The purpose of this little page is to plug a few organisations and web sites which seem to me to be unusually good for the human race. They are concerned with such issues as human rights and the environment, which should concern us all. I am a member of some but not all of them. I list them in no particular order.
If anyone thinks there are others which should be added to this selection, please get in touch and persuade me - I am very open minded (but totalitarians, racists and environment polluters need not apply).
Amnesty International is probably well-known to most people for their work in trying to obtain the release of political prisoners in many parts of the world and to stop the use of torture.
They are currently running a campaign called Unsubscribe from human rights abuse in the 'war on terror'.
Charter 88 is a UK group devoted to constitutional reform. It campaigns for various aspects of improving the system to make it more democratic, being particularly concerned with excessive government secrecy and the undemocratic voting system.
Dignity in Dying promotes the right to a dignified, pain-free death as and when the patient desires, without excessive legal constraint on doctors to prevent them from carrying out their patients' wishes. They don't pretend the subject is easily resolved because they are well aware of the potential for abuse, in both obvious and less obvious ways.
A special case, supported by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and by Liberty. Diane Pretty, suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and facing a very unpleasant death from asphyxiation, tried via the Attorney General, the British courts and finally the European Court of Human Rights to get her husband immunity from prosecution if he helped her to commit suicide - her disability from the disease prevented her from doing it unaided - so as to die at a time of her own choosing and avoid the worst of the unpleasantness. All the authorities turned down her request.
The Justice for Diane Campaign is trying to get the law changed (by a petition and by lobbying MPs) so that others can avoid this fate, which would be the subject of criminal prosecution for cruelty if done deliberately to any domestic animal.
Global Internet Liberty Campaign is a campaign for free speech, privacy, unrestricted encryption and information access. Amnesty & 24 other organisations are members.
ARPO50 is a UK organisation devoted to opposing "ageism".
Liberty is the prime UK organisation which exists to defend the human rights of people in this country.
Your Rights is a free guide to rights in England and Wales, relating particularly to the Human Rights Act 1998. It was created and is regularly maintained by Liberty.
Free Tibet Campaign exists to help the Tibetan people in their non-violent struggle to regain independence and freedom. In an effort to end China's occupation of Tibet we work tirelessly to express the Tibetan people's demand for freedom.
For over 50 years Tibet, a country the size of Western Europe, has seen the systematic destruction of its culture, religion and environment at the hands of its Chinese occupiers. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have died as a result of torture, execution and starvation, and over 6,000 monasteries have been destroyed.
Since invading Tibet in 1950, China has done everything in its power to wipe Tibet as an independent country off the map. Young Tibetans are taught that Tibet has always been part of China; Buddhist monasteries and nunneries have been razed to the ground; freedom of expression is ruthlessly crushed.
Free Tibet Campaign stands for:
- the right of the Tibetan people to determine their own future;
- an end to China's occupation of Tibet;
- the Tibetan's fundamental human rights to be respected.
Free Tibet Campaign is independent of all governments and is funded solely by its members and supporters. Free Tibet Campaign members and supporters are regularly updated about the situation in Tibet and ongoing campaigns.
Local communities (and as a direct consequence, interest in democracy) are in decline as shops, post offices, pubs, doctors, schools, bank branches and police stations close their doors and bus and train services are withdrawn. As a result people are forced to make longer and longer car journeys for their needs, and those with no car are left helpless. The Local Works campaign is aiming to reverse this process.
The following statement was issued (as an email to be forwarded to as many people as possible) by Alison Woodhead, Trade Campaign Manager of the Make Trade Fair campaign:
Nestlé, the world's largest coffee company, are demanding millions of dollars from a country where 11 million people are facing famine. Take action to stop this scandal now!
Ethiopia is currently experiencing a terrible drought. This crisis has been compounded by the collapse in the global coffee price, which many of you have been helping us campaign on. The Ethiopian government fears this drought could cause the worst famine the country has ever faced.
Nestlé has demanded that Ethiopia pay over $6million in compensation for a company that was nationalised 27 years ago, a company that Nestlé didn't even own at the time.
The $6m represents 0.01% of Nestlé's turnover last year. But for Ethiopia, $6m would buy food for over a million people for a whole month.
Take action now:
- Click here to send a message to Nestlé, telling them to drop the claim for $6m from Ethiopia:
- Send the text of this paragraph by email (copy and paste the text, then adjust this sentence) to 15 or more friends, family and colleagues.
Make your voice count. Join the Big Noise to make trade fair.
Shared Interest is part of an international network of fair trade organisations who are working to break down barriers which prevent Third World people from access to trade and finance. They are registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies in UK and operate rather like a building society. Members invest cash with them in return for a reasonable rate of interest. These funds are loaned to Third World producers to enable them to buy essential labour, materials and equipment, which they eventually repay from sales to consumers. Every investor can become a voting member (one vote per person). This information is extracted from one of their publicity leaflets distributed with Amnesty International magazine - I have no personal experience of them.
Founded in 1942, Oxfam works with poor people regardless of race or religion in their struggle against hunger, disease, exploitation and poverty in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East through relief, development, research overseas and public education at home.
The Hunger Site organisers (GreaterGood.com) make a donation to charity for relief of world hunger for every site access. There are also links to other similar sites from the same organisers for preservation of rain forests, care for and advice to prevent AIDS transmission from mothers to children, supply of vitamin A to save children's lives, provision of mammograms to underprivileged women and for assistance to victims of landmines. In each case additional donations can be generated by doing business with various site sponsors.
The organisers (Thames Water) of Give Water make a donation for towards the supply of clean water in third world countries for every site access.
The Marine Conservation Society is a registered charity working to protect the world's oceans from disastrous pollution, over-fishing and the damage caused as a by-product of some modern commercial fishing methods.
- Thousands of new houses proposed in the Chilterns area
- Increasing litter and illegal dumping of rubbish
- Speeding traffic through villages and countryside
- Footpaths and bridleways closed or obstructed
- Woodlands threatened; hedgerows disappearing
- Chalk streams and their habitats in jeopardy
- Historic buildings neglected or defaced
- Traditional farming and Chiltern landscape under threat
The Chiltern Society cares for the Chilterns
Telephone: (+44) (0)1494 771250
Web site: www.chilternsociety.org.uk.
Friends of the Earth is a major environmental campaigning group in UK, strictly independent of all political parties and concentrating on publicity campaigns, active recycling schemes, participation in planning inquiries and educational activities.
Luton Friends of the Earth, my local group of the organisation, now has its own web site.
The Henry Doubleday Research Association (now renamed Garden Organic) is a charity working on a number of aspects of organic horticulture. They carry out experiments in a thoroughly scientific manner at their trial/show ground at Ryton, near Coventry, Warwickshire, England, testing both new ideas and plants and "old wives' tales" alike. Their members also carry out relatively simple experiments in their own gardens, the results of which are collated and properly analysed and published. The organisation also does valuable work on suitable techniques for establishing crops, preserving soil fertility, etc. in developing countries. See their web site for a more comprehensive account of their varied activities, and if you're in the area, call in at the show ground.
Stop Esso is a campaign to boycott E$$o/Exxon, the ""global warming villain".
The WasteBook gives thorough coverage of recycling all kinds of materials, with particular emphasis on UK facilities.
Greenpeace is the world's leading direct action campaigner for the environment.
The Woodland Trust exists to conserve and create woodland in the tree-impoverished UK.
The Noise Abatement Society campaigns against noise pollution of all kinds.
This charity works to free the moon bears (Asian black bears) used for their bile; they are kept in cages the same size as themselves for life, so they cannot even they cannot turn around. A metal tube is put in their abdomens and they are milked daily. It is very cruel. Animals Asia Foundation negotiates to free the bears, operate , make them well and keep them in sanctuaries.
The website for the moon bear (Asian Black Bear) charity is http://www.animalsasia.org - click on link for China Bear Rescue.
Alzheimer's Disease Society, another UK organisation, provides support and advice for carers, funds research, etc. [Warning - this site appears to be unusable if your browser cannot deal with frames.]
Médecins Sans Frontières is the largest independent, not for profit, medical and humanitarian aid group in the world
Help the Aged is an international charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.
Contact details for Help the Aged around the UK:
Help the Aged England (Head Office)
207–221 Pentonville Road
London N1 9UZ
Tel: 020 7278 1114
Fax: 020 7278 1116
Help the Aged Scotland
11 Granton Square
Edinburgh EH5 1HX
Tel: 0131 551 6331
Fax: 0131 551 5415
Help the Aged Wales
12 Cathedral Rd,
Cardiff CF11 9LJ
Tel: 02920 346 550
Fax: 02920 390 898
Help the Aged Northern Ireland
Belfast BT2 7DB
Tel: 02890 230 666
Fax: 02890 248 183
The purpose of the Counselling Directory site is ultimately to provide the UK with a huge counselling support network, enabling those in distress to find a counsellor close to them and appropriate for their needs. This is a free, confidential service that will hopefully encourage those in distress to seek help. The website also contains a number of sections on emotional disorders (types of distress section) and provides some useful statistics. Every counsellor on the site who has submitted their profile has either sent a copy of their qualifications and
insurance cover to us, or is registered with a professional body online with recognised codes of ethics and practice, this way we can be assured of their professionalism.
United Nations is the best hope existing to prevent major wars. In addition to its main site, it also has a master index of all its sites.
The Waterside Centre in Gosport, Hampshire cares for people with learning difficulties, mental health problems, homeless people, or those suffering from drug/alcohol abuse. They can be contacted by phone on (+44) (0) 23 9264 9372 or by email.
Click on the thumbnail on left to see a larger photo (10,298 bytes) of the centre.
World Society for the Protection of Animals Does exactly what the name implies!
More to come as I get the information and time to put it in.
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