Amnesty International magazine

Amnesty International
www.amnesty.org

Introduction

About us

We are ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect individuals wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.

During much of our history, our campaigning has focused on prisoners, but we have responded to the changing patterns of human rights violations in the world. Today the biggest threat to human rights in the world are mass violations in armed conflicts. People are now more likely to become victims of abuse because of who they are, rather than for what they think, say or do.

We have two main ways of working to achieve human rights for everyone:

Promoting general awareness of human rights

We carry out a wide range of educational activities about human rights, promoting the values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreed human rights standards.

  • We encourage people to accept that all human rights must be protected
  • We encourage governments to accept and enforce international standards of human rights
  • We encourage governments, political organisations, businesses, other groups and individuals to support and respect human rights

Opposing specific abuses of human rights

We undertake research and action focused on stopping abuses of the following rights:

  • Physical and mental integrity
  • Freedom of conscience and expression
  • Freedom from discrimination

Our vision and mission

Our vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (opens new window) and other international human rights standards.

Amnesty International has over 1.8 million members worldwide who are passionate about our beliefs and not afraid to take unpopular stands to realise our mission:

  • To promote respect for all human rights
  • To undertake research and action focused on preventing abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression and freedom from discrimination.

In fulfilling our mission, we focus in particular on:

  • Campaigning to abolish the death penalty, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Ending extra-judicial executions and ‘disappearances’
  • Protecting the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers
  • Protecting the human rights of non-combatants in armed conflicts
  • Working for fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners
  • Seeking the release of all prisoners of conscience.

We also oppose abuses such as hostage-taking, torturing and killing prisoners and other arbitrary killings.

History

Amnesty International was founded on the belief in the power of ordinary people to make extraordinary change.

In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson wrote a newspaper appeal, ‘The Forgotten Prisoners’, calling for an international campaign to protest against the imprisonment of men and women for their political or religious beliefs.

The appeal received a tremendous response. Within a month, more than a thousand readers had sent letters of support and offers of practical help. They also sent details of the cases of many more prisoners of conscience.

Within six months, what started as a brief publicity effort, was being developed into a permanent, international movement.

The principles of impartiality and independence were established from the beginning. The emphasis was on the international protection of human rights: our members would campaign for individuals anywhere in the world.

As we grew, our focus expanded to take in not just prisoners of conscience, but other victims of human rights abuses - such as torture, ‘disappearances’ and the death penalty - throughout the world.

We are now the world’s largest international voluntary organisation dealing with human rights. With over 1.8 million members and supporters in more than 150 countries and territories united by a determination to work for a world where everyone enjoys human rights.

Amnesty International founded in 1961, have two main ways of working to achieve human rights for everyone:

  • Promoting general awareness of human rights; and
  • Opposing specific abuses of human rights

During much of their history, their campaigning has focused on prisoners, but they have responded to the changing patterns of human rights violations in the world. Today, the biggest threat to human rights in the world are mass violations in armed conflicts. People are now more likely to become victims of abuse because of who they are, rather than for what they think, say or do.

Promoting general awareness of human rights

Amnesty International carries out a wide range of educational activities about human rights, promoting the values contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international agreed human rights standards.

  • AI encourage people to accept that all human rights must be protected
  • AI encourage governments to accept and enforce international standards of human rights
  • AI encourage governments, political organisations, businesses, other groups and individuals to support and respect human rights

Opposing specific abuses of human rights

Amnesty International undertakes research and action focused on stopping grave abuses of the rights to:

  • Physical and mental integrity - including the right not to be tortured or killed
  • Freedom of conscience and expression - the right to think for yourself and express yourself
  • Freedom from discrimination - the right to fair treatment regardless of race, gender or sexuality

Magazine details

Circulation: 165,000
Published four times a year: Spring (March), Summer (June), Autumn (September) & Winter (November).

Amnesty is mailed four times a year to all 165,000 members of Amnesty International UK.
The data below is based on the response to a questionnaire.

Sex
There is a slight female bias amongst Amnesty members
55% Female
45% Male

Age
49% of Amnesty members are aged between 25 and 45
8% Under 25
13% 25 - 34
20% 35 - 44
19% 45 - 54
40% 55 and over

Education
Nearly half of Amnesty members have been educated to University/Higher Degree level
49% University/Higher Degree
33% Postgraduates
16% Secondary/Sixth Form
2% Elementary/Primary

Preferred Newspapers / Periodicals
Nearly half of Amnesty members read The Guardian
49% The Guardian
34% The Observer
31% The Independent
26% Radio Times

Interests
75% Reading
41% Cycling / running / swimming / walking
46% Overseas Travel
73% Classical Music
53% Cinema
30% Environmental concerns
66% Gardening