It is Human Rights Day today and readers can join hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest day of action for human rights across the country

Amnesty International is encouraging people to take part in the world’s largest letter writing campaign - Write for Rights – to support young people around the world who are making a stand against injustice or facing harassment, torture or imprisonment.

This year, children and young people around the world have come out in their thousands to call for change - from confronting climate change to calling for women’s rights - but many face harassment, torture or execution as a consequence.

This year, the campaign – which is supported by People’s Postcode Lottery – will support young people around the world who have suffered abuses. You can write a letter, send an email, sign a petition or send a text to support young people including:

  • Yiliyasijiang Reheman, who was one of the 200 Uyghur people rounded up by the Egyptian government at the behest of the Chinese authorities whilst he was studying in Egypt. His wife gave birth to their second child three weeks after he went missing. More than two years since he was disappeared, he has still not been found.
  • Sarah Mardini and Seán Binder, volunteers for a search-and-rescue organisation in Greece who spent more than 100 days behind bars on charges of spying, people smuggling and belonging to a criminal organisation and could be jailed for up to 25 years in prison.
  • Yasaman Aryani from Iran, given a 16-year prison sentence for a peaceful action for women’s rights, where she walked through a women-only train carriage with her hair uncovered and handed out white flowers.
  • Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, who became a leading youth activist against climate change after a devastating typhoon destroyed her village and killed 6,300 people in the Philippines.
  • Migrant women survivors of domestic abuse, who find it virtually impossible to access protection in the UK, unable to access public funds, turned away from refuge beds and too scared to report violence to the police for fear of being detained or deported.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: This year, young people have come out in their thousands to strike, protest and hold authorities to account. Their passion and determination to make the world a safer and fairer place is inspirational.

“But unfortunately, many young people around the world are facing intimidation, jail sentences and even torture for standing up for what they believe in.

“That’s why this year’s Write for Rights campaign is supporting young people who are facing abuses or leading change in their communities.

“We know that the simple act of writing a letter can have a huge impact on people’s lives. Messages of support can be a lifeline to people behind bars or for those facing intimidation. And when letters pile up at the doors of the authorities, they have no choice but to take note.

“Every year, millions of letters help change lives for the better. We encourage everyone to pick up a pen and paper, send an email or tweet, and help to make a difference to the lives of these brave young individuals.”

In 2018, more than 182,000 people throughout the UK took part in Write for Rights. Writing a letter or send a card only takes a few minutes, but it makes a big difference to people who had put their life and liberty on the line to defend human rights.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which for the first time established a broad range of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to life, freedom of thought and expression, and to privacy.

Every year, we mark this major achievement on Human Rights Day, to celebrate human rights globally.