A record of winning concrete protections for human rights

Throughout its history, Amnesty International has won critical protections for individuals and systemic change affecting millions, including:

  • Tens of thousands of people have been freed after we campaigned against their unjust imprisonment for exercising their human rights. They include Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released after 15 years of detention following more than 20 years of Amnesty International campaigning on her behalf.
  • We garnered the public support necessary for the adoption of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
  • We generated the global support necessary to create the International Criminal Court, so that those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity will face justice.
  • Our decades-long campaign has led to the death penalty being abolished in law or practice in two-thirds of the world’s countries – a sea change from when we started this work the 1970s, when only 16 countries had abolished capital punishment.
  • Our research and vigorous campaigning led to the enactment of the U.S. Tribal Law and Order Act to stop the epidemic of sexual assault of American Indian and Alaska Native women.

In 2016 alone, Amnesty International USA won critical protections for human rights in the United States and around the world, including:

  • We helped free 153 people around the world who were imprisoned for exercising their human rights.
  • We helped persuade the federal government to allow 110,000 refugees rebuild their lives in the United States, and we passed local resolutions welcoming refugees in towns and cities nationwide, including Philadelphia and Minneapolis.
  • We helped pass a law to reduce gun violence in Minnesota and helped introduce bills on police use of lethal force in Washington and Maryland.
  • We helped dismantle and end a government program that could have been used to start a Muslim registry during the Trump Administration.
  • We helped abolish the death penalty in Delaware and delay or reverse death sentences in several individual cases.
  • We helped persuade the government of Burkina Faso to end child marriage in the country by making it illegal for girls under the age of 18 to be married.