YOUTH PROGRAMS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Amnesty International Canada offers many youth programs for people aged 25 and under to get involved and make a difference in the world. We have approximately 1,500 young people active in our programs across Canada. We have 30 youth leaders in our National Organizers Program and the National Youth Action and Advisory Committee. We also support more than 150 youth leaders in Amnesty chapters at high schools and universities nationwide. 

I see my generation working hard to fight for social justice. We bring our interests, passions, and knowledge and work together. I believe that we can make positive changes.

Rojina Haji-Mahmoozadeh, Youth Activist

Student activists have always been on the frontlines of human rights movements. From standing in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square to petitioning governments to abolish the death penalty, young people are there.

Join an Amnesty Youth Leadership Program today. Gain valuable leadership experience and take action on the human rights issues that are most important to you.

Meet two of Amnesty International Canada’s youth representatives, Aarya and Samaaya Gupta, at our Annual General Meeting in Ottawa from June 16-18, 2023.

To learn more about our youth programs, drop us a line at youth@amnesty.ca. You can also check out some of our youth programs and activism resources below.


Assembly General Meeting 2018 of AI Swiss Section held at the Congress Center of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Berne, Switzerland, 5-6 may 2018, Amnesty YOUTH activist.
Youth activist at the Assembly General Meeting of Amnesty International Swiss Section held at the Congress Center of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Berne, Switzerland on May 5-6 2018.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS

Are you looking for a youth leadership program within Amnesty International in Canada? Gain valuable leadership experience and make a difference by joining a Youth Leadership Program.

National Organizers Program
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Join the National Organizers Program to take on a leadership role with Amnesty Canada and learn more about human rights.
learn more
Youth & Student Activist Groups
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Set up an Amnesty Club at your school. Youth and student groups are found at all levels nationwide. We provide the tools and supports to get you started. It’s easy!
apply now
National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
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A national group that leads youth mobilization and advises Amnesty International Canada’s members, leaders, and staff.
meet the team

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Youth activists from Amnesty International The Netherlands Section at the Canal Parade. Photo by Pierre Crom/Amnesty International

BECOME AN AMNESTY MEMBER

At Amnesty International Canada, youth make up the largest portion of our membership, which means that the work you do in your school and community is central to the success of Amnesty International.

Join Amnesty International Canada for as little as $15 a year. As a member, we’ll keep you in the loop on the most pressing global human rights issues. Amnesty’s latest actions, online petitions, contests, and campaigns will start with you. 


YOUTH ACTIVISM RESOURCES

Here are some essential tools, resources and training materials to support your organizing, campaigning and activism.



THE ACTIVISM GUIDE

There are countless opportunities for you to get involved with Amnesty International. Our Activism Guide is your resource for the latest campaigns and actions. 

The Activism Guide is a living resource and so we encourage you to check back for recent updates and new materials and resources.


GUIDE TO STAYING RESILIENT

Graphic of "Staying Resilient while saving the world" workbook

Fighting for the world to be a better place, together with others who have the same dreams, can be lots of fun! At the same time, it can have an impact on your well-being.

Sometimes this happens because you are exposed to human rights violations. Sometimes this happens because you have to combine activism with school or work. Sometimes this happens because as a youth activist you are faced with ageism. There can be lots of reasons.

Fighting for a just world is not something you need to do alone – it’s a fight we can do together! When we care for each other, we can sustain our activism and balance it with our happiness. “Staying Resilient While Trying to Save the World” [PDF] is a well-being workbook for youth activists. We hope this resource will support your journey to strengthen your self-care. And also help us all look after each other as we stand up for human rights.

Download a PDF copy of the well-being workbook below.


Refugees Welcome march organised by Amnesty International UK in partnership with Solidarity with Refugees and more than 40 other UK organisations. 30,000 people attended the march calling on the UK government to do more in response to the global refugee crisis ahead of the UNGA summit on refugees and migrants on September 19, 2016.
Refugees Welcome march organized by Amnesty International UK in partnership with Solidarity with Refugees and more than 40 other UK organizations. 30,000 people attended the march calling on the UK government to do more in response to the global refugee crisis ahead of the UNGA summit on refugees and migrants on September 19, 2016.

NATIONAL ORGANIZERS PROGRAM

National organizers are activist leaders with who are excited to take action on human rights issues in creative and critical ways in their community. 

Amnesty International Canada is committed to having youth perspectives at the centre of all its human rights work. We encourage young people from across the country to apply. The National Organizers Program is an excellent youth volunteer opportunity to gain leadership experience, learn about issues that matter, and take action to make a difference in the world. 

Every single person I have met through Amnesty has inspired me in some way – from my fellow youth organizers, to my high school teachers… What inspires me even more is seeing the progress we are making!

Avreet Jagdev, National Youth Organizer

ABOUT THE ROLE

  • Support the coordination of actions for Amnesty International campaigns. 
  • Provide advice and input into the development of activism strategies. 
  • Experiment with strategic and creative ways to take action e.g. banner drops, MP visits, vlogs. 
  • Provide support, guidance, and information to other Amnesty activists in your community so they can more effectively take action on human rights issues. 
  • Working as part of a team (national/regional/local), as well as cooperatively with various other people in your community. 
  • Build relationships and collaborate with community networks that are aligned with Amnesty’s human rights work, including grassroots collectives, NGOs, and impacted communities. 

TIME COMMITMENT

  • Time commitment will vary from week to week but will likely range from 5-10 hours per month. 
  • Coordinating minimum 2-3 actions throughout the year 
  • Attending an Orientation, 2-3 campaign briefings and activist trainings as needed 
  • Communicates with staff and supporters through conference calls, Slack and emails. 
  • Please note that this position is for one year, with a possible extension to two years. Continuing as a National Organizer will be based on a check-in every 3-4 months with an assigned mentor, and participating in regional meetings or trainings as offered.
  • Check-ins will include a list of public activities initiated or attended and a  description of contacts, engagement, and the types and levels of activism generated.
  • The mentor will provide timely feedback as needed and work in a collaborative way to support the National Organizer. 

The program is a unique one which has shown me that I can make a difference both locally and abroad, regardless of my age or any other factors. It has also taught me the power of collective activism.

Anisa Jama, National Youth Organizer

REQUIRED SKILLS

  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills 
  • Basic knowledge of Amnesty International campaigns and practices. 
  • Enthusiastic motivator able to work with people of diverse backgrounds 
  • Able to work independently and have reliable access to a phone and e-mail.

MEET OUR NATIONAL ORGANIZERS

World Youth Skills Day - Amnesty activists in Ottawa for Human Rights College and the Annual General Meeting from June 16-18, 2023.
Amnesty’s National Organizers and youth activists meet at Carleton University in Ottawa for our Human Rights College and Annual General Meeting from June 16-18, 2023.

Amnesty International Canada’s National Organizers are passionate individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause of human rights, and using their skills and determination to make a lasting impact. Meet a few of our passionate National Organizers below.


Cover of The Matchstick magazine Volume 003

THE MATCHSTICK

The Matchstick is Amnesty International’s Canada’s arts and human rights magazine, produced and designed by our National Organizers.

View recent back issues: 


Become a National Organizer

Join Amnesty Canada’s National Organizers Program and learn more about human rights today.

For more information about becoming a National Organizer or to learn about this youth leadership program, please fill out our Volunteer Application Form.


NATIONAL YOUTH ACTION & ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The National Youth Action and Advisory Committee (NYAAC) is a national youth program that leads youth mobilization. It also advises Amnesty International Canada’s members, leaders and staff on youth participation in various aspects of human rights work, including governance, campaigns and activism.

Members of NYAAC are happy to respond to questions about their work with Amnesty International Canada. Please get in touch with NYAAC at nyaac@amnesty.ca.

Shriya Shah, Co-Chair

Shriya Shah is a Junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying International Studies and Business in the Huntsman Dual Degree Program. She is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights from UPenn Law.

Shriya has been an active member of Amnesty at the regional and national levels since 2017. She has a passion for making institutional human rights change in her community, particularly at the intersection of technology, disability rights, and the role of advocacy networks. She has fostered this through her comparative disability legal research at UPenn Law.

She has travelled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories for a fellowship investigating the geopolitical conflict from a human rights lens. She has also delivered a TEDx talk on the Privilege of Movement.

Shriya Shah, Co-Chair, National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, Amnesty International Canada
Shriya Shah, Co-Chair
Aidan Sander, Co-Chair of the Amnesty International Canada National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Aidan Sander, Co-Chair

Aidan Sander, Co-Chair

Aidan Sander has been a dedicated member of Amnesty International since he was fifteen. He is pursuing a medical degree as part of the Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School in Kingston, Ontario. Aidan is also a Pearson United World College alumnus in Victoria, British Columbia.

Aidan’s involvement with Amnesty International began in 2017 when he participated in the Human Rights College for Youth. Aidan has served in several roles within the organization, including as a National Human Rights Goals Committee member. In this capacity, he helped facilitate the membership feedback process to support the development of the Global and AIC(ES) Strategic Goals.

As Co-Chair of the National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, he helps advise the organization’s key leadership structures.

Tegan Hore-Kelman, Internal Communications Officer

In May 2022, Tegan graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. She majored in International Relations and minored in Environmental Ethics, taking a particular interest in courses related to human rights, international law, global politics,
intersectionality and climate justice.

While studying at the University of Toronto, Tegan was active in her student community. She was a member of the University of Toronto’s Feminist Equal Rights Alliance, a volunteer voice and piano teacher for Musical Minds, a crisis analyst for the North American Model UN, and a researcher for the G7 Research Group. Tegan is a Criminal Registrar at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.

Tegan Hore-Kelman, Internal Communications Officer,  National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, Amnesty International Canada
Tegan Hore-Kelman, Internal Communications Officer
Akanksha Sharma, Board Liaison,  National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, Amnesty International Canada
Akanksha Sharma, Board Liaison

Akanksha Sharma, Board Liaison

Akanksha Sharma is a third-year justice, political philosophy, and law student at McMaster University, with a prospective minor in sociology and French. She first got involved with Amnesty when she was 16 years old, having attended the Amnesty Human Rights College in Toronto. After that, she co-founded her high school’s Amnesty Human Rights club and worked as a national organizer, facilitating and organizing campaigns in her school community. She officially started activism at age 13 as an RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee member and has been nurturing her passion for human rights ever since.

Haris Ahmad, Board Liaison

Haris Ahmad is a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice who is dedicated to creating long-lasting change through youth empowerment. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary.

Haris’ passion for human rights activism was ignited when he co-founded an Amnesty International club at his high school. He continued his involvement with Amnesty throughout his undergraduate years, serving in various leadership roles. He led a team to organize letter-writing campaigns, including a successful Write for Rights event.

Haris’ passion also extends to educational equity. He helped start a Calgary-based non-profit that provides free tutoring and mentoring to underserved students. He is also involved with food security initiatives, including the Zero Food Waste Foundation. Haris hopes to continue to amplify youth and marginalized voices through Amnesty Canada’s National Youth Advisory and Action Committee.

Haris Ahmad, Board Liaison,  National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, 
 Amnesty International Canada
Haris Ahmad, Board Liaison
Hajar Abdessamie, External Communications Officer, Amnesty International Canada's National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Hajar Abdessamie, Chief Development Officer

Hajar Abdessamie, Chief Development Officer

Hajar Abdessamie is a Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture based in Ottawa on the traditional unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. She has been an active Amnesty International activist since 2017, holding positions as a National Organizer, VP of Finance, VP of Events, and Human Rights College Organizing Committee member. Hajar is committed to advancing Amnesty International’s vision of creating a world where human rights are respected and protected.

Over the years, Hajar has organized and facilitated various events for Amnesty’s campaigns, including Write for Rights, Have a Heart, and No More Stolen Sisters. Additionally, she has helped host numerous letter-writing events for human rights defenders who have been wrongfully prosecuted. With a strong desire to make a positive impact, Hajar is eager to engage further and empower Amnesty International’s youth activists. She aims to establish a platform where young activists can work together to tackle their challenges and create meaningful change.

Jasmin Smith, Chief Development Officer

Jasmin Smith is in her fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, St. George. She is pursuing a double major in English and Psychology and is hoping to go on to do her Masters in journalism. She would like to become an investigative journalist. During the 2022-2023 school year, she was the Executive of Publications for Amnesty International’s University of Toronto chapter. During the 2023-2024 year, she serves as their president.

Jasmin began her advocacy journey at age 13 by volunteering with local minority groups in her community of Malton, Mississauga. During her first year at the University of Ottawa, she wrote a solidarity letter with other Black students to express disappointment about a racism issue at the school. Jasmin was a member of Amnesty’s University of Ottawa and University of Toronto chapters. She joined Amnesty Canada’s National Organizer Program in 2021 and helped plan the Human Rights College in 2023.

She is incredibly passionate about anti-racism work, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gender equity and hopes to one day report on marginalized communities and bring light to underrepresented issues.

Jasmin Smith, Chief Development Officer for Amnesty International Canada's National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Jasmin Smith, Chief Development Officer
Fatima Beydoun, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Amnesty International Canada's National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Fatima Beydoun, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility Officer

Fatima Beydoun, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility Officer

Fatima Beydoun is pursuing a JD/BCL from McGill University on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal). Originally from the unsurrendered Mi’kmaq territory of K’jipuktuk (Halifax), Fatima was first introduced to Amnesty International Canada in Grade 11 when she
attended a workshop. She has been actively involved with the organization ever since. She started as a youth organizer and Co-President of the Amnesty Club at Dalhousie.

Fatima combines her youth empowerment and human rights passions while working alongside others to advocate for more equitable systems locally and globally. She is involved with environmental, migrant and racial justice work on campus and in the community. She spent her first summer of law school in Manila interning with the Ateneo Human Rights Centre. When she is not organizing, she can be found watching aesthetic cafe videos, practicing cello, and spending time with her friends and family.

Hayley Yip, External Communication Officer – Media Activism

Hayley Yip is a McGill University student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. She is the Co-president of the Multi-Ethnic Student Alliance at McGill University. The group fosters a community for mixed-raced people and fundraises for children in the developing world who need congenital heart disease surgeries.

Her human rights advocacy started in her hometown Hong Kong, when she witnessed the mass police brutality and democratic backsliding since 2014. She has created an Instagram account to spread awareness of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing the cello, watching Studio Ghibli movies, and visiting new coffee shops in downtown Montreal. She is honoured to be on the NYAAC team and excited to work with those who share her passion for human rights advocacy.

Hayley Yip, External Communications Officer, Amnesty International Canada's National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Hayley Yip, External Communication Officer – Media Activism
Rajaa Berry, Project Coordinator, Amnesty International Canada's National Youth Action & Advisory Committee
Rajaa Berry, Project Coordinator

Rajaa Berry, Project Coordinator

Rajaa is beginning her third year in Business Administration, specializing in Finance, at the University of Windsor. Rajaa is an ardent supporter of youth activism, gender equality and inclusion, and elevating marginalized voices in her community. Rajaa served as a National Organizer and facilitated the Writes for Rights campaign for Amnesty International.

Rajaa is the founder and president of the Girl STEMpowerment Club in Lasalle. This organization helps foster young girls’ interests in the STEM field through hands-on educational experiences that develop creativity and focused thinking skills. She has organized numerous STEM workshops and hosted the all-girls math tournament.

Rajaa hopes her activism amplifies marginalized voices globally and empowers youth to create global change. She is an active volunteer in her community. She has also volunteered for the Canadian-Muslim Vote, the Parliament of Canada, and the Stay-Woke Organization.

Linnea Nguyen, Strategy & Global Partnerships Officer

Linnea Nguyen is a second-year student at McGill University pursuing a double major in Political Science and Sociology. She finds learning exchanges and global opportunities for the youth committee. As an Amnesty National Organizer, Linnea has led and managed successful youth mobilization campaigns. She has participated in takeovers of official Amnesty Canada social media accounts and published articles on issues central to young activists.

Linnea is also a U-Report Ambassador for UNICEF Canada, a Crisis Responder for Kids Help Phone, an RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee member, and a UNESCO Global Youth Community member. Her leadership reflects a passion for youth empowerment and inclusion in processes that are missing their essential input.

Linnea Nguyen, Strategy & Global Partnerships Officer, National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, Amnesty International Canada
Linnea Nguyen, Strategy & Global Partnerships Officer

Youth Activism Newsletter

Join Amnesty & Make a Difference

Learn about global human rights issues firsthand from Amnesty campaigners and investigators worldwide. Get ideas to inspire your activism. Find resources and support to make the change in your school and community. Learn more by subscribing to Amnesty’s quarterly Youth Activism Newsletter now.