Amnesty International

Ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights

Amnesty International’s mission is to stop human rights abuses around the world by shining a spotlight on injustice that might otherwise be hidden. Amnesty helps prisoners of conscience who have been locked away from their loved ones, often beaten and tortured, just for defending human rights. They are the peaceful protestors, the oppressed, the displaced, the victims of death by execution and stoning, and people persecuted because of their race, gender, religion, or beliefs.

For over a third of these political prisoners, a real difference is made as a direct result of Amnesty campaigning, e.g. they are freed, get access to a lawyer or doctor, are finally allowed family visits, or they are granted a retrial. After release, many have said that Amnesty letters and support gave them the strength to carry on during dark days of despair.

Once a human rights abuse has been identified and verified by Amnesty the organization will publish reports, inform the media, and notify members. The worldwide network then generates hundreds of appeal letters to governments on behalf of individuals at risk. Amnesty provides clear guidelines on how to word letters or emails respectfully and effectively.

Founded by a British lawyer in 1961, and with three million supporters from over 150 countries, Amnesty International is the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization. It has renowned credibility as it is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any particular government or political system, nor does it accept money from any such groups. It is answerable only to its membership.

Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for “having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world”. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the bedrock for campaigns.

Intense public pressure from around the world CAN bring about justice and freedom for the oppressed. Whether you have 10 minutes or 10 hours, you can help:

  • Join the Newmarket-Aurora group, which meets monthly at The Rectory (house behind  Trinity Anglican Church, 79 Victoria St., Aurora). We learn about current campaigns, discuss issues, and write letters. New members are always welcome. For more information, contact Renee and Len at 905-713-6713 or amnestyaurora@gmail.com . 
  • Visit http://www.amnesty.ca or http://www.aito.ca (GTA) to learn more. Receive e-newsletters about local events, and find ways you can help from home.
  • The Urgent Action Network (www.amnesty.ca/urgentaction) allows you to customize how often you want to be notified regarding urgent appeals.  There is a special subgroup known as Lifesaver for 10-15 year old writers.
  • Students who are interested in starting an Amnesty group at their school can find ideas at http://www.amnesty.ca/youth/get_involved.

Toronto Office website: http://www.aito.ca