Press release from Amnesty International.
EMMA THOMPSON MAKES UNIQUE HUMAN RIGHTS GESTURE TO MARK START OF NATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK
Emma Thompson is one of three Amnesty supporters who have donated nearly 6,000 copies of Amnesty International’s award-winning book We Are All Born Free to primary schools across the UK.
The renowned author and actor is a long-term supporter of Amnesty International and her gesture will mark National Children’s Book Week, which starts on 3 October.
The book is a collection of 30 beautiful illustrations, each of which represents one of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the document that is a foundation stone of Amnesty International.
Among the top illustrators who took part were Axel Scheffler, who illustrated The Gruffalo, Korky Paul of Winnie the Witch fame and multi-award-winning John Burningham.
Every primary school in the UK can apply to receive their free copy via the Amnesty website www.amnesty.org.uk/primary. To enable as many schools as possible to get this resource, Amnesty is asking schools to only pay for the post and packaging.
In addition to the book, the schools will also receive a copy of Amnesty’s excellent new primary schools resource Learning About Human Rights in the Classroom, which contains innovative lesson plans that enable teachers to explore human rights and use We Are All Born Free in the classroom.
Emma Thompson said: “Human rights mean a great deal to me and I’ve been a keen supporter of Amnesty International for years. I was hugely impressed when I saw their delightful book We Are All Born Free, which explains the importance of human rights through truly beautiful illustrations.
“It is clear, simple and uplifting and makes it very easy to raise difficult subjects, even with young children. It is a wonderful educational tool and I strongly believe that every school should own a copy.
“There is something about story-telling that is integral to well-functioning human society. Stories have tremendous capacity to engage our imaginations and to inspire empathy and understanding. I hope that, in the long run, exploring the stories contained in every picture of We Are All Born Free will help children to become tolerant and compassionate human beings, who fight prejudice and stand up for the rights of others all around the world. That is why I am supporting Amnesty in this initiative and I really do hope that primary schools will take up this amazing opportunity.”
The original artwork from We Are All Born Free will be exhibited at Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn yard, London EC2A 3EA for one week from from 9am-5pm, 26-30 September. This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Many of the illustrations in the exhibition will be available to buy, in a unique opportunity to own original artwork by some of the world’s top illustrators. All proceeds will go to Amnesty International.
Above is the page from We Are All Born Free that was my contribution. It shows Max relaxing with a child in a hammock. You can bid for this and a selection of other pieces either on teh day or by phone or email at The Illustration Cupboard.