Believe it or not, petitions are a great way to build awareness for human rights issues and to put pressure on powerful people to do something. Petitions do not threaten your identity or put you on a government list. It’s merely about having your say. Want to take action online, or perhaps find a petition for a petition drive your hosting? Try one of these Amnesty International petitions, all of which are going on right now:
Petitions to Print
Individuals at Risk – There are plenty of those across the world, and individuals at risk was the very first mission of Amnesty International. There’s a wide array of petitions to choose from, but below are some cases that our chapter has personally worked on. These particular cases are ones that our chapter, and the larger organization, have worked on for a very long time:
Death Penalty Petitions – If this is an issue for your chapter, then Amnesty has three petitions for your to consider: Reggie Clemons, Scott Panetti, and Romell Broom. Clemons is a St. Louis case, so we are partial to that one. However, all three need our help as the face the injustices of capital punishment.
Maternal Health – Although there isn’t specific legislation or people with this petition, Amnesty does have one to urge members of Congress to support mothers and to do something to stop maternal mortality both home and abroad. This is a good one to use if you need a petition that’s a bit more general and could garner broader support, or if you and/or your chapter are focusing on women’s rights and maternal health.
Take Action to Prevent Unlawful Drone Killings – Drones are a hot button issue right now, so don’t miss your chance to sign this petition and to share it with others. By signing this petition, you let members of your government know that you don’t like these “targeted killings” and that they violate the right to life under international law. Even if you don’t like them for other reasons, if you want these drone killings to stop, then this is the petition for you.
Make Maryland the Next State to End the Death Penalty – We are so close on this one! The legislation to abolish the death penalty in the state has passed the State House and Senate, and just needs to be signed by the governor. We want Maryland to become the 18th state to do this! Signing this petition will encourage the governor to take swift action on this issue, to keep the pressure on both for death penalty abolition and for funding for victims’ families.
Justice for Indigenous Women Ines Fernandez Ortega & Valentina Rosendo – This is the only current online petition that’s focused on a foreign country, but it deserves our attention nonetheless. Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú, both Me’phaa Indigenous women, were raped by Mexican soldiers in 2002. Both women were brave enough to report their attacks, despite the economic and social barriers that often deter Indigenous women from seeking redress through the courts. Still, no one has been brought to justice. In August 2010 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the Mexican state to investigate the human rights violations against Inés and Valentina, bring those responsible to justice, provide reparations and take steps to ensure that similar violations are not repeated in the future. This petition is to pressure the Mexican Government to fully carry out this ruling.
Keep Weapons Out of the Hands of Human Rights Abusers – This is one of the most crucial online petitions going on right now. From March 18 – 28, world leaders will convene to negotiate the first ever treaty that will help prevent keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers, such as armed groups and government forces that put children into combat. We want to urge President Obama to support a robust Arms Trade Treaty, and not to listen to the lies of the NRA and others who claim such a treaty will restrict the second amendment rights of U.S citizens. That’s simply not true, unless they plan to commit human rights abuses with those weapons.