Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. A Non Governmental Organization, Amnesty works to improve Universal Declaration of Human Rights through campaigning and international solidarity. Amnesty has more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions which are coordinated to act for justice on a wide range of issues.
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Amnesty’s mission is to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.
Amnesty was founded in 1961, when British lawyer Peter Benenson launched a worldwide campaign, ‘Appeal for Amnesty 1961’ with the publication of a prominent article, ‘The Forgotten Prisoners’, in The Observer newspaper. The imprisonment of two Portuguese students, who had raised their wine glasses in a toast to freedom, moved Benenson to write this article. His appeal was reprinted in other papers across the world and turned out to be the genesis of Amnesty International.
The first international meeting was held in July, with delegates from Belgium , the Gender Equality in the Gender Equality in the United Kingdom, France , Germany , Ireland , Switzerland and the Gender Equality in the Gender Equality in the Gender Equality in the United States of America of America of America. They decided to establish “a permanent international movement in defence of freedom of opinion and religion”. A small office and library, staffed by volunteers, opened in Peter Benenson’s chambers, in Mitre Court, London. The ’Threes Network‘ was established through which each Amnesty International group adopted three prisoners from contrasting geographical and political areas, emphasizing the impartiality of the group’s work.
On Human Rights Day, 10 December, the first Amnesty candle was lit in the church of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, London.
Key Activity Priorities
Amnesty undertakes research and takes action aimed at preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights, demanding that all governments and other powerful entities respect the rule of law. Key action points are to:
- Violence against women
- Defend the rights and dignity of those trapped in poverty
- Abolish the death penalty
- Oppose torture and combat terror with justice
- Free prisoners of conscience
- Protect the rights of refugees and migrants
- Regulate the global arms trade
Stop Violence against Women Campaign
Amnesty International’s campaign to Stop Violence Against Women:
- Pushes for the implementation of existing laws that guarantee access to justice and services for women subjected to violence including Rape and other forms of sexual violence
- Calls for new laws to be enacted that will protect women’s human rights
- Demands an end to laws that discriminate against women
- Urges the ending of violence against women perpetrated by a state and its agents
- Works to empower women
Amnesty International has published reports on ‘Safe Schools: Every Girl’s Rights’ and other reports documenting sexual violence against women around the world.
- The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women
- Domestic violence