Individuals at risk

We campaign for individuals, families, communities and organisations around the world who have had their human rights violated.

Over the years we have seen it all: victims of unfair trials, prisoners tortured, communities forcibly evicted, people being ‘disappeared’, human rights defenders imprisoned for their work and prisoners of conscience.

Although we can’t intervene in every case we see or hear of, if we think that we can make a real difference, we act.  

We campaign on the persons’ behalf, urging you to either send appeals to authorities or messages of support to the people themselves. By highlighting their situation we work to raise awareness and bring about lasting, positive change.  

It could be that we are calling for someone’s release, a fair trial or an end to harassment. Whatever the aims for each different case, the motivation is always the same - to right a wrong.

Each year we work on hundreds of cases from around the world. Standing up for someone in trouble and showing them your support is one of the simplest and most effective forms of campaigning.

Knowing that you have not been forgotten and that someone you have never met is fighting for your rights is incredibly powerful. It gives people hope, inspiration and motivation. It also sends a message to the authorities that people around the world are watching what they do.

Why we campaign for individuals

Amnesty International began with one man’s outrage and his courage to do something about it. After learning of two Portuguese students imprisoned for simply raising a toast to freedom in 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson published an article, “The Forgotten Prisoners” in the Observer newspaper.

That article launched a worldwide campaign that got an enormous response. Reprinted in newspapers across the world, his call to action resonated with the values and aspirations of people everywhere.

This was the start of Amnesty International and over 50 years later, standing up for individuals who have been wronged is still at the heart of what we do.

You can make a difference

By choosing to take action for an individual at risk you are challenging the practices that lead to human rights violations and can bring about deep and lasting change.

The women, men and children we campaign for have all experienced human rights abuses first hand. Your support really can help change someone’s life for the better. This work isn’t about abstract policies or principles. It is about standing up for real people, their families and their communities.

How we do it

Our team of researchers investigate reports of human rights abuses from all over the world. When we take up an individual’s case, our starting point is them - their unique situation; their wishes and needs. Wherever possible, we work with the individual and/or their representatives to develop a campaign that meets their needs.

We send information on the cases out via our networks of members and supporters and thousands of you mobilise to send appeals to the authorities, post solidarity cards and messages of support to the individual or their family, lobby governments, generate press, and stage demonstrations and protests. Together we do everything we can to highlight the abuse and bring about change.

Success stories

Over the last 50 years we have worked on behalf of thousands of individuals. Millions of letters, emails, faxes and petition signatures have been sent to government authorities to get a conviction overturned, stop torture, or call for someone’s release.

We have also send hundreds of thousands of messages of support to people behind bars or their families simply letting them know that they are not forgotten. People around the world are thinking about them and working for them.

Doing this has helped achieve some amazing results. Have a look at some of our recent good news

Be a part of it

Take action today

Standing up for an individual at risk by taking action is simple. Visit our actions page and and learn about the women and men we are campaigning on behalf of right now. The simple act of sending an email, signing a petition or posting a letter now could make a real difference to someone’s life.

Join the Urgent Action Network

Our Urgent Action Network is made up of over 150,000 people across the world who are prepared to act swiftly at critical moments to stop injustice from happening. When someone is in immediate danger those responsible receive thousands of messages from across the globe.

Join Pocket Protest

You can also join our SMS action network, Pocket Protest. Pocket Protester receive text alerts and can take action instantly to help prevent torture, stop unfair trials, halt forced evictions, prevent executions and more.