Amnesty International is one of the biggest human rights organisations worldwide.
Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights. Amnesty International – official mission statement
About the NGO: Amnesty International
The NGO was founded in 1961 in London and has currently offices in more than 50 countries. According to the organisation, Amnesty has more than 10 Million members and supporters worldwide. Their work consists of detailed research and writing of explicit reports about human rights violations by governments and other actors worldwide. Furthermore, they try to implement change via lobbying and advocacy. Lastly, they write petitions, letters and campaign for people and institutions to make changes so that human rights are not violated. Their key areas are women’s, children’s, minorities’ and indigenous rights, ending torture, abolition of the death penalty, rights of refugees, rights of prisoners of conscience and the protection of human dignity.
Projects and work
Global headquarter: London
Local headquarter: Local offices in many countries
Other locations: Mexico City; London; Nairobi; Kenya; Hong Kong; Bangkok; Johannesburg; South Africa; Dakar; Senegal; Iran; Israel; Palestine; North Africa; Middle East
Board of directors: Aniketh Shah; Christopher Schlaeffer; Dr Anjhula Mya Singh Bais; Fabiola Gutiérrez Arce; Lulú V. Barrera; Michael Bergmeijer; Peter Fa’afiu; Ritz Lee Santos III; Reene Ngamau; Nina Boel; Mandeep Singh
International history of NGO
- 1961: The movement begins after lawyer Peter Benenson launches “The Appeal for Amnesty” in a newspaper after two Portuguese students are arrested for toasting to freedom.
- 1961: Amnesty launches their first campaign against the death penalty.
- 1972: Amnesty launches there first campaign against torture.
- 1977: Amnesty receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
- 2006: Nelson Mandela becomes an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience
- 1977: Amnesty is awarded the nobel peace prize for contributing to “securing the ground for freedom, for justice and therefore also for peace in the world”
- 1983: Amnesty starts campaigning for an International Crime Court (ICC) – it is established in 2002.
- 1984: The UN votes to fight torture worldwide with a convention – 12 years after Amnesty started campagning for this.
- 2014: 140 countries have abandoned the death penalty which Amnesty started campaigning for in 1961.
- 2014: Amnesty campaigned for a global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) for 20 years – it finally was established on december 12th 2014.
- They have been accused of selection bias – meaning they choose to accuse non-Western countries or Western-supported countries, of human rights violations. They are also criticised for publishing false facts and inaccuracies. Governments that have criticised AI of this, includes: Israel, The Demographic Republic of Congo, China, Vietnam, USA and Russia.
- They have also been criticised for their stands on sex workers. First they supported the criminalisation of sex workers, but after critiscm they ended up supporting both the decriminalisation of sex workers and sex buyers.
Over the years, Amnesty International(AI) has received criticism by different people, countries and institutions. Some of the critics are the following:
- The Catholic Church has criticised AI for taking a stance against abortion – which means they support the acces to abortion if the mother has been raped, in case of incest, or if the health of the mother might be in danger because of the pregnancy.
- Multiple studies has shown that Amnesty is a workplace of bullying, sexism , harassment and racism. Even an Amnesty veteran committed suicide and left a note mentioning the toxicity at Amnesty International. They ended up paying 800,000 pound in compensations to the employee’s family, but not without telling them to keep it a secret.
- In 2019 AI also admitted to a 17 millions pound hole in their budget because of overspending by senior managers. The hole resulted in many layoffs by the lower income staff.
- They have been accused of paying the higher income staff too much money
How can you help?
This page is written by Our Only Home (2022-11-01)