Young Women & Violence

Young Women & Violence

At the end of last year as the tragic news emerged of the Indian medical student’s death, who was subjected to the most unimaginable torture when she and a male friend boarded a bus in Delhi, the supposed true scale of Indian’s mistreatment of women was laid bare for the world to see. Digesting statics such as ‘according to official figures, a women is raped in Delhi every 14 hours’ (BBC:2013) is not a statement that many would find easy to comprehend. As word spread, people started to voice their concerns, particularly young women, who took to the street to protest. However, ‘not a single leader came forward to engage with protesting students demanding safety for women.’ (BBC: 2013) The government may have made their stance clear now, ordering a rushed trial with no lawyers or legal representative for the men charged with the murder and rape. The Government also stating that if found guilty, the accused will all be publicly hanged. Considering the worldwide media interest in the case, this reaction seems typically frantic of a government that is desperate to end discussion and anxiety surrounding women’s rights and safety. In spite of this, one thing is now undeniably certain, India must address its’ deep rooted, often accepted approach to treating women as second class citizens, not only politically, but in the horrendous struggles they face in everyday life. With extreme cases such as this one, as much as they make us feel saddened, uneasy and angry, for many there is a moment of comfort as we count our blessings that we do not live in Delhi, convincing ourselves...
Justice and Security Bill Discussion: Will This Be Passed?

Justice and Security Bill Discussion: Will This Be Passed?

On Tuesday 5th March 2013, Portcullis House as the location set the stage for a meeting arranged by Amnesty International UK. Currently in its final briefing waiting for consideration of amendments at Parliament on the 26th, the Justice and Security Bill which first emerged in 2012, has claimed to provide for oversight in relations to national security and intelligence matters, ‘closed material procedure’ in relation to certain civil proceedings’ with the prevention of making ‘certain court orders for the disclosure of sensitive information’. To summarise the Bill will allow ‘closed material procedures’ (CMPs), which is relevant information kept from the public, lawyers, press, and even the defendant in their own cases. Initially it was proposed for national security but it will also take place in civil trials. Within this meeting Karla McLaren advocacy co-ordinator of Amnesty International UK, was joined by two members of the Labour Party, Karen Buck MP and Andrew Slaughter MP. Members of the public were the majority of the audience who attended including a small amount of members of local Amnesty International groups. Amnesty International Perspective Amnesty International claimed that the extension of CMPs to civil cases has led to a violation of human rights, if the defendant is not aware specifically what type of information the judges have been told or have used for their prosecution due to blocked access, this procedure becomes unethical. Secret courts have taken place where material is saturated, a special advocate can see the evidence but cannot converse the information to their client, whilst the final secret judgement remains hidden forever while those condemned will partly see the reasons....

Two Minutes With…Sophie O’Neill

Name? Sophie Age? 21 Where are you from? Birmingham What do you do? I work at a council in the marketing department. Any special hobbies/talents/interests? Not really! As a young person what is the worst and the best thing about living where you live? I live quite close to quite a busy area which is in terms of social life and going out. I can’t really think of any major problems with it, except that there isn’t really much going on other than ‘going out’ type activities so it isn’t ideal for people who aren’t interested in that. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why? I would like to live in London for a while just because there’s so much going on there. I also quite like the idea of living in Berlin even though I’ve never been! If you had to swap bodies with any historical/political figure, living or dead, who would it be and why? Beyoncé because she’s amazing. If you had to invite 3 people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? Barack Obama, John Berger, Judith Butler. What is your favourite form of art? Do you find art to be relevant to society today? Either fine art or literature, and yes I think it’s very relevant. Are there any issues concerning young people that you feel are not getting enough attention? I think there are money issues young people have that are never properly addressed, maybe because people don’t understand the increasing responsibilities young people have. For example, the idea of cutting benefits to...
C.R.I.M.E

C.R.I.M.E

At the BAFTA venue last weekend, a second screening of the short film ‘IF ONLY…’ was shown to a public audience. In this film the depiction of young gang culture in London was realistically shown against a gritty background with an unexpected twist. However the main highlight of this piece in comparison to similar genres such as ‘Kidulthood’ or ‘Top Boy’ was that this was completely produced by young people between the ages of 13-28 and importantly ex-offenders who otherwise may have been excluded from society. Fredi Nwaka, an ex-gang member, rapper, film director and also entrepreneur has created a voluntary scheme called C.R.I.M.E (Creating Role Models in Media Enterprise) which provides a platform for troubled young people who want to pursue a career within the entertainment industry either through media or music. Using individual life experiences, including his, such as gang membership, incarceration or even the victimisation of those involved within the project, there lies the inspiration for the creation of his short films and documentaries. Sessions were given over a ten week course which taught film making skills including camera techniques, creative writing and casting. Professionals within respective divisions of the industry provided valuable advice to the young people involved within the project. As the course continues, those who are still in a gang or have removed themselves from one, gain confidence in their creative abilities, interacting with strangers, but also in their self-esteem. There are programmes in terms of mentoring young ex-offenders, providing meditation sessions and various support whilst assisting their reintegration as active citizens who wish to be employed. However if you need only one reason to...