Individuals at Risk

8 April 2015, 15:22 UTC | New Zealand
Amnesty International Philippines staff visit Jerryme Corre to deliver messages of support from Amnesty supporters around the globe on the day before his birthday © Amnesty International

"I can never give enough thanks. These [letters] give me strength. It even changed the course of my case as compared to before. It also gives courage to my wife. We are not alone in this fight. Many people also seek justice for us."

Jerryme Corre, torture survivor in the Philippines

In 1961 Amnesty International began with the outrage of one man and his courage to do something about it. When British lawyer Peter Benenson learned of two Portuguese students imprisoned simply for raising a toast to freedom, he wrote an article called "The Forgotten Prisoners". Published in The Observer newspaper, it launched a worldwide campaign that generated a huge response.

50 years later, standing up for individuals who have been wronged is still at the heart of what we do. We highlight their situation, wishes and needs; we call for their release, a fair trial, an investigation into torture or an end to their harassment. Whatever the aims of each case, our core motivation is always the same - to right a wrong.

Each year we work on hundreds of cases from around the world. When the world has forgotten and the media spotlight has moved on, our Amnesty advocates continue to campaign on behalf of individuals at risk of having their human rights violated. They work on behalf of prisoners of conscience, people imprisoned solely because of who they are or what they believe in. Lobbying decision-making authorities, influencing governments, sending messages of solidarity to individuals and their families - it’s all part of the outreach.. When you join us to stand up for someone in trouble and show them your support, you are campaigning for a better world.

Knowing you haven't been forgotten and that someone you've never met is fighting for your rights is incredibly powerful. It gives the people we work for hope, inspiration and motivation. It also sends a clear message to the authorities that the world is watching.

Our researchers investigate and monitor human rights abuses all around the world. We work hard to keep our members and supporters informed, and mobilise you into holding authorities to account. Together, we lobby governments, generate press, stage demonstrations and protest. Together, we force the world to take notice and make people care.

It would be impossible to intervene in every case. But when we can make a difference - we act. One email, petition or letter can make a difference for those at risk.

From sending much-needed birthday greetings to raising awareness of their plight on social media, our groups ensure prisoners of conscience know they are not alone, and have not been forgotten.


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