When and why was Amnesty International founded, and what issues does it focus on now?

Amnesty International is a proud partner of Blog Action Day

In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson was outraged to read about two students in Portugal being put in prison just for raising a toast to freedom. In response, he launched a worldwide campaign called Appeal for Amnesty 1961, by publishing an article – The Forgotten Prisoners – in the UK’s Observer newspaper. Reprinted in newspapers across the world, his appeal marked the beginning of Amnesty International.

Today, Amnesty is a global movement of more than 3 million people in over 150 countries and territories. Together, we campaign to end grave human rights abuses. Our vision is for everyone to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in international human rights laws and standards.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for Blog Action Day participants to use in their posts?

Blog about why you care about injustices that happen to other people. What inspires you to take action on their behalf? Why do human rights matter? Most people in the world have experienced injustice at some point in their lives. And it’s these experiences that make us empathise with bad things that happen to other people. When we start to take injustices that happen to other people personally, we often want to do something to change it. So sharing your own journey towards becoming a human rights activist could be really powerful.

evictions_kenya_header_180913_en-1Or perhaps you can blog about an injustice that’s happened to somebody else. Right now, Amnesty is campaigning for a new law to stop people in Nairobi’s poorest communities being kicked out of their homes with no warning.

We have lots of resources you can use in your Blog Action Day post about the forced evictions in Nairobi, including stories from people affected, campaign petition you can support, more information about the campaign, video and more, that you can use to start a conversation about Human Rights to your networks.

You could also use the quick interview that Blog Action Day did with the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty.


How will Amnesty be joining in the conversation about Human Rights on Blog Action Day? 

Amnesty International will be promoting your fantastic Blog Action Day posts to our global community via our Twitter and Storify profiles on October 16. We will also select three powerful blogs by Blog Action Day participants and re-publish them in Amnesty International’s campaign blog Livewire before the end of 2013.

  • To make sure that our team find your Blog Action Day posts on October 16, tweet @AmnestyOnline with a link to your post  on October 16 with the #BAD13 hashtag.

How can people find out more about human rights and get more involved in Amnesty?

To become a member and join our campaigns, look up your local Amnesty office. If your country doesn’t have an Amnesty office you can become an international member – just find your country on the drop-down menu and fill in the form on the following page.

You can find out all about our latest campaigns in our global campaigning magazine, WIRE, and read our LIVEWIRE blog for insights into our work, and the issues and people we work with worldwide.