A Leek pupil was shortlisted today for Amnesty International’s Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year award.
Daniel, Deaville, 17, from Westwood College, will now have his work judged by a panel of editors, authors and industry professionals including award winning authors Christie Watson and Sita Brahmachari.
This year, over 7,000 young people took part in Amnesty's Youth Awards.
The Awards attracted entries from all four corners of the UK with only the top ten from each category making the shortlist.
The awards are supported by The Guardian, PhotoVoice and the secondary school magazine, SecEd.
Daniel was delighted when he was told of the news. Daniel said:
“I am thrilled at being shortlisted. I worked very hard on my article and tried my best to capture what was going on involving child soldiers in Syria and putting that across to whoever reads it. I really hope people will take something away with them from what I wrote.”
Daniel wrote about child soldiers in Syria.
He was inspired to write about this issue after some investigation and research.
Daniel says: “I found out about the atrocities of child soldiers and their exploitation in the Syrian conflict. My personal connection to the children of Syria is from a humanitarian viewpoint, in that we must all take responsibility for the suffering of the unfortunate and needy in the world today.”
Amanda, Daniel’s mother, said: “We are very happy to see that Daniel’s article has been shortlisted, as the Syrian conflict is such a relevant issue for everyone and we are proud that he has got this far.”
Amnesty’s human rights education specialist, Jane Houston, was involved in the short listing process.
She said Daniel’s article,“Combines facts and emotive detail to culminate in a rallying cry for action.”
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:
“Journalism plays such a key role in exposing human rights abuses across the world. Amnesty is committed to encouraging the journalists of tomorrow. And I am delighted to see so many young people pick up a pen and show a real interest in the world around them. The talent on display this year has been truly exceptional. It will be a hard choice to pick the eventual winner.”
The top three in each category will be unveiled on April 18th 2014.
They will then be invited to a prestigious awards ceremony, at Amnesty International UK’s headquarters on April 30th 2014, where the winner will be announced.
The Amnesty Reporter competition is part of the annual Amnesty Youth Awards. Children aged 7-21 were asked to write an article or report of up to 500 words in length on a human rights-related issue.
There are six categories in the Amnesty Youth Awards: Reporter, Photographer, Campaigner, Fundraiser, Songwriter Performer and Songwriter Lyricist.
Finalists for the Upper Primary and Lower Secondary Reporter category will be judged by Emily Drabble (Guardian), Sita Brahmachari (author), David Marley (TES news editor), and Amnesty staff and activists, including a previous winner, Victoria Coleman.
Finalists for the Upper Secondary and Further Education Reporter category will be completed by Pete Henshaw (SecED), Christie Watson (author), Jonathan Mason (senior partner at Pinsent Masons), teachers and Amnesty staff and activists, including a previous runner-up, Charlie Blake.