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Sociology PG wins Amnesty Media Award

Congratulations to Lauren Wilks, an ESRC funded research student, who won the Amnesty International Student Media Award for Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year 2013.

Lauren WilksLauren, who is currently studying for her MSc by Research at the School of Social and Political Science, had her article initially published in The Student but decided to also submit it to the Amnesty International competition as a way to get her research noticed and to highlight the issue.

Her article, Forgotten Brides: Life after Forced Marriage, addresses the challenges facing those fleeing forced marriage and the support systems available to them, which is the focus of her MSc by Research.

In researching her article, Lauren worked with contacts at both The Scottish Refugee Council, where she had previously volunteered, and at Saheliya - an organisation who run outreach activities in schools and communities to spread awareness of forced marriage and the support available to those at risk.

Speaking of her aim she said "I really wanted to highlight the issue and to demonstrate that forced marriage should be placed in the same frame as other forms of abuse and domestic violence. We need to have support systems in place to help the victims, not just laws to prevent the marriages themselves."

Lauren will complete work experience at The Observer, who sponsored this year's competition, early next year. In addition, she will be awarded a two-month fellowship at the Pulitzer Crisis Reporting Centre and a travel grant of $2,000 which will allow her to travel to Brazil in October 2013 to undertake research into sex tourism and trafficking.

After returning from Brazil, Lauren will begin focussing on her forthcoming PhD.

 

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