New Amnesty International Youth Award given to trafficking documentary

The first winners for Amnesty International’s Gary Ware Legacy Award were announced this evening on Human Rights Day as a nod to the importance of youth voices in shaping Aotearoa’s future.

The Gary Ware Legacy Award is a new award from Amnesty International made possible by the Ware family who have been advocating for the rights of others in New Zealand and abroad for decades.

Entries have been piling in from young people across the country, with some incredible human rights initiatives including solar lights for village homes in Fiji, teddy bears for refugees and peer-to-peer mentor programmes.

But the winners for this year’s award go to...

Olivia Bing, Sophie Newton, M Gan, and Laura Oh from Glendowie College. They will receive funding for their big idea – a documentary highlighting human trafficking here in New Zealand. The group hopes to enter the documentary into film festivals later in the year.

Olivia Bing says information on the issue is difficult to uncover but awareness is the first step to better protecting people in New Zealand.

Laura Oh says receiving the award was a humbling experience.

“We are incredibly honoured to be the first ever recipients of the Gary Ware Legacy Award. Thank you to Amnesty International for helping us bring our idea to life.”

Laura Oh, Gary Ware Legacy Award 2020 winner

Olivia Bing says there’s not enough awareness of trafficking in New Zealand.

“We understand it’s a tough issue and we see it as something that’s quite hidden in New Zealand so we want to do what we can to shed some light on what is a serious human rights issue for Aotearoa.”

Olivia Bing, Gary Ware Legacy Award 2020 winner

Amnesty International Community Manager Margaret Taylor says the Gary Ware Legacy Award is a response to the growing demand among younger generations for a more promising future.

“New Zealand youth are caring, compassionate and are already actively engaged in delivering on the change they want to see in the world. They want to build a beautiful and inclusive Aotearoa and we want to support them to do so. This award, thanks to the Ware family – a family full of rights advocates steeped in New Zealand history – goes a long way to doing that.”

Margaret Taylor, Amnesty International Community Manager

The awards evening on Auckland’s Karangahape Road was attended by youth groups, Amnesty Advocates and Board members and their families.