Foundation Date: 1961
Secretary General : Julie Verhaar (Acting)
About Amnesty International: In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson was outraged when two Portuguese students were jailed just for raising a toast to freedom. He wrote an article in The Observer newspaper and launched a campaign that provoked an incredible response. Reprinted in newspapers across the world, his call to action sparked the idea that people everywhere can unite in solidarity for justice and freedom. This inspiring moment didn’t just give birth to an extraordinary movement, it was the start of extraordinary social change.
After more than 50 years of groundbreaking achievements, Amnesty has been through a major transformation, adapting to dramatic changes in the world. We have shifted from a large London base, to open regional offices in cities in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. These offices are major hubs for our investigations, campaigns and communications. The new regional offices strengthen the work of Sections who already work at the national level in more than 70 countries. We can now respond quickly to events wherever they happen, and be a powerful force for freedom and justice. To stay one step ahead, we are also developing tools using the latest technologies. Such as a mobile phone app that acts as a personal ‘panic button’ for activists at daily risk of being arrested or detained.
Function and Objective of Organiztion: Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion, and are funded mainly by our membership and public donations. Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
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