The International Movement | Amnesty International UK

The International Movement

Amnesty International is a worldwide membership organisation. We - Amnesty International UK - are one of over 50 national Amnesty sections based in countries around the world.

We are a global movement of seven million members, supporters and activists in over 150 countries and territories in every region of the world. Over 325,000 of those people are based in the UK. All of us work towards one shared goal: to stand up for humanity and human rights.

It is an exciting time for Amnesty globally. We’re developing more presence in those areas of the world where we have typically been underrepresented. In 2011 we established national offices in Brazil and India, and we are developing regional hubs in Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand.  Read about our global work.

Our international accountability

As well as being accountable to our members here in the UK, we (Amnesty International UK) are accountable to the international movement through the International Council Meeting and International Board.

The International Council Meeting is held every two years. It is an opportunity for approximately 500 representatives of Amnesty from around the world to meet and democratically vote on the direction of the movement. The International Council Meeting is the overall decision-making body of Amnesty International.

One of the key decisions made at the International Council Meeting is the election of the International Board – Amnesty members who volunteer and work together to govern the international movement in between Council meetings.

Our Secretary General and the International Secretariat

Our International Secretariat that takes forward the decisions at the International Council Meeting and provides research and campaign direction to sections across the world. Unlike the Council, the Secretariat cannot make fundamental policy decisions but it is responsible for guiding Amnesty's day-to-day work.

The Secretariat provides us with the majority of our research, it issues our urgent actions and sets international campaign strategies, which we then translate to the UK context.

The Secretariat is headed by our Secretary General, who is appointed by the International Board. The Secretary General is also responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the international affairs of the Amnesty International movement. Our current Secretary General, Salil Shetty, was appointed in 2010.

Our work in the Global South

The Secretariat’s main office is based in London but as we build towards expanding our presence in the Global South we are also changing where Secretariat staff are based in order to have more research, campaigning, and advocacy capacity in the region.

In 2012 85% of staff were based in the main London office. By 2015 we’re planning for that to be closer to 38% so that we achieve a global spread of staff.

Read more about our work on the International Secretariat website.