Third Annual IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards

Third Annual IARS Research and Youth Leadership Awards

The UK-based international think-tank, IARS, in partnership with the youth-led 99% Campaign are proud to announce their 3rd Annual Research and Youth Leadership Awards that will be taking place on the 20th August – 3pm at Canada Water Culture Space, 21 Surrey Quays Road, London, SE16 7AR. This free event is supported by the EU programme Erasmus+, The Big Lottery Fund and Nominet Trust. Following the 2011 riots, the Awards were set up to celebrate community achievements for a fairer society with a focus on young people. IARS places emphasis on underrepresented and vulnerable communities who are also politically disengaged and excluded by the media and society. Dr. Theo Gavrielides said: “With much gratitude to our funders and sponsors, IARS and our young people are proud to be holding yet again this international and high profile event. I am especially proud to be holding the event just minutes away from my own home in the heart of Southwark. The nominated projects are always very inspiring and a true reflection of democracy in action; one that is delivered from the bottom up and not from centralised, well climatised offices in high ivory towers”. The event will be hosted by IARS’ Founder and Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides. Keynote speakers will include Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London and Simon Hughes – Justice and Civil Liberties Minister and MP for Southwark. C/Insp Mat Shaer, of the Metropolitan Police Service, who was involved in setting up the 99% Campaign said: “ The opportunity to recognise the achievements of so many young role models is an exciting one that the 99% Campaign was designed to celebrate. The fact that the 99% Campaign has become a fully youth-led initiative is testament to the values of IARS that so wonderfully...
Values should outweigh business

Values should outweigh business

By: David Fung When Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, Beijing gave the British government assurances that Hong Kong would retain its capitalist economy, rule of law, and Western standards of freedom. This concept of a “One Country, Two Systems” was enshrined in 1984’s Sino-British Joint Declaration. However, Hong Kong has seen a number of erosions in its freedoms since the handover 17 years ago with the media and press increasingly feeling the need to self-censor. Most recently, China published a white paper asserting, among many things, its authorisation to revoke Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and requirement of judges to be patriotic. Last week, Nick Clegg found himself to be the only one prepared to uphold Britain’s commitment to Hong Kong that had been made by John Major and Chris Patten, two prominent Conservatives. When China’s Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister David Cameron back in June, there was no mention of China’s violation on Hong Kong’s autonomy. Indeed, China’s chequebook diplomacy has kept Cameron silent on topics such as Tibet and political prisoners in a bid to help the UK economy stay afloat. Though businesses are vital, I would question whether China, a partner which lacks the ability to honour promises in its own territories, is the right choice of associate. Ultimately, businesses need the stability that law brings, and policymakers need accurate information and news. If China fails to uphold its previous international treaty with Britain, what does that say about any present or future trade deals? Britain needs to safeguard its businesses and economy, however it should first protect its ideas...
Van he can: alternative living

Van he can: alternative living

By Georgie Grainger The housing crisis is a major issue currently affecting Britain. Over the past years, rent prices have risen dramatically and more people are struggling to stay in their homes. In the last five years, London has undergone a sweep of gentrification; a large number of Londoners are being forced to leave their communities ( where they have spent most of their lives) and move to the outskirts of the city. Times are tough – some people find themselves waiting up to seven years or more to get social housing. To add more salt to their wounds, private landlords are often unwilling to accept people who are on housing benefits. Among those most affected is young people. Last month the government announced another decision to withhold housing benefits for those aged 18-25 years. The government doesn’t realise that its policies ignore the experiences of young people. There’s a dwindling sense of hope as students, graduates and hard-done-by individuals face another barrier in their lives – trying to find a home, on top of joblessness. But what do young people do to adapt to the housing crisis? My best friend Charles is one good example of how some people choose “alternative living.” Charles is 24, and has been living in a van since April 2014. He has just finished his degree in Anthropology at Goldsmiths University and decided that he’d had enough of renting. It was too costly and he didn’t want to be tied into a 6-12 month contract. He scrolled the pages of eBay and ended up buying a red minivan for £300. Charles transformed the...
99% Campaign Policy Statement – Youth Employment: Failing Today’s Youth

99% Campaign Policy Statement – Youth Employment: Failing Today’s Youth

2.16m people are currently unemployed in the UK, and nearly 40%, or 853,000 of these are aged 16-24. The 99% Campaign has decided to target youth unemployment as its newest campaign. The team decided that this was an issue which demanded commitment to a long-term solution, not just because of its stubbornness over the past years, but as an issue which affects the majority of young Brits. We know that high levels of unemployment can be the start of other social problems. Political apathy, homelessness and spouts of depression are some of the symptoms which emerge when equality of opportunity is denied. On top of this, with the General Elections next year, fresh ideas and new policies are in high demand by each political party as they vie for public approval. We aim to take advantage of this situation and have set ourselves a mission: to gather the voices of young people and communicate their experiences to policymakers. The final product is the 99% Campaign policy statement, found below. We have already discussed the statement with a number of politicians including, Baroness Estelle Morris (former Minister for Education) and Sarah Champion MP, and have several meetings in the coming weeks and months to look forward to. The interest has been high and we hope that we can continue to develop the document to create a solid piece of research to influence...
Top 5 Apps for Activists

Top 5 Apps for Activists

Having a smartphone these days is like having a set of keys to your house – a must have and an essential part of our daily lives. Smartphone usage has already crossed the 1 billion mark and is likely to double by 2015. Yep we are all tapping away at our phones, looking for the latest news and chatting to our friends. But what does this mean for people living in fear of their lives and who are looking for new platforms to escape torture and abuse by governments and harmful groups? Political activists are now using mobile phone apps to get their views heard and to help communicate their stories to people across borders. Below are our top 5 apps that help individuals to do just that – organise for social change and make some noise! Apps for activists | Create Infographics Amnesty International’s Panic Button Amnesty International has recently released its Panic Button app for Android. This new tool (which can be set to appear as a simple calculator) provides important protection for dissidents and activists, basically keeping them out of jail.  By transforming a smart phone into a secret alarm this app will help protect those who are at real risk at any time, of being kidnapped, arrested or disappeared in nations across the globe. Crucially, this means fellow activists can act straight away in response. The trigger is activated when the user rapidly presses the phones power button (five times in five seconds until a vibration occurs), which sends a message to selected contacts and a GPS location. It also features a disguise feature, requiring...