Every year on December 10, Amnesty International holds a global letter-writing event: Write For Rights (in Canada). Thousands of people around the world write handwritten letters calling for action for victims of human rights abuses, and offering comfort and support to political prisoners.
Last year, I listed 10 reasons you should participate in Write For Rights.
1. It's easy. Amnesty makes it really easy to participate. Read, type, send.This year I'll list 10 more reasons. They're not cute and cheery. They are why we write.
2. You can do do it from any computer. No meetings to attend, no schedule to keep. Just more of something you do all the time anyway: typing.
3. It's free. No need to donate money. The most this will cost you is postage.
4. You'll feel good about yourself. Enjoy that warm buzz you get from voluntarily helping other people. There's nothing quite like it.
5. You can choose how much to participate. Write one letter, write two letters, write three. Spend 10 minutes writing or spend an hour.
6. You can choose what to focus on. Write about an issue in your own country. Write about an issue in your country of origin. Write for children, or for women, or for LGBT people, or for workers, or for environmental activists, or for another issue that you care about.
7. You're busting stereotypes. We supposedly live in a selfish age where all we care about is I, me, mine. Challenge yourself to say it ain't so.
8. It works globally. Every fight against injustice begins with someone shining a light in a dark place. Be that light.
9. It works locally. When political prisoners are released, they often attest to the difference letters from strangers made in their lives: that knowing they were not forgotten helped them survive.
10. You enjoy your own human rights every day. Why not use them to help someone who can't?
1. Forced marriages of children in Burkina Faso.
2. Homophobic, racist beatings in Greece.
3. A lengthy prison sentence for political tweets in Malaysia.
4. Forty years of solitary confinement in the USA.
5. Arrests, beating, and prison for a peaceful protest in Myanmar.
6. A 15-year prison sentence for defending peaceful activists in Saudi Arabia.
7. Development that destroys indigenous culture, land, and water in Canada.
8. Suffocation, rape, and other torture to elicit a false confession in Mexico.
9. A 30-year prison sentence for a pregnancy loss in El Salvador.
10. Torture and a death sentence for a teenager in Iran.
It doesn't take much time. It's not difficult to do. And it works.
Spend 15 minutes of your day writing a letter or two.
Write like a life depends on it.
Write for Rights in Canada
Write for Rights in the US
Write for Rights internationally.