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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Amnesty International is one of the world’s leading human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Founded in London in 1961, Amnesty now has approximately seven million members and supporters. The main objective of Amnesty is to create a global movement which sets out to ‘conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated’ (this description can be found on Amnesty’s official website). Amnesty uses campaigning to increase awareness of both abuses of human rights and the international laws which impede them and it also tries to mobilise people to call upon governments to end injustice. To-date, Amnesty’s efforts have countlessly helped promote human rights and in 1977 the non-profit organisation won the Nobel Prize for its campaign aganst torture.
Amnesty consists largely of volunteers yet also hires some paid professionals in the field. In nations where Amnesty International has built a solid momentum, members are divided in ‘sections’. Each section helps co-ordinate the daily activities of the organisation and will have a board of directors. Then we have ‘structures’ which also help organise basic activities but are confined to smaller membership and in nations where neither ‘structures’ or ;sections’ exist people become ‘international members’. The structure of Amnesty is quite complex and very bureaucratic, fostering both international and country-specific projects. Amnesty’s ambition is best reflected in the increasing size of its members and staff: in 2012 Amnesty had 2,155 staff members and 6,811 volunteers who would help with research, campaigns, translation and organising events. The International Secretariat (IS) is the main body responsible for Amnesty’s daily affairs and sets the global agenda (i.e decides which issues are most important for Amnesty). The IS is based in London and has been led by Secretary General Salil Shetty since 2010. The International Board (also known as the Executive Committee) oversees the IS and ensures that it meets the requirements of statutes. The International Council (IC) is the most senior body of the organisation and consists of representatives from the International Board. Amnesty’s budget as an organisation has increased drastically over the years as it takes on ever more projects and an overwhelmingly majority of Amnesty’s income derives from European funds.
Amnesty seeks to defend a multitude of human rights abuses. Recently, Amnesty began petitioning against the 1,000 lash sentence of Raif Badawi, a Saudi liberal who was convicted due to the blog he had published. His case attracted immediate attention and followed the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris which gave way to fervent discussions of freedom of expression and tolerance. Amnesty International also carries out a series of long-term campaigns and one that receives a lot of media attention is their campaign to end the death penalty. Amnesty has set out to end executions worldwide since 1977, when only nine nations had abolished the death penalty. Today, Amnesty can proudly state that 140 states across the globe have now disowned the death penalty – that’s almost two-thirds of all nations. Joining Amnesty is a great way to protect human rights and with an array of campaigns already making headway you won’t be short of topics to support! If you are interested in getting involved in Amnesty International, please see the following link for more info: www.amnesty.org.uk.
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