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To Deny People Their Human Rights Is To Challenge Their Very Humanity.

Nelson Mandela

Human rights have been a hot topic in local and international politics since the 1960’s. Whether fighting for the right to marry the person of our choice or to end abuses like child labor all over the globe, Amnesty International has been in the trenches trying to make the world a better place. Amnesty International Day works to promote human rights and raise awareness of their abuses and how our choices affect them every day.

History of Amnesty International Day

Amnesty International was first established in the month of July 1961 in London. Peter Benenson, an English labor lawyer was inspired to establish this organization after learning of two Portuguese students being imprisoned for seven years after “having drunk a toast to liberty.” Together with Eric Baker of the Religious Society of Friends, and numerous other intelligentsia, including academics, writers, and lawyers, they composed an article called “The Forgotten Prisoners” that would see publication in The Observer in May of 1961. This led to an appeal which quickly grew into an organization that would work to change the world and see that everyone would be entitled to a set of basic human rights.

The tireless efforts of this organization have since been central to revealing violations of human rights and working to change government policy as relates to their protection. Their work wasn’t always popular, with its members being accused of everything from espionage (1980’s Russia) to protectors of the criminal element (the Moroccan Government). In truth, they are champions of the downtrodden and the oppressed and work every day to alleviate the struggles of people everywhere facing famine, the trials of war, and those seeking asylum.

How to celebrate Amnesty International Day

The best way to celebrate Amnesty International Day is to help raise awareness among your friends and family about the struggles of the world’s downtrodden. The place to start would be with educating yourself by learning about the places in the world where Civil Liberties are most at risk. You can also seek out events sponsored by Amnesty International, including benefit concerts and fundraisers seeking to keep the organization going and to help support its efforts. Amnesty International has done a great deal of good work over the years, but the challenges it faces are never-ending, and new allies are needed with every passing year. So get out there and work to help make the world a better place!