Reference Work Entry

International Encyclopedia of Civil Society

pp 27-28

Amnesty International

  • Regina ListAffiliated withCentre for Social Investment, Universitaet Heidelberg

Address of Organization

International Secretariat 1 Easton Street London WC1X 0DW UK www.​amnesty.​org


Amnesty International (AI) describes itself as a “worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights.” AI has grown into one of the largest international NGOs with more than 2.2 million members, supporters, and subscribers in over 150 countries and territories.

Brief History

Amnesty International’s work began in 1961 when British lawyer, Peter Benenson, launched the “Appeal for Amnesty” with the publication of a widely reprinted article that brought attention to those imprisoned, tortured or executed because their opinions were unacceptable to government. Several months after the article’s publication, delegates from six European countries and the United States agreed to establish a permanent international movement to defend freedom of opinion and religion, and in 1962, delegates from 14 national ...

This is an excerpt from the content