Source description last updated: 10 September 2014
In brief: Amnesty International (AI) is an NGO with more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories, campaigning for human rights worldwide, conducting research on human rights violations and mobilising the public to put pressure on governments and other actors responsible for human rights violations.
Coverage on
Press releases, reports, urgent actions.
Covered daily on, for countries of priorities A-C (annual report also for priority D).
“Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.  In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights.“ (AI: Who we are, Amnesty International’s Statute, undated)
“Amnesty International forms a global community of human rights defenders based on the principles of international solidarity, effective action for the individual victim, global coverage, the universality and indivisibility of human rights, impartiality and independence, and democracy and mutual respect.” (AI: Who we are, Amnesty International’s Statute, undated)
In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world". (AI: Who we are, Our history, undated)
In 1978, Amnesty International won the UN Human Rights Prize for "outstanding contributions in the field of human rights". (AI: Who we are, Our history, undated)
“In order for Amnesty International to maintain its impartiality and independence, we choose only accept funding from governments and the private (corporate) sector in exceptional circumstances. Our two main sources of income are the general public (individuals) and external grant-making bodies such as trusts and foundations. In addition to more than 3 million members and supporters around the world, the work of the International Secretariat is currently supported by: Comic Relief, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations - Central Eurasia Project and President's Discretionary Fund, Google Impact Challenge, Microsoft, NRK Telethon, Swedish Postcode Lottery” (AI: Who we are, About Amnesty International, undated)
For details on financial reports and accounts, see:
For details on AI’s limited acceptance of government funding, see:
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: AI covers most countries of origin.  
The annual report documents the situation of human rights abuses in more than 150 countries and territories.  
Thematic focus: Human rights, death penalty, torture, political prisoners.
“Amnesty International seeks to expose human rights abuses accurately, quickly and persistently. It systematically and impartially researches the facts of individual cases and patterns of human rights abuses. These findings are publicized, and members, supporters and staff mobilize public pressure on governments and others to stop the abuses.  In addition to its work on specific abuses of human rights, Amnesty International urges all governments and all relevant powers to observe the rule of law, and to ratify and implement human rights standards; it carries out a wide range of human rights educational activities; and it encourages intergovernmental organizations, individuals, and all organs of society to support and respect human rights.” (AI: Who we are, Amnesty International’s Statute, undated)
“Our research teams focusing on particular countries and themes investigate reports of human rights abuses, cross checking and corroborating information from a wide variety of sources and contacts. We receive information from many sources, including: prisoners and others suffering other human rights abuses and their representatives, survivors of abuse and their families, lawyers and journalists, refugees, diplomats, religious bodies and community workers, humanitarian agencies and other human rights organizations, human rights defenders. They monitor newspapers, websites and other media outlets. Amnesty International often sends fact-finding missions to assess the situation on the spot.” (AI: Frequently Asked Questions, How does Amnesty International get its information?, undated)
Language(s) of publications:
Website and publications in English, including occasional translation into other languages.
German language versions of urgent actions and press releases can be found on the website of Amnesty International Germany (
The annual report is published in English, French, German, Spanish and Arabic.
Further reading / links:
Hopgood, Stephen: Keepers of the Flame: Understanding Amnesty International, 2006
AI Germany:
All documents available on from this source:
All links accessed 1 September 2014.
All documents available on from this source