Since it was founded in 1961, Amnesty International has been empowering people like you to take action for a better world. This is a snapshot of what you have made possible.
“Open your newspaper – any day of the week – and you will find a report from somewhere in the world of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government. The newspaper reader feels a sickening sense of impotence. Yet if these feelings of disgust all over the world could be united into common action, something effective could be done.”
– Peter Benenson
Amnesty International was founded in 1961 on the idea that together ordinary people can change the world.
Today Amnesty is a worldwide movement for human rights, calling on the collective power of 10 million people, each one committed to fighting for justice, equality and freedom everywhere. From London to Santiago, Sydney to Kampala, people have come together to insist that the rights of each and every human are respected and protected.
Change has not happened overnight. It’s taken persistence and a belief in the power of humanity to make a difference. And the result? The release of tens of thousands of people imprisoned for their beliefs or their way of life.
The end of the death penalty in dozens of countries. Previously untouchable leaders brought to account. Amended laws and changed lives.
How do we measure 60 years of collective action? It’s there in the accused who is given a fair trial; the prisoner saved from execution; or the detainee who is no longer tortured. It’s there in the activists freed to continue their defence of human rights; the school children learning about their rights in the classroom; or the families escorted safely home from refugee camps.
And it’s there in the marginalized communities marching to demand an end to discrimination, the marginalised communities who defended their homes from destruction and the woman whose government finally outlaws the abuse she faces every day.
Sixty years on, we’re still battling for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. And we won’t stop until it’s achieved.
When I first lit the Amnesty candle, I had in mind the old Chinese proverb: ‘Better light a candle than curse the darkness’.
Humanity wins: Your impact over the last 60 years