I am sorry to let you know that we have had some media coverage in relation to accounts of racism at the International Secretariat and at Amnesty UK. I wanted to let you know about this, and to share my apology with you in person.
It’s possible that you may have already seen the article in The Guardian today but in case you have not, I wanted to bring it to your attention in order to share our response to it and so that you are not caught unawares if approached by friends and family on this. This link is here but please do only read this if you want to.
The content is upsetting. I am deeply sorry for the pain expressed by our former colleagues and for the impact that reading this will have on you.
The Board and management were aware of some of the negative experiences expressed in the article and have apologised for the fact that we have not taken sufficient action to ensure that Amnesty International UK is a place where everyone can thrive. The Board has previously issued a statement to this effect which we shared with you recently and which you can find here on our website. The Guardian article also refers to the Howlett Brown report into racism and discrimination at the International Secretariat which we shared with you last October.
We know that institutional racism exists in the UK and, like any other organisation, we aren't immune to this very real problem. Our clear priority now is to provide a positive environment where all individuals can thrive and fully contribute to the human rights work we are all so passionate about and that achieves so much. We want to build an anti-racist organisation that applies the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in all that we do, both in terms of how we operate within AIUK and our campaigning work. This is the cornerstone of our strategy for the next eight years.
Over the last nine months we have begun to make some important changes. We started this vital process by listening to our staff and particularly our staff of colour and we know that we need to do more. This has informed the actions we are taking.
The detail of those actions is included in our statement which you can here.
If you would like to talk to me about this directly, please do reach out to me at EMAIL ADDRESS and I will set up a time for us to talk. We are also planning to run a session for activists in the next few weeks on the work we are doing on anti-racism and how we can do this work well together. We will be in touch to give you more details on that in the next few weeks.
Please do reach out for support if you need to. Our confidential counselling service is available to you by contacting either by email or by calling 0800919709.
With my best wishes,
Amnesty International UK