Taking action in higher education


Amnesty International

'I have boxes and boxes of appeals sent on our behalf by Urgent Action letter-writers ... I have no doubt those letters saved our lives': Colombian human rights defenders Astrid Manrique and Yolima Quintero.

Through Amnesty International, UCU receives information of cases of imprisonment and political persecution of academics throughout the world.

We take part in many meetings and conferences organised with Amnesty International and this work informs the work of our international team highlighting human rights abuses affecting trade unionists and educationalists worldwide.

Finding out more about Amnesty

  • Amnesty has a number of long running campaigns based around international justice, torture arms control and violence against women. You can find out what their latest priorities are at www.amnesty.org.uk/actions.asp?
  • Amnesty also seek support for their urgent appeals - the latest of which can always be found at www.amnesty.org.uk/ua/

Join the Teachers and Academics network (TAN)

  • The Teachers and Academics Network (TAN) is a network of Amnesty International UK members who are professionally involved in education. It covers all academic levels from nursery to postgraduate education, including adult education and informal education and has 2,000 members.

What does TAN do?

  • TAN members campaign for teachers and academics who are prisoners of conscience or other victims of human rights violations for their ideas or educational activities
  • work to bring human rights into the classroom and to place human rights education on the national curriculum - exchange ideas, and develop, trial and exchange information on resources and approaches for teaching different aspects of human rights
  • run/participate in training courses in aspects of human rights education for teachers, PGCE students, local Amnesty International Groups, and community groups
  • advise on teaching and learning about human rights

Join the Amnesty trade union network

  • The Amnesty trade union network boasts over 225 national, regional and local branch affiliates, and in 2003 celebrated a quarter century of protecting and promoting workers' rights.

Campaigning locally for Amnesty International

  • Contact your local association and ask them to host a meeting the work of Amnesty International. Amnesty will often be able to provide a speaker or to let you run a video.
  • Find out if anyone in your university is already active within either TAN or the trade union network.
  • Raise awareness on campus with letter writing campaigns using materials from the Amnesty website
  • Use Amnesty's materials to produce a regular newsletter or email to interested staff

Note: If you intend to send materials out on behalf of your branch/local association, make sure you have the permission of the president or committee.

Last updated: 6 August 2010