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The Effectiveness Of Amnesty International Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

The Effectiveness of Amnesty International

In 1961, two Portuguese students raising a toast to freedom were imprisoned for 7 years. Upon learning about the controversy, Peter Benenson, a British lawyer published The Forgotten Prisoners in the Observer newspaper. This became the article that launched Amnesty International and the worldwide campaign to take action and fight for human rights. Amnesty International or commonly called "AI" is a worldwide, non for profit organization that advocates and fights for human rights issues globally. As set forth in the Universal Declaration of Independence, Amnesty International campaigns to free prisoners of conscience, fight for women's rights, abolish the death penalty and ultimately restore and fight for human rights. In spite of recent controversy of the International NGO, Amnesty aims to create an abuse free world using volunteer members of more than 3 million to write and protest to government officials in order to protect human rights everywhere. Amnesty International is an efficient advocacy group that investigates global issues and seeks truths in order to protect and promote a peaceful world.
In countries like Burma and North Korea, citizens are unable to voice their opinion regarding criticisms of the government. However, when they do, they are immediately imprisoned and cannot be released. Amnesty International fights to protect the rights of the imprisoned, without necessarily supporting the views of the victim's ideologies. The main concern is not to oppose any government or political system but to protect the individual at risk. The first prisoner of conscience, a term coined by Benenson himself regards the issue of "[a]ny person who is physically restrained (by imprisonment or otherwise) from expressing (in any form of words or symbols) any opinion which he honestly holds and which does not advocate or condone personal violence. We also exclude those people who have conspired with a foreign government to overthrow their own." A group of scholars and activists such as Eric Baker launched the campaign called "Appeal for Amnesty 1961". It was not until 1962 that the campaign had reached enough support from the public that name was permanently changed to "Amnesty International". On the official website of the NGO, Amnesty declares that first priority begins at home. Speaking in terms of Canada, Amnesty believes Canadians are still failing to recognize the lack of rights of the Indigenous People. Through research and documentation, Amnesty International over the decades has worked alongside the Indigenous Peoples to try to voice the issues of impoverishment and marginalization by promoting the awareness enough to successfully have implemented the United Nations declaration of rights of Indigenous Peoples in September of 2007. The declaration sets out the mere standards of "survival, dignity and well-being" of Indigenous Peoples not only in Canada but around the world. A recent victory of...

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