10 June 2011

Jess Elliott has won the Upper Secondary School category of the prestigious Amnesty International Human Rights Reporter of the Year competition.

Jess is a student at John Hanson Community School in Andover, Hampshire, a Level 1 Rights Respecting School. The school was one of the first secondary schools in the United Kingdom to achieve Level 1 status.

Her article on access to education in Botswana explores the difficulties facing young women which prevent them from finishing school with the grades they need to get good jobs. These issues include poverty, AIDS, lack of basic healthcare and sexual exploitation of pupils by their teachers in return for good grades.

Jess writes that 67% of secondary school age children are sexually harassed by teachers every year in Botswana, and 75% of girls know someone who has been made pregnant by a teacher.

The piece ends with a call to action to governments and charities to end this injustice and to help girls achieve a good quality education which is free from discrimination and harassment as stated in the UN Convention of Child Rights.

Jess hopes that her article "will start to raise awareness about these issues." 

Learn about UNICEF UK's Rights Respecting School Award iniative.

Jess Elliott receiving her award from Amnesty International's Dan Jones. © UNICEF UK Education
Jess Elliott receiving her award from Amnesty International's Dan Jones.© UNICEF UK Education