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Amnesty International

International non-governmental organization / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Amnesty International (also referred to as Amnesty or AI) is an international non-governmental organization focused on human rights, with its headquarters in the United Kingdom. The organization says it has more than ten million members and supporters around the world.[1] The stated mission of the organization is to campaign for "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."[3] The organization has played a notable role on human rights issues due to its frequent citation in media and by world leaders.[4][5]

Quick facts: Founded, Founders, Type, Headquarters, Locati...
Amnesty International
FoundedJuly 1961; 61 years ago (1961-07)
United Kingdom
HeadquartersLondon, WC1
United Kingdom
  • Global
ServicesProtecting human rights
FieldsMedia attention, direct-appeal campaigns, research, lobbying
More than ten million members and supporters[1]
Agnès Callamard[2]

AI was founded in London in 1961 by the lawyer Peter Benenson.[6] In what he called "The Forgotten Prisoners" and "An Appeal for Amnesty," which appeared on the front page of The Observer, a British newspaper, Peter Benenson wrote about two students who toasted to freedom and four other people who had been jailed in other nations because of their beliefs. The AI's original focus was prisoners of conscience, with its remit widening in the 1970s, under the leadership of Seán MacBride and Martin Ennals to include miscarriages of justice and torture. In 1977, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In the 1980s, its secretary general was Thomas Hammarberg, succeeded in the 1990s by Pierre Sané. In the 2000s, it was led by Irene Khan.

Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilize public opinion to generate pressure on governments where abuse takes place.[7]