Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which focuses on human rights. It is also known as Amnesty and AI and has over 3 million members and supporters around the world. Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It does not accept donations from governments or governmental organizations. It is largely made up of voluntary members, but retains a small number of paid professionals. The objective of the organization 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."
Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson. In this article, Benenson cites the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles 18 and 19, announced a campaign on "Appeal for Amnesty, 1961" and called for "common action". Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilize public opinion to put pressure on governments that let abuse take place. The organization 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.
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