Presentation on theme: "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL(AI) By Yongzhi, Clement, Milton, Derrick, YiXiang, Liki."— Presentation transcript:
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL(AI) By Yongzhi, Clement, Milton, Derrick, YiXiang, Liki
What is AI? Founded by Peter Benenson in London 1961 International Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO) Misson: “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.“ 2.2 million members and supporters
The work AI does Exerts influence on governments, political bodies, companies and intergovernmental groups Mobilizes public pressure through mass demonstrations, vigils and direct lobbying as well as online and offline campaigning. Through appealing, AI thus pressures the ‘target’ to ‘respect the rule of law’.
Scope of work Women's Rights Children's Rights Ending Torture and Execution Rights of Refugees Rights of Prisoners of Conscience (Refers to people imprisoned due to their race, religion, sexual orientation, belief etc, and those persecuted for non-violent expression of their ‘conscientiously- held’ beliefs, so long as they have not advocated violence)
Aims: Stop violence against women Defend the rights and dignity of those trapped in poverty Abolish the death penalty Oppose torture and combat terror with justice Free prisoners of conscience Protect the rights of refugees and migrants Regulate the global arms trade
How AI does her work Campaigning Mobilise public opinion 3 Types: Individual, national or thematic Direct appeal (such as letter writing) Media and publicity work Public demonstrations Fundraising often coupled with campaigning Urgent matters: Urgent Action (UA) appeals (involves urgent action networks or crisis response networks) Other matters: Membership
How AI does her work Issues press releases Publishes information in newsletters and on websites Official missions to countries to make courteous but insistent inquiries Publication of reports Involves research via interviews with victims and officials Observing trials and thus evaluate them Collaborations with local human rights activists Monitoring the media
Rationale for her work AI envisions for everyone to enjoy all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards To prevent and end grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity (defined within scope of work)scope of work Argues that human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere Outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world, they go about doing their work
Challenges faced by AI Criticised for ideological bias One-sided Failure to consider threats to security as a mitigating factor Criticised for reporting disproportionately on relatively more democratic and open countries However AI argues that its intention is not to produce a range of reports which statistically represents the world’s human rights abuses, but rather to apply the pressure of public opinion to encourage improvements
Challenges faced by AI Detention/Abduction (faced by human rights defenders) Smear Campaigns (delegitimize, slander) Bureaucratic Barriers (hamper organizations) Restricting meetings Deny legal registration, or cease operation Obstruct fact-finding visits Harassment Daily (such as phone tapping, surveillance) Extreme (freezing assets, home raids, confiscation)
Rationale for choosing AI Longest history Broadest name recognition Believed to set the standards for the human rights movements as a whole Effective Pressure has had an effect on people’s own lives Governments are persuaded to change their laws and practices Controversy especially concerning bias Hence subject to (our) pertinent scrutiny
Direct/Personal impact “Human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere” Locally in Singapore: Death penalty subject to scrutiny Restrictive laws and defamation suits to muzzle critics If AI succeeds in ‘persuading’ the Singaporean Government, this will have great implications especially concerning media freedom and publicity Though this is highly unlikely
Effort evaluation The Stop Torture campaign (Oct 2000 - Dec 2001) is AI's third global campaign on torture Follows AI's first campaign denouncing torture (1972-1973) and its second focusing on the prevention of torture (1984). These campaigns contributed to the UN's adoption of the Convention against Torture, on (Human Rights Day) 10 December 1984.
Effort evaluation Achievement: In the first five months of the Stop Torture campaign, over 19,500 subscribers from 188 countries used this innovative form of campaigning on behalf of eight individuals Within 12 hours of each action, an average of 2,500 appeals was generated. Three of the eight individuals (in Turkey, Mexico, and Ecuador) have been released.
Effort evaluation Validity Torture is cruel, inhuman and degrading human dignity Governments have invoked threats of terrorism to cover up and justify its use, hence the need to strengthen importance of this issue Soundness Key issue: Can governments stop shielding torturers and accept responsibility for their crimes? Governments have a clear duty to protect their civilian population from violent attacks, including terrorist acts Governments who are concerned with their image will be spurred on Those who do not stop torture will ironically be harming their civilians and thus be subject to severe criticism Denotes ‘Is’Denotes ‘ Is not
Effort evaluation Relevance Failure to uphold international obligations Even USA has undermined human rights in the context of counter-terrorism while continuing to pay lip service to international obligations However, relevance in our local context is limited due to these acts often taking place under clandestine conditions (convenience of secrecy) Moreover, little concrete action taken to effectively undertake investigations (due to fear and implications of exposure) Denotes ‘Is’Denotes ‘ Is not
Effort evaluation Failure to address the underlying problem States have made their own self-interest in removing a particular individual their priority, rather than seeking to change the underlying problem of torture in the receiving country as a whole This is a betrayal of some of the state’s most fundamental obligations in international human rights law Moral degradation of state Negligence of victims
Effort evaluation Join AI Build pressure for change Contribute Donate to AI Fund support Appeal for Action Direct Action + Support Example
Bibliography http://www.amnesty.org/ - Amnesty International http://www.amnesty.org/ Buchanan, Tom (October 2002). "'The Truth Will Set You Free': The Making of Amnesty International". Journal of Contemporary History 37 (4): 575–597. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3180761. Retrieved on 2009-04-17 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3180761. Retrieved on 2009-04-17 http://184.108.40.206/achievement/index.html - AI Australia http://220.127.116.11/achievement/index.html