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Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Funded by members of the public, they are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion.
Founded in 1961 by British Lawyer Peter Benenson as a result of his outrage when two Portuguese students were jailed for raising a toast to freedom, the movement has seen successes with the abolishment of the death penalty in most countries and torturers being internationally outlawed.
Over the years, human rights has moved from the fringes to centre stage in world affairs. Similarly, Amnesty has grown from seeking the release of these political prisoners to upholding the whole spectrum of human rights. Their campaigns stand up for people’s rights, from protecting their sexual and reproductive rights to combatting discrimination and defending refugees and migrants’ rights.
They speak out for anyone and everyone whose freedom and dignity are under threat.
After more than 50 years of fantastic achievements, Amnesty has continued to transform and adapt to the dramatic changes happening in the world. They have expanded from a London base to regional offices around the world, including cities in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and beyond. These offices strengthen the work of national offices and become major hubs for investigations, campaigns and communications.
Amnesty can now respond immediately to events as they unfold and be a powerful force for freedom and justice. They are staying ahead of the curb by developing the latest technologies, including the creation of a phone app which acts as a personal panic button for activists.
“Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.” - Peter Benenson, Amnesty International founder