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Amnesty International facts for kids

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Amnesty International
Motto It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Founded July 1961; 60 years ago (1961-07)
United Kingdom
Founder Peter Benenson
Type Non-profit
Headquarters London, England, UK
  • Global
Services Protecting human rights
Fields Legal advocacy, Media attention, direct-appeal campaigns, research, lobbying
More than 7 million members and supporters
Kumi Naidoo

Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty or AI) is a non-governmental organization based in the United Kingdom focused on human rights. The organization claims it has more than seven million members and supporters around the world.

Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyers Peter Benenson and Philip James.

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."

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 that let abuse take place. Amnesty considers capital punishment to be "the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights."

The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its "defence of human dignity against torture," and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

In the field of international human rights organizations, Amnesty has the third longest history, after the International Federation for Human Rights.


Peter Benenson
Peter Benenson the founder of Amnesty International

There are six key areas which Amnesty deals with:

Some specific aims are to: abolish the death penalty, end extra judicial executions and disappearances, ensure prison conditions meet international human rights standards, ensure prompt and fair trial for all political prisoners, ensure free education to all children worldwide, end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, protect human rights defenders, promote religious tolerance, protect LGBT rights, stop unlawful killings in armed conflict, uphold the rights of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, and protect human dignity.

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