The hunt is on once again for talented young journalists with the launch of the 2013 Young Human Rights Reporter of the Year.
And this year, a new category has been included for photojournalism, offering budding young snappers the chance to win national recognition.
The competition is run by Amnesty International and is supported by SecEd and the Guardian Teacher Network.
The writing competition is open to students aged from seven to 18 and is split into four categories – upper primary, lower secondary, upper secondary and 6th form.
Entrants must write an article combining facts, opinion and reportage on a human rights issue of their choice. Articles can be up to 500 words in length and entries will be accepted in English and Welsh.
Last year, topics ranged from the death penalty and sexism to the use of tasers by the police and child soldiers in Africa. Among the winning articles was a piece by Alice Reynolds, 13, from The Royal School in Haslemere, who wrote about Vietnamise labour camps.
Heather Booton, 16, from Skipton Girls’ High School, won for a piece on women’s rights and abortion in Kenya, while Alice Woodhouse, 17, from Kings High School in Warwick, won for her piece on gypsy and traveller rights.
Heather said: “I was astonished to win. It was huge for me, especially as I really want to go into journalism. I would say to anyone that it’s definitely worth a shot. It was a brilliant day. I genuinely didn’t expect to win.”
As part of her prize, last year’s 6th form winner, Alice Woodhouse, undertook a week’s placement at SecEd and a piece she wrote about Amnesty’s youth groups during her stay can be read here.
The new photojournalism competition is open to students aged seven to 18 from across the UK and is split into two awards – upper primary/lower secondary and upper secondary/6th form.
Mike Blakemore from Amnesty International UK said: “Each day images from places like Syria, Libya and Somalia surface that help inspire a new generation of human rights defenders into action. I look forward to seeing the images the budding photographers of tomorrow produce.
“Photographers and journalists play such an important role in exposing human rights abuses and hopefully this competition can inspire a new generation.”
The deadline for entries to the competition is February 18, with the top three entrants in each category to be invited to Amnesty’s headquarters for the national awards ceremony on April 30.
For full details, visit www.amnesty.org.uk/youngreporter CAPTION: Write for rights: (l-r) Alice Reynolds, Alice Woodhouse and Heather Booton won the secondary prizes in the 2012 Young Reporter of the Year