Board of Governors
22 July 2008
LJMU presented Amnesty International with a Corporate Award in recognition of its global contribution to human rights. The award was collected Director, Kate Allen (pictured above).
In the five decades since Amnesty was founded, the organisation has taken action on behalf of tens of thousands of individuals: prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders and the "disappeared". It was only right then, said Allen, that the LJMU Corporate Award be dedicated to "one of these brave individuals", Sanjiv Kumar Karna, who along with 10 friends, was arrested by joint security force personnel in Janakpur, Nepal on 8 October 2003.
Nothing has been heard of Sanjiv since his arrest, which is believed to have been linked to his interest in student politics and his former membership of the All Nepal National Independent Student Union. Despite filing a report in 2006 that legally requires the police to investigate what had happened, Sanjiv's father said that no progress has yet been made in establishing his son's whereabouts. His case remains unresolved, said Allen, as do many of the challenges facing Amnesty International and the global movement for human rights today.
This year is the 60th anniversary of the publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which sets forth the inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms for every individual in the world. This ultimately is what Amnesty International is about, said Allen, ensuring that each article of the UDHR is a reality for each person in the world.
She concluded by saying: "Amnesty has always believed that through education new generations are equipped with the confidence, the responsibility and the skills to challenge the injustices of the world. Our campaigning remains firmly rooted in the power of individuals working in support of others who need protection or support. One of the core values of Liverpool John Moores University is to lead rather than follow. So today I invite you to take a lead by championing human rights and taking action on behalf of Sanjiv Kumar Karna."
To read the oration for the Amnesty International in full, please click here.