Shining a Light on Human Rights for 50 Years

Shining a Light on Human Rights for 50 Years

Shining a Light on Human Rights for 50 Years

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Amnesty International, which began with one person and an idea -- to protect the basic dignity and human rights of those imprisoned for their beliefs.

In 1961 British lawyer Peter Benenson launched a worldwide "Appeal for Amnesty" on behalf of individuals imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their beliefs. His article in the London Observer, entitled "The Forgotten Prisoners," went on to be reprinted in newspapers across the globe. This call to action resonated with the values and aspirations of people everywhere, and Amnesty International was born.

Today, Amnesty International has grown into a global movement of more than 3 million people, united by the commitment to freedom and human rights for all.