Amnesty International: Aim, Headquarters, Significance

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that campaigns for human rights recognised by the international community and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty International works with intergovernmental human rights bodies to enforce the protection of human rights in international law.

Amnesty has over 10 million members and supporters across 150 countries and has received a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts. Here is everything you need to know about where and when was Amnesty International established, its structure, and its mission.

What is Amnesty International?

Amnesty International is an NGO that works on an international level and looks into human rights violations by governments, armed political groups, companies, and other non-state actors. Amnesty International was established by lawyer Peter Benenson and activist Eric Baker to seek enforcement of human rights protections across the world.

Amnesty International established itself in London in the 20th century, but its influence has since spread across 70 countries. The organization also received a Nobel Peace Prize for its continuous efforts of uplifting global communities.

Organization Amnesty International
Type Non-Governmental Organization
Amnesty International Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Founded In 1961
Founded By Peter Benenson and Eric Baker
Aim To protect human rights around the world

Amnesty International Headquarters

Amnesty International is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The organization was established in the UK itself in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson and activist Eric Baker. Amnesty International connects people from around the world who believe in fighting for our human rights. Presently, the organization has around 10 million global members and supporters.

Amnesty International is located in several countries around the world. Recently, in 2020, the organization stopped all its operations in India after the Indian government froze its bank accounts

Amnesty International – History

Amnesty International was founded by a British attorney, Peter Benenson, in 1961, along with activist Eric Baker. Here, we have shared more information about the history of Amnesty International –

  • The organization was conceptualized in London by Peter Benenson wished to file an appeal in Britain to obtain amnesty for prisoners of conscience (persons arrested for their convictions, faith, ethnicity, or skin colour, and who have not used any force against others) across the world.
  • Peter Benenson was outraged after two Portuguese students were arrested for raising a toast in the name of freedom.
  • After gradual growth, Amnesty International became global in 1963 with the establishment of an international secretariat.
  • This organisation is independent of governments, political groups, ideologies, or religious divides, and its focus has expanded beyond the release of political prisoners to the abolition of the death penalty, protection of sexual and reproductive rights, and the enforcement of the rights of refugees and migrants.

Amnesty International – Structure

Amnesty is headed by the International Board that oversees the International Secretariat in London. We have shared more details about the structure of the organization here –

  • Head of the Organization – The Board, called the International Executive Council and comprises 8 members elected for 2 years. The Secretary-General is the CEO of the International Secretariat and is assisted by a team of Senior Directors. The current Secretary-General of Amnesty International is Agnès Callamard.
  • Research and Reporting – The International Secretariat is responsible for research, reporting, and providing legal analysis to lobby international governmental organisations, providing endorsed material for campaigning, and monitoring the organisation’s financial health.
  • National and Regional Levels – At the national and regional levels, Amnesty International has sections that lobby local governments, undertake campaigning and fundraising, recruit supporters, and conduct research on human rights abuses in their country.
  • Local Level – On the local level, groups based on a community are formed as official units of the organisation and undertake campaigns, social media outreach, fundraising, education, and recruitment. Individual members of Amnesty must pay a membership fee, whereas supporters make donations to the organisation. Members with shared interests can also form networks.

Aim of Amnesty International

Amnesty International was established to ensure that every one of the global population enjoys their human rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. Here are some of the aims of Amnesty –

  • Free all prisoners of conscience
  • Ensure fair and prompt trials
  • Abolish all forms of torture, ill-treatment of prisoners, and the death penalty
  • End state-sanctioned terrorism, killings, and disappearances
  • Assist political asylum-seekers
  • End all forms of violence against women
  • Co-operate with organisations that seek to put an end to human rights abuses
  • Raise awareness about human rights abuses around the world
  • Raise awareness of the threat that poverty is to human dignity and the promotion of peace and justice

Significance of Amnesty International

For over 50 years, Amnesty International has made groundbreaking achievements across the globe. Expanding outside of London, it has established itself across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. It has assisted thousands of political prisoners, and other victims of human rights abuse.

Amnesty has been instrumental in fighting human rights abuses and voicing concerns regarding armed conflict, climate change, arms control, corporate accountability, the death penalty, discrimination, freedom of expression, rights of refugees, and torture.

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FAQs on Amnesty International

Q1. What is Amnesty International?

Amnesty International is an NGO that operates on a global level, working for the human rights of people around the world. Amnesty International has been working for 50 + years and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its defence of human dignity against torture.

Q2. Where is the headquarter of Amnesty International?

Amnesty International is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The organization was established in London itself in 1961 by the British lawyer, Peter Benenson and activist Eric Baker. Amnesty International also has offices in many other countries around the world.

Q3. When was Amnesty International established?

Amnesty International was established in 1961 by Peter Benenson, a British lawyer, and Eric Baker, an activist. Amnesty International was founded to make human rights a priority on an international level and to offer support to victims of human rights violations around the globe.

Q4. Who is the head of Amnesty International?

The head of Amnesty International is Agnès Callamard, who holds the position of Secretary-General in the organization. The Secretary-General carries out important tasks for the organization and represents it on an international level.

Q5. What is the aim of Amnesty International?

Amnesty International aims to end human rights violations and mistreatment of political prisoners around the world. Amnesty International was founded by the British lawyer, Peter Benenson in 1961 after two Portuguese students were arrested for merely raising a toast to their freedom.

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