Campaigns supported by Sarah
On this page you can find information about NGOs and campaigns currently supported by Sarah, links to recent related press releases and to campaign websites. Please use the drop-down menu below, or scroll down.
Sarah is Vice Chair of Justice, an all-party, law reform and human rights organisation. Justice works to improve the legal system and the quality of justice, in particular by: promoting human rights; improving the legal system and access to justice; improving criminal justice; raising standards of EU justice and home affairs. Sarah is also Liberal Democrat European Justice Spokesperson and an active member of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Sarah is a council member of Liberty, a campaign group which believes in a society based on the democratic participation of all its members and the principles of justice, openness, the right to dissent and respect for diversity. Liberty aims to secure the equal rights of everyone (as long as they do not infringe the rights and freedoms of others) and oppose any abuse or excessive power by the state against its people. Sarah is a leading campaigner for the protection of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms, including through her work on the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee and as Vice-Chair of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup.
European Reform Campaigns
Sarah supports the send2women campaign, which recognises the high importance of having a gender balance in the top EU posts. There will probably be four top EU jobs to be filled: the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission, the President of the European Parliament and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. However, every one of the potential candidates named to date is male. The send2women campaign calls for the appointment of at least one woman to the top four posts. If you agree that it is important that in the 21st century the EU is representative of the population it serves then do sign the online petition.
Sarah supports the campaign to end the practise of maintaining two official parliamentary seats for the European Union.
Mission Statement for the European Union
The negative referenda results in 2005 on the European Constitution sparked much discussion. Members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the Committee of the Regions believe that the fundamental problem lies in the fact that for an increasing number of Europeans, the purpose of the European Union in the 21st century is not clear. A Mission Statement for the European Union has thus been drafted which would allow the EU to state clearly what its purpose is, without depending on the outcome of the Constitution.
Sarah has repeatedly called for the closure of the legal black hole that is Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, calling it both a scandal and a setback in the fight against terrorism. Sarah is Vice-Chair of the European Parliament committee investigating CIA torture flights in Europe.
Many regard electronic cigarettes as a game changer in the fight to reduce the 700,000 smoking-related deaths in Europe each year. Despite their increasing popularity many MEPs remain unconvinced or undecided over how to deal with electronic cigarettes in legislation. Although they contain no tobacco, some Members are put off by the association of e-cigarettes with conventional cigarettes or the fact that most of them still contain nicotine.
The fate of e-cigarettes will be shaped over the coming weeks as MEPs vote on new tobacco products regulation. The rules discussed mainly concern flavours, packet size and health warnings of conventional tobacco products but also “related products” such as ‘e-cigarettes’.
In July, the Public Health Committee of the European Parliament voted to classify e-cigarettes as a medicinal product. Liberal Democrat MEPs fear this will limit their availability and restrict access. We are of the view that such a strong regulatory intervention is neither justified by the risks e-cigarettes pose nor that it is sound policy given that e-cigarettes have a great potential for reducing the harmful effects of smoking and weaning smokers off tobacco products.
We are convinced that the benefits of e-cigarettes outweigh any concerns and therefore are re-tabling a key amendment to plenary to ensure that e-cigarettes remain no less available than other tobacco products.
In support of the European Consumers' Organisation (BEUC), Sarah Ludford MEP has signed a pact help win back consumer confidence. The pact covers the eight areas of energy and sustainability, financial services, consumer contracts, food, the digital world, health, safety and group action.
To read more visit http://www.consumerpact.eu/
Lack of controls on the international arms trade fuels conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. Every government is responsible. The Control Arms campaign is asking governments to toughen up controls on the arms trade. Sarah signed the Control Arms petition in March 2006, and has been urging Londoners to join her in adding their face to the "million faces" petition ever since. Recently in 2008 Sarah signed up to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Parliamentary declaration. The ATT will help to prevent irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons
Embargoed! is a human rights group campaigning to bring an immediate and unconditional end to all embargoes against the people of North Cyprus. Embargoed! thus aims to restore the fundamental political, economic and social rights of all North Cypriots. Sarah campaigns vigorously for the EU to honour its commitments by providing aid for economic development in North Cyprus and is calling for an immediate end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.
End HIV Discrimination
In 1993 the US government introduced a policy to deny visa waiver to people with HIV or AIDS and made the obtaining of any visa very difficult and laden with conditions.
She campaigned for this ban to end as it was discriminatory and lacked any objective justification.
In January 2010 the US government removed the visa waiver ban for people living with HIV, except if they have been previously denied entry to the US. Individuals previously denied a visa waiver on the grounds that they were HIV positive can apply for a non-immigrant visa.
Fair Trials Abroad
Sarah is a patron of Fair Trials International which seeks to help citizens from the European Union accused of a crime in a country other than their own, to assert their rights to due administration of justice. Sarah fights for EU citizens facing miscarriages of justice and has successfully campaigned for the release of wrongfully detained constituents.
Gary McKinnon was indicted in 2002 on charges of hacking into United States' Military computer networks, and is currently fighting an extradition request in the European Court of Human Rights. Sarah has written to the Home Secretary in support of McKinnon against being extradited to the USA, on the grounds that he is a sufferer of Asperger's syndrome, and committed the alleged crimes in the U.K.
Gurkha Justice Campaign
Sarah supports the Gurkha Justice Campaign, demanding that the Gurkhas are granted the same status as UK and Commonwealth soldiers and their families. This includes the automatic right to settle in the UK and fair pension settlements for Gurkha veterans. Please sign the online petition to express your support for the Gurkhas.
ILGA-Europe's 2009 European Election Pledge
Sarah has signed the ILGA-Europe 2009 European Election pledge to promote equality and to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. You can the pledges in detail at the link below:
Sarah is a supporter of the campaign against the systematic breach of the right to freedom of assembly for the LGBT community in Russia by the Russian government. Since May 2006 Russian officials have banned 167 public events that LGBT communities had planned across the country.
Ahead of the planned 2009 Moscow Pride event, Sarah has co-signed a letter from several MEPs requesting that the Russian government enter a dialogue with the organisers of Moscow Pride to ensure that the event, planned for May 16th, can be conducted in accordance with the Russian constitution and the European Human Rights Convention (ECHR).
One Hour Bus Ticket
Sarah has signed the petition in suppor of Lib Dem London Assembley Member Caroline Pidgeon's recently launched campaign for a one hour bus ticket in London. The proposal is that when bus passengers touch in with their Oyster cards, they can make unlimited additional bus journeys in the next 60 minutes without further deductions from their card. Similar schemes are in place in Paris, Brussels and Rome - so why not London?
Please sign the petition at the link below.
One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws
Sarah has signed a petition launched by a group of women's rights activists in Iran demanding changes to discriminatory laws against women.
The 'One Million Signatures Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws' campaign is a follow-up to the peaceful protest which took place in June in Tehran. The instigators point out that their demands for reform do not clash with Islamic law but call on the Iranian government to eliminate discrimination in accordance with its commitments under the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
Protect Innocent People's DNA
Sarah is supporting the Liberal Democrats' campaign against police retention of the DNA records of innocent people. Five times more people in the UK have their DNA records stored on central government records than in any other country in the world. Liberal Democrat home affairs spokespeople Lynne Featherstone and Nick Clegg have launched a petition on the party website.
Sarah supports the Stop Corruption campaign to get the EU to address the problem of corruption both in general, and through its relations with third world countries. High level corruption undermines the ability of developing countries to ensure the right to food, housing, health and education. This cross-party campaign urges the EU to put in place mechanisms to address the problems of bribery, embezzlement and money laundering that cause to poverty and conflict. Please join Sarah in signing the petition: