About Angela Chang

Angela T. Chang is Amnesty International USA's Associate Director of Government Relations in the Advocacy, Policy and Research Department. She began her work at AIUSA in 2008 as an intern with the Individuals at Risk campaign, and currently works on AIUSA's Stop Violence Against Women projects. Specifically, she assists with AIUSA's advocacy on the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) and as lead advocacy coordinator of AIUSAís Maze of Injustice work, which seeks to address the appalling epidemic of sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women in the United States. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, she holds a B.A. in International Relations, and is fluent in both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
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Ex-Liberian President Who Brought "Blood Diamonds" Into the Public Consciousness, Found Guilty of War Crimes

Charles Taylor

Today, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) in The Hague convicted Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, with aiding and abetting 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity – including murder, rape, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers – committed during Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war.

Set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations, the Special Court is  a “hybrid” or “mixed” tribunal, including both international and Sierra Leonean staff,  as well as  elements of both international and Sierra Leonean law.

Charles Taylor is the first former head of state to have been prosecuted in an international criminal court for crimes committed in Africa, and today’s conviction marks the first verdict for a head of state charged with international war crimes since the Nuremberg trials following World War II.

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George Clooney & Members of Congress Arrested Calling for Human Rights in Sudan

george clooney arrested at sudan rally

George Clooney arrested at Sudan rally on March 16th (c) Amnesty International

Just now, in an effort to raise awareness and capture media attention for the critical human rights crisis in Sudan, celebrity actor and activist George Clooney, Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), Representative Jim Moran (D-VA), Ben Jealous (head of the NAACP), Tom Andrews (President of UEG) and John Prendergast (ENOUGH), and others were arrested for civil disobedience, in protest against the Sudanese governments’ actions against innocent civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Over a hundred activists turned out to join Amnesty International and others — including congressional human rights champions and partner organizations United to End Genocide (UEG), ENOUGH, Humanity United, American Jewish World Service, TransAfrica Forum – to protest the escalating humanitarian crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

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Milestone Verdict on Child Soldiers: Will Kony Be Next?

Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanda Dyilo listens at the International Criminal Court. MARCEL ANTONISSE/AFP/Getty Images

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced a historic decision, finding Thomas Lubanga Dyilo – the alleged founder of a vicious Congolese armed rebel group – guilty of war crimes for his use and abuse of child soldiers during the armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 2002 and 2003.

Lubanga’s conviction sets a historic precedent for international justice and accountability for those who commit the most unspeakable of crimes. Crimes like rape. Torture. Enslavement. Crimes common among Lubanda’s Union of Congolese Patriots and its armed wing, the FPLC.

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Milestone for International Justice in Kenya

Kenya police passout paradeOn Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that four out of six senior-level Kenyan officials must stand trial for crimes against humanity. This includes two presidential hopefuls, and all four are accused of complicity in the widespread violence that erupted in the aftermath of the bitterly disputed 2007 presidential elections which left over half a million Kenyans displaced and over 1,100 killed.

The ruling by the ICC marks an important milestone for victims of violence and their right to justice, truth, and reparations, and will also go far in setting a historic precedent in ensuring international justice for crimes committed against humanity worldwide. ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated:
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New Report on Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota

“I thought prostitution was normal living.”

Last week the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition and Prostitution Research & Education, an incredible team of Native American women researchers and activists, released a report on prostitution and trafficking of Native American women in Minnesota.

Garden of Truth is the first study detailing the personal experiences of Native women who have been prostituted and trafficked in Minnesota. The research team interviewed 105 women to assess the life circumstances that led them to prostitution.  The study found about half of the women met a conservative legal definition of sex trafficking which involves third-party control over the prostituting person by pimps or traffickers.

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Stand Up For Native Women On Indigenous Peoples Day

Today, August 9th, is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples – a day that is meant to honor ethnic groups around the world who are native to a particular land or region.

However, as the US Congress comes under pressure to cut the deficit and drastically reduce spending, Native communities could be left without the necessary resources to fight the epidemic of rape and sexual violence perpetrated against Native women and girls.

You may recall that one of our most historic victories in 2010 was when President Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act into law. This was a hard-fought battle championed by tribal leaders, Native advocates, and Amnesty members like you.

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Addressing Epidemic of Sexual Violence Against Native Women in US

This past Thursday, Amnesty’s Sarah Deer testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing on protecting native women in the US.

Deer, a Native women’s advocate and member of Amnesty USA’s Native American and Alaska Native Advisory Council, addressed the safety and justice challenges native women in the United States face as documented by our 2007 Maze of Injustice report.

Our report revealed that 1 in 3 Native American and Alaskan Native women will be raped in her lifetime. Native women are also 2.5 times more likely to be raped than non-Native women in the US with nearly 86% of rapes perpetrated by non-Native men.  Widespread human rights abuses within the judicial system and the maze of the complex interrelation of federal, state, and tribal jurisdictions often allows perpetrators to act with impunity and evade justice.

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Ending Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women in the U.S.

Earlier this month, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo issued a statement during her visit to the U.S. scrutinizing the U.S. for its continued failure to prosecute perpetrators of sexual violence crimes against Native American and Alaska Native women and girls.

Consistent with Amnesty International’s findings in 2007’s “Maze of Injustice” report documenting the epidemic of sexual violence in Indian Country, Manjoo met with tribal leaders and advocates, who confirmed Amnesty’s own findings – including Department of Justice statistics citing that 86% of perpetrators of sexual violence against Native women and girls are in fact, non-Native men.

This horrific statistic is an all too familiar, frightening daily reality for Native women – particularly as tribal courts still have no jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native offenders, often leaving survivors of sexual violence without access to justice or redress for crimes committed against them.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day all this week, it is all too clear that the U.S. still has a long way to go in addressing this epidemic of sexual violence against Indigenous women here in the U.S.

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Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Empowerment

Wow! International Women’s Day is celebrating 100 years of women’s empowerment and progress towards complete gender equality! To celebrate this momentous benchmark, Amnesty International USA plans to kick off the first full week of March with a series of blog posts highlighting the work we continue to do address women’s human rights issues.

International Women’s Day represents two sides of the push for women’s rights: one is a celebration of how far we’ve come, and the other is a reinvigoration of the push for total gender equality.

For years, Amnesty has been striving to ensure universal rights for all women – focusing specifically on ending violence against women, including the violence and sexual assault perpetrated against Indigenous women in the U.S. As we expanded our work to include the broad spectrum of economic, social, and cultural rights, we have taken on the daunting task of fighting for those human rights violations that are both a cause and consequence of poverty.

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President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

Kicking off the second annual White House Tribal Nations Conference this morning, President Obama announced that the U.S. would finally endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)!

The UNDRIP is a non-legally binding human rights instrument which affirms universal standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of all Indigenous Peoples. It provides a framework for addressing indigenous issues and was adopted by the United Nations in 2007, with the United States as one of only four countries, along with Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, that voted against the Declaration. Australia and New Zealand reversed their initial positions, and on November 12, Canada announced its endorsement of the Declaration as well.

In April 2010, the United States announced it would formally review its position on UNDRIP. Led by the State Department, the Administration held a series of tribal and NGO consultations to review what endorsement of the international human rights declaration would mean for Indigenous populations in the U.S. We are grateful to the Administration for their commitment to ensuring the ongoing engagement and consultation of tribal leaders, federally recognized tribes, and other interested stakeholders throughout this process.

This is a tremendous and long-overdue victory for American Indians in the U.S. – by endorsing the UNDRIP, the U.S. government is affirming its commitment to protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples, both at home and abroad. 

A huge congratulation to all of our Native American and Alaska Native partners and friends for this long-awaited and well-deserved victory!

And a deep and heartfelt thank you to ALL of our activists and supporters who took action to let President Obama know that you support indigenous rights – without your action, support and commitment, this would not have been possible.