What is Amnesty?

WHAT IS AMNESTY?

The international movement

Since Amnesty was founded in 1961, it has grown to a big international movement with offices in more than eighty countries and more than 7 million members, sympathisers and activists in over 150 countries or territories. Their main office, the International Secretariat (IS), is situated in London. The IS has around 400 employees (paid and voluntary) from over 50 countries.

The most important tasks of the IS are:

  • Conducting research and reporting
  • Ensuring Amnesty International (AI) speaks with one voice globally about the whole range of human rights themes and situations and their impact on people and communities
  • Providing expert legal analysis of our research data, forming the basis of expert lobbying of international government organisations
  • Providing endorsed materials to sections for campaigning
  • Monitoring AI’s financial health
  • Supporting and maintaining systems required to ensure that AI is ready to serve 24 hours a day

The highest organisational body is the International Council Meeting (ICM). This takes place every two years and is attended by representatives of all national Amnesty branches. The ICM decides on Amnesty International’s strategic and financial goals, and elects the International Executive Committeee. Their nine board members see to it that these goals are met through the secretary-general, Salil Shetty, who is the head of the International Secretariat.

Amnesty the Netherlands

Amnesty International, section the Netherlands was founded in may 1968 and is one of Amnesty’s biggest national sections. Around 255.000 people in the Netherlands are a member of this organisation. From the Amnesty-house in Amsterdam the national organisation organises actions and supports actions from local groups around the country. Besides that, about one hundred paid employees and fifty volunteers work for Amnesty’s media work, education, lobby, funding and member recruitment.