Our vision is of a world in which every person – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity – enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other internationally recognized human rights standards. The UDHR states that the "the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights" of all people is "the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."
How We Work
Amnesty International unites people from all over the world to fight for human rights using our signature tactics:
Amnesty International keeps vigilant watch on the rights of people around the world and publishes hundreds of independent reports based on our rigorous research, free of corporate and government influence.
Through our dynamic campaigns and long-term casework, Amnesty International members propel key human rights concerns and stories of individuals at risk into the glare of the international media and demand the attention of government officials, corporations, international institutions and policy makers.
We combine high-level legislative work, media outreach and grassroots mobilization to shape and promote legislation and policies to advance human rights, protect individuals and free prisoners of conscience.
Author J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series), who once worked in Amnesty International's research department, describes our work this way: "Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life."
Who We Are
The Amnesty International story shows the power of one person to literally change the world. In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson read a newspaper story about two Portuguese students who were jailed for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom. Appalled by this injustice, he was spurred to action. He published an appeal in The Observer newspaper urging readers to write letters on behalf of "prisoners of conscience" around the world. His appeal sparked an international grassroots campaign to protect human rights - and Amnesty International was born.
The Organization Today
With more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries, and complete independence from government, corporate or ideological interests, we work to protect human rights worldwide. Our global headquarters is based in London, and we have established organizations in 68 countries. Amnesty International USA is the largest country section of the organization with nearly 250,000 members, who work for human rights independently, through national online networks, or with high school, college or community groups.
Amnesty International is funded by dedicated individual supporters and foundations to safeguard our objectivity and ensure that our research is not funded by governments and corporations. We thank these dedicated donors for their contributions to the fight for dignity and freedom.
Because fact-based reports alone are not enough to persuade corporations, governments and others who hold power to respect human rights, Amnesty International builds and mobilizes the grassroots power of millions of people to effect change. Amnesty's massive and unrelenting pressure has brought about transformational developments:
- Ten of thousands of prisoners of conscience have been released from unjust detention. This includes Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released after 15 years of detention following more than 20 years of Amnesty campaigning on her behalf;
- We garnered the public support necessary for the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and for individual governments to ratify the Convention and bring domestic laws into conformity with it;
- We generated the global support necessary for the establishment of the International Criminal Court, so that those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will face justice;
- Our decades-long campaign has led to the death penalty being abolished in law or practice in two-thirds of the world's countries - a sea change from the 1970s, when only 16 countries had abolished capital punishment;
- Our research and vigorous campaigning led to the enactment of the U.S. Tribal Law and Order Act to stop the epidemic of sexual assault of American Indian and Alaska Native women;
The December 2010 Global Write-a-thon, the annual letter-writing marathon for prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders, resulted in positive developments in five of the ten cases, within just months.
600 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
phone: (202) 544-0200
fax: (202) 546-7142
Mid-Atlantic Activists Home Page
The Mid-Atlantic Office covers the following states:
DELAWARE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA
53 West Jackson
Chicago, IL 60604
phone: (312) 427-2060
fax: (312) 427-2589
The Mid-West Office covers the following states:
ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, SOUTH DAKOTA, WISCONSIN
58 Day Street
Somerville, MA 02144
phone: (617) 623-0202
fax: (617) 623-2005
Northeast Region Home Page
The Northeast Office covers the following states:
CONNECTICUT, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, VERMONT, RHODE ISLAND
730 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
phone: (404) 876-5661
fax: (404) 876-2276
The Southern Office covers the following states:
ALABAMA, ARKANSAS, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, NORTH CAROLINA, OKLAHOMA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS
350 Sansome St, Ste 210
San Francisco, CA 94104
phone: (415) 288-1800
fax: (415) 391-3228
The Western Office covers the following states:
ALASKA, AMERICAN SAMOA, ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, GUAM, HAWAII, IDAHO, MONTANA, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, OREGON, UTAH, WASHINGTON, WYOMING