Who we are

18 November 2019, 10:34 UTC | New Zealand

Amnesty International is a global movement of individuals who protect and defend human rights. We campaign for justice wherever it has been denied and protect people, defending their right to freedom, truth and dignity.

We do this by investigating and exposing abuses, mobilising our movement of over 10 million supporters from 150 countries worldwide to take action. We send experts to investigate and report wherever human rights abuses occur, working with thousands of international media outlets to expose the guilty and call them to justice.

We support advocates and activists defending human rights in their own countries. We put pressure on offending governments, groups and individuals to ensure they uphold, create or change laws to protect human rights. We educate present and future generations, so that one day, the dream of human rights for all can become a reality.

Amnesty International is impartial and does not accept any money from governments or political parties. This allows us to maintain full independence from any governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions.

"Amnesty International is powered by the millions of ordinary people that stand alongside us. The solidarity and passion of our supporters, combined with the power of our analysis, is a potent force. We have a unique ability to reach out and engage people and inspire change around the world." 

- Salil Shetty, previous Amnesty International Secretary General

Our Vision

Our vision is 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 standards.

We set new standards for human rights. We led the campaign for the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 1984, and worked with partners to ensure the UN adopted the first ever Arms Trade Treaty in 2013.

Our decades-long campaign has led to the death penalty being abolished in law or practice in two-thirds of the world's countries. In 2002 we generated the global support needed for the establishment of the International Criminal Court - so that those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will face justice.

Our Mission

To achieve our vision, our mission is to research and take action to prevent and put an end to grave abuses of human rights - whenever and wherever they occur. We use our evidence to save lives. We advocate for change and provide human rights education to make sure people know their rights and can access them.

Our Values

Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.

With these values at our heart, we have stopped torture, freed prisoners, protected free speech, prevented executions, reunited families, and saved homes.

1. We are independent

Amnesty International is completely independent. We challenge human rights abuses wherever they occur, regardless of which government or group is responsible. This doesn’t always make us popular – Idi Amin, Ayatollah Khomeni and the Chinese Communist Party have all criticised our work.

But we believe the praise of Amnesty supporters like Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai carries far more weight. We have also been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

2. We are trusted

Our work is underpinned by independent research in the field, firsthand eyewitness accounts and survivor testimonies. All are cross-checked with a network of trusted sources and experts. This makes our work a valuable resource for governments, bodies like the United Nations, and media outlets around the world.

3. We are committed in the long-term

Our commitment to long-term campaigning delivers results and saves lives. Our work over several decades helped to secure an international Arms Trade Treaty in 2013, the International Criminal Court in 2002, and a global convention against torture in 1984.

4. We are comprehensive

Our collective size enables us to work on a comprehensive range of human rights issues across the world and campaign more effectively. Our depth of knowledge makes a resource for many governments seeking to improve human rights. Countries throughout the Pacific look for our leadership when it is time to vote on United Nations matters.

5. We are about people

Our work for individuals at risk has changed thousands of lives around the world, helping to save people from torture, detention, harassment and other abuses.

6. We aren’t afraid of hard work

We tackle difficult and complex issues that do not result in ‘quick wins’. In the early 90s, we started challenging governments to find a solution to the deadly and uncontrolled illicit trade of arms. It took twenty years of campaigning, millions of signatures, thousands of public demonstrations and countless hours of discussions with international authorities - but the international Arms Trade Treaty is now law. It has the power to save millions of lives, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

7. We collaborate

We work with a huge range of organisations, networks, and individual campaigners across the world. This helps to amplify local voices and empower local human rights defenders. It means we can coordinate region-wide and even global work that exceeds the sum of its individual parts.

8. We are a member-led movement

Amnesty International is a global movement of over eight million people. They decide what we do and help to ensure that when we speak, governments listen. We can mobilise them to support a campaign, adding strength to our message and show that human rights are relevant to ordinary people around the world. Our campaigners include thousands of young people inside and outside the classroom.

9. We hold influence

Members of Parliament look to us to understand the most pressing human rights matters around the world. When a crisis breaks out, New Zealand journalists turn to us to separate fact from fiction and provide in-depth background on the issues and actions that will make a difference.

10. We are effective

Amnesty International is one of the world’s most influential NGOs, with a track record of success. Yet in terms of how much we spend on our work, we are smaller than many people think. Because our campaigning work is done so effectively through our volunteer networks and individual members, we get a big ‘return on our investment’.

We are made up or ordinary people across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. This is our strength, and means that the money and time our members and supporters give makes a huge difference to the global advancement of human rights.


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