Amnesty Youth Awards

Please see below details of the winners for 2022, details of the competition for 2023 will be available soon.
amnesty international
Patcham High School. © Carmen Valino / Amnesty International UK
Welcome to the Amnesty Youth Awards. Thousands of 7-19 year olds across the UK take part in Amnesty’s annual Youth Awards.

Winners and Finalists

Reporting Upper Primary - Winner

Maia Natas, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Modern Day Slavery’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, she said: “I wrote about modern day slavery. I found it really interesting. My particular focus was on the Thai fishing trade and the horrible conditions people suffered there. When they read my name out it was a real ‘wow’ moment. I was really surprised because I didn’t think it was that good. The whole day’s been such fun”.


Jacob Levey, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘I Can See You Can You See Me?’
Amber Goldberg, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Abandoned Girls in China’
Colis International

Reporting Lower Secondary - Winner

Grace McSorley, Drumragh Integrated College ‘Ghana’s Hidden People’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, she said: “I volunteer at home for the disabled. Then I looked at a school in Ghana and how different it is there. Most people think Africa is just about water issues, not about the difficulties the people with disabilities face. When I won it was just pretty amazing. Definitely worth the two in the morning start. I convinced myself I wouldn’t win as I’ve entered twice before and didn’t quite make it, so to win was a big surprise.”


Emma Bradshaw, Oxford High School ‘Slavery Must Be Abolished’
Mopsy Peel, Oxford High School ‘Catastrophic Conditions for Korean Captives’

Reporting Upper Secondary - Winner

Marthe Naudts, Alleyn’s School ‘Cut the Clit or Cut the Custom - The Sad Truth About the FGM Taboo’

The 16-year-old was delighted. She said: “It was amazing. Having read everyone else’s entry pieces I really didn’t expect to win. I heard about the awards through The Guardian and just wanted to write about something I was passionate about without any thought of winning.I wrote about Female Genital Mutilation. It’s a really important topic that people just don’t know about. People brush it under the rug because it’s seems so far away from everyday lives in the UK. But it is a real issue and needs to brought to attention.”


Grace Robinson, Hethersett Old Hall School ‘Breast Ironing’
Mia Ellis-Wood, Hethersett Old Hall School ‘Child Abuse’

Reporting Further Education - Winner

Max Owen, Warwick School ‘Power of 5000’
The 17-year-old was delighted. Speaking moments after receiving the award, he said: “I had work experience in South Africa which is what initially sparked my interest in the Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaak, and I decided to write about it as I wanted to research further into his case which is what Power of 5000 is about.”


Lourenco Anunciacao, Hampton School ‘Migrants and Me’
Tyler Skow, American School in London ‘The Forgotten Nations of America’

Photography Upper Primary & Lower Secondary - Winner

Milo Petrie, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Exhausted’

Speaking moments after receiving the award: “I wasn’t really expecting to win, but I was really excited. All my friends from school said ‘Milo you’re going to win it’, as our pictures had been on display for a while. So I thought there might be a chance but even then it was amazing when they called my name out. My photo is of me with matchsticks in my eyes. It portrays how junior doctors get no sleep. It’s so important for them to get sleep so they can operate properly. The idea came to me when I was watching the news with my dad and he was asking me what I should take a photo of. So I wanted to do something about junior doctors and the phrase matchsticks came to mind as my uncle always uses it to describe me when I’m tired. And that all came together for this photograph.”


Maila Hassan, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Please don’t judge me’
Lana Rowson, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Bed in the car park’

Photography Upper Secondary & Further Education - Winner

James Greenhalgh, The Charter School ‘Alone’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, he said: “Whenever I take a photograph I want people to take a few seconds and think ‘what is this photo?’. My winning photograph is of my friend Jack sitting on the floor in an alley posing as a homeless person. It shows how easy it is for people to ignore their plight. The photo is split into two, the dark side is about ignorance and illustrates how easy people find to avoid tackling this issue. My dad was more excited than me but I was still very proud that Amnesty International had recognised my work. When the competition came about at school thought I’d just give it a go but I never thought I’d get here.”


Tyreke Milla, DV8 Sussex ‘Invisible Man’
Chloe Evans, Coleg Sir Gar ‘Child Marriage’

Performer Upper Primary & Lower Secondary - Winner

Alfonso Alonso, Josbin James & Syed Sabith Mahir Ali, St Aidan’s Catholic Academy ‘I Ain’t No Radical Man’
Speaking moments after receiving the award, 13-year-old Mahir Ali said: “I really wanted to express my feelings. I hear people swearing at us outside the mosque just because we are Muslims. There are extremists who claim to be Muslim but it doesn’t represent the majority of Muslims, my mosque and community are completely against terrorism and ISIS.”

Josbin, also 13, added: “Mahir and Alfonso wrote the melody and I came in to sing the chorus. I wasn’t confident in singing until I did this.”

Alfonso, 13, said: “When they called our name out I just thought ‘Is this a dream or something?’. With all the unbelievable performances I didn’t think we’d make it. As soon as I get home my parents will just be hugging me loads and I’m really looking forward to telling everyone at school.”


Grace Cruttenden, Lucy Shaw & Lily Lazarus Queenswood School ‘The Innocent’
Lucy Shaw, Queenswood School ‘Own Voice’

Performer Upper Secondary & Further Education - Winner

Lauren Webster & Annette Selwyn, Larbert High School ‘Innocent’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, 15-year-old Annette said: “My first ever Amnesty meeting there was a case of someone being wrongly accused. So I started researching more cases when I got home, and I remember one person called Cameron who kept on saying in jail ‘please clear my name I didn’t kill my children’. I wanted to write a song about it.”

Lauren, aged 16, added: “When I first heard Annette’s song I thought it really needed a bassline. Originally she played it on a piano and it grew and had backing vocals and became something really exciting. When they announced we were the winners I didn’t really believe it. I was sat there for a few seconds completely stunned.”


Ellie Andre, The Grange School ‘Where Ocean Meets Shore’
Lucy, Emily & Charlotte, Ivybridge Community College ‘Article 13’

Campaigner - Winner

Chiltern Edge School ‘Amnesty Ambassadors Programme - A year in Human Rights’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, 15-year-old Koolanna Momoh said: “We did a project on Albert Woodfox to try and get him out of prison. He had been on death row for 43 years. We went to all the forms and classes in our school and got them to make keys, keys for freedom. This year he finally got released."

Ellen Jeffreys, 16, added: “I was really proud when they announced us as winners. We put in so much work for it. We’re just a little school in the middle of nowhere, it’s so nice to know we can make a difference.”


St Olave’s Grammar School ‘Human Right’s Society’s Fight for Justice’
Croydon High School ‘Stand Up for Human Rights’

Fundraiser - Winner

Clevedon School ‘24 Hour Bounce’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, 13-year-old Freddie Piper said: “We organised a 24-hour bounce-a-thon. It was absolutely crazy, 24 hours of non-stop bouncing on a bouncy castle, there were lots of people even bouncing at three in the morning. Personally I went door-to-door and raised £120 and as a group overall we raised £2000 in total."

Ellie Stanfield, 16, added: “There was so much competition but we just came up with a crazy idea involving the whole school, so it was a little bit different. When we get back we’re going to sing ‘We are the Champions’ in an open top bus."

Connor Thie, 14, said: “I felt delighted when they read our name out. We put all our effort in so I feel really good about winning this.”


Folkestone Academy ‘Stop Torture’
Ashford School ‘Minute to Win It’

Poetry Upper Primary - Winner

Andreas Epiphaniou, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ’ In Every Corner’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, she said: “My poem was about bullying. So many people go through it, and I wanted to write about people who struggle with this every day. I was really really surprised that I got through. I didn’t think I would win. My heart was pounding going up on stage, it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”


Asher Lawrence, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘Child Labour’
Madi Craig, Rhodes Avenue Primary School ‘I Wish I Could be Free’

Poetry Lower Secondary - Winner

Pooja Anand, Langley Grammar School ‘I Wish I Could Come Out’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, she said: “My poem was about LGBT rights. It was set as an assessment. I was inspired to write about this issue because I know so many people who have these problems and I wanted to convey how they feel to have to deal with these issues. I was literally freaking out in my head. I was shaking and kept asking my mum ‘Are you sure that’s me?’. I never thought I’d get shortlisted for the top 10, winning was fantastic.”


Omosigho Asemota, St George’s School ‘Some Say’
Brogan Roberts, Oakwood Park Grammar School ‘The Refugee’

Poetry Upper Secondary - Winner

Isobel Chappell, Stroud High School ‘Ghost’

Speaking moments after receiving the award, the 16-year-old, said: “I wrote about albino persecution in sub-Sahara Africa. Many people who have albinism are murdered and mutilated for their body parts to be used by witch doctors. I read some articles about it and I was outraged, it’s a topic which is so unheard of. I feel it’s an issue everyone should know about. I read about a two-year-old who this happened to. I wanted to tell as many people about it and I output my feelings through my poetry. I just can’t believe it’s allowed to happen, we have to try and do something about these beliefs in bad charms and ‘ghosts’, which is the title of my poem. I couldn’t believe it when I won. I didn’t even expect to get into the top 10. I just hope people will read about it and take action to stop this.”


Lauren Robbins, Stroud High School ‘What Had She Become’
Gemma Banister, Mackie Academy ‘Locked Tongues’

Poetry Further Education - Winner

Yusuf Tarajia, Dulwich College ‘Bad Guys’

“My poem is about being a first generation Muslim growing up after 9/11. Everything I write about are events that actually occurred. It was all a reflection on having difficulty trying to fit in at school because people couldn’t relate to me, but I also couldn’t relate to my older generation. We are forced to justify everything bad ‘we’ do in the news. I was shocked. But I was excited that this issue that I’ve written about which has personally affected me and my family. I have a chance to show we are not like the way we are painted all over the TV.”


Aakifah Aboobakar, Pathway College ‘Beyond the Glass’
Urussa Malik, Trinity Academy ‘Apples and Oranges’

Sonali Shah was the host of the ceremony and commented: “I was honoured to be asked to host this years’ Amnesty Youth Awards. It is amazing to see young people across the UK take part in the competition and stand up for human rights through journalism and creative mediums. I was overwhelmed by the standard of the finalist work I have seen today and congratulate all those who have taken part.”