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Amnesty International

Website: http://www.amnesty.org

Category: Human Rights

Year of Foundation: 1961

Location of Foundation: Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Location of Headquarters: London, UK

Brief Description: 'Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone' (source: www.amnesty.org; accessed 22 November 2009)

Founding Rationales:

'The spread of dictatorship, the tensions that have resulted from the Cold War, and the increasing cleavage between races of different colour, have combinedto make state persecution of the individual the gravest social problem of the 1960s. The principal object of Amnesty is to mobilize public opinion in defence of those men and womenwho are imprisoned because their ideas are unacceptable to their governments. It has been formed so that there should be some central, international organization capable of concentrating efforts to secure the release of these "Prisoners of Conscience", and to secure worldwide recognition of Articles 18 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.'

Initial goals included the creation of a 'Prisoner of Conscience' library; development of a network of local groups ('threes') working across First, Second and Thirld World divides; the sending of investigators into human rights violations; commemoration of 'Human Rights Day'; publications including the journal Amnesty; conferences; and the co-ordination and international expansion of the movement.

Source: 'Amnesty (International Movement for Freedom of Opinion and Religion). First Annual Report, 1961-1962'

Evolution of Membership:

Amnesty International Membership Chart

Source: www.amnesty.org; accessed 22 November 2009