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Amnesty International

Organization NameAmnesty International
Organization MottoIt is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Organization TypeNon-profit
FoundedJuly 1961 by Peter Benenson in the United Kingdom
General secretariat in London
Key PeopleSalil Shetty, Irene Khan, Seán MacBride, Martin Ennals, Peter Benenson, Thomas Hammarberg, Eric Baker, Arthur Fern, Ian Martin and Pierre Sané
FieldsMedia attention, direct-appeal campaigns, research, lobbying
ServicesProtecting human rights
Num Members2.8 million members and supporters

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Amnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty and AI) is an international non-governmental organisation. Its stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."

Founded in London in 1961, Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilise public opinion to exert pressure on governments that perpetrate abuses. The organisation was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its "campaign against torture", and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

In the field of international human rights organisations (of which there were 300 in 1996), Amnesty has the longest history and broadest name recognition, and "is believed by many to set standards for the movement as a whole."

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