50 Years of Amnesty International

Amnesty International celebrates its 50th anniversary on May 28. In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson learnt about two Portuguese students imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom and published an article, "The Forgotten Prisoners" in the Observer newspaper. That article launched the "Appeal for Amnesty 1961," a worldwide campaign that provoked a remarkable response. This was the genesis of Amnesty International.

Today, this global movement is present in more than 150 countries and territories (including the Netherlands) and supported by more than three million people.

"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 standards.

In pursuit of this vision, Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights."

Statute of Amnesty International, 27th International Council meeting, 2005

Anita Kalmane


Anita Kalmane

Freelance journalist. Former Lifestyle Editor of IamExpat.

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