Due to Amnesty being one of the most successful organisations in advocating international human rights, we felt that they were a top choice as a base to our final interaction design project. Today, we’ve been reading up on Amnesty contextually to get a feel of their past and current campaigns. When working with an organisation in mind, research is key. We’ve documented our  initial findings and insights below.



Who and what: Amnesty  International is a non-governmental organisation focused on human rights with over 7 million members and supporters all over the world.

Amnesty International was founded in London 1961, following the publication of the article “The Forgotten Prisoners” in The Observer (Peter Benenson) on 28 May 1961.

The stated objective of the organisation 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 draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilise public opinion to put pressure on governments that let abuse take place.[3] Amnesty considers capital punishment to be “the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights”.[5] The organisation was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its “campaign against torture,”[6] and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.[7]

In the field of international human rights organisations, Amnesty has the second longest history, after the International Federation for Human Rights and broadest name recognition, and is believed by many to set standards for the movement as a whole.[8]

Goals/Targets: The core principle of Amnesty International is a focus on prisoners of conscience, those persons imprisoned or prevented from expressing any opinion other than violence. Along with this commitment to opposing repression of freedom of expression, Amnesty International’s founding principles included non-intervention on political questions and a robust commitment to gathering facts about the various cases.

Amnesty International primarily targets governments, but also reports on non-governmental bodies and private individuals (“non-state actors“)[1].

There are six key areas which Amnesty deals with:


Amnesty International is financed largely by fees and donations from its worldwide membership. It says that it does not accept donations from governments or governmental organisations.

According to the AI website,

“these personal and unaffiliated donations allow AI to maintain full independence from any and all governments, political ideologies, economic interests or religions. We neither seek nor accept any funds for human rights research from governments or political parties and we accept support only from businesses that have been carefully vetted. By way of ethical fundraising leading to donations from individuals, we are able to stand firm and unwavering in our defence of universal and indivisible human rights.”


[1] Amnesty international (2017) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesty_International#Principles (Accessed: 20 January 2017).