electric. Student groups had gathered from across the country, not only to network, but to discuss the most pressing human rights issues and the best ways of tackling them. There were boards along the walls where you could write what you felt strongly about, but before I had time to write much the first part of the day was announced: ‘good news session’. This was an opportunity for the groups to share some of their greatest successes over the past year, and by the end of the session everyone was more enthusiastic than ever. Afterwards there was a plenary (‘creating rights-respecting communities’) led by the Human Rights Education Team, and then a choice of workshop (I went to the ‘Creative Campaigning workshop’) led by the renowned Dan Jones. The rest of the morning was filled with more networking, STAN elections, and activities.

I found the plenary on human rights in the UK the most inspiring event: Laura Trevelyan spoke brilliantly about Amnesty’s most major key projects of the moment, giving insider knowledge about the Against Hate and Human Rights Act Campaign. She was acerbic and precise: she gave a lot of advice on how best to argue for the two campaigns with respect to their most disputed elements, as well as how to deal with ebullient aggressors in a more general sense. She didn’t spout clichéd abstractions that we’ve all heard a hundred times before – she was pertinent. I came away with a much more concrete understanding not only of the Against Hate and Human Rights Act Campaign, but also how to deal constructively with people against those acts. The day ended with the STAN elections, and I left exhausted but very, very hopeful: the students, speakers, and campaigners there had showed me that all our writing letters, calling MPs, and going on marches, is working.