Statute of Amnesty International

As amended by the 31st International Council, meeting in Berlin, Germany, 18 to 22 August 2013

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VISION AND MISSION
1. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. In pursuit of this vision, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights.

CORE VALUES
2. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL forms a global community of human rights defenders with the principles of international solidarity, effective action for the individual victim, global coverage, the universality and indivisibility of human rights, impartiality and independence, and democracy and mutual respect.

METHODS
3. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL addresses governments, intergovernmental organizations, armed political groups, companies and other non-state actors. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL seeks to disclose human rights abuses accurately, quickly and persistently. It systematically and impartially researches the facts of individual cases and patterns of human rights abuses. These findings are publicized, and members, supporters and staff mobilize public pressure on governments and others to stop the abuses. In addition to its work on specific abuses of human rights, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL urges all governments to observe the rule of law, and to ratify and implement human rights standards; it carries out a wide range of human rights educational activities; and it encourages intergovernmental organizations, individuals, and all organs of society to support and respect human rights.

STRATEGIC GOALS

4. There will be at all times for AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL strategic goals to guide the movement.

ORGANIZATION
5. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is a movement based on worldwide voluntary membership and it shall consist of sections, structures, international networks, affiliated groups and international members.

6. Ultimate authority for the conduct of the affairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is vested in the International Council. The primary functions of the International Council are:
(i) to focus on strategy;
(ii) to set AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s vision, mission and core values;
(iii) to determine AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s strategic goals including its financial strategy;
(iv) to establish systems and bodies of governance and delegation for the movement, to elect members to those bodies, and to hold those bodies and their members accountable;
(v) to evaluate the movement’s performance against its agreed strategies and plans;
(vi) to hold sections, structures and other bodies accountable.

7. There is an International Board. The primary role of the International Board is to provide leadership and stewardship for the whole of the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL movement. The functions of the International Board are:
(i) to take decisions on behalf of the movement;
(ii) to ensure that there is a sound financial policy for AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and that the financial policy is consistently implemented across the movement;
(iii) to ensure implementation of the strategic goals
(iv) to make any necessary adjustments to the strategic goals and other decisions of the International Council;
(v) to ensure compliance with the Statute;
(vi) to ensure human resources development;
(vii) to hold sections, structures and other bodies of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL accountable for their functioning by presenting reports to the International Council;
(viii) to perform the other functions conferred on it by the Statute.

8. There is a Chairs Forum. The primary functions of the Chairs Forum are:
(i) to give advice and recommendations to the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL movement and the International Board on matters related to the governance of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and controversial issues.
(ii) to contribute to building the capacity of Chairs of sections, structures and other bodies of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL;
(iii) to build relations among sections and structures and provide an open space for debate on common issues;
(iv) to undertake other tasks and make decisions delegated to it by the International Council.
9. The Chairs Forum will function in accordance with its Terms of Reference as adopted by the Chairs Forum in collaboration with the International Board or, in case of disagreement, decided by the International Council.
10. The day-to-day affairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL shall be conducted by the International Secretariat headed by a Secretary General under the direction of the International Board.

11. The office of the International Secretariat shall be in London or such other place as the International Board shall decide and which is ratified by at least one half of the sections.

12. Responsibility for AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL work on abuses of human rights in any country or territory, including the collection and evaluation of information, and the sending of delegations, lies with the international governing bodies of the movement, and not with the section, structure, groups or members in the country or territory concerned.

SECTIONS
13. A section of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL may be established in any country, state, territory or region with the consent of the International Board. In order to be recognized as such, a section shall:
(i) prior to its recognition have demonstrated its ability to organize and maintain basic AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL activities;
(ii) submit its Statute to the International Board for approval;
(iii) pay such annual fee as may be determined by the International Council;
(iv) be registered as such with the International Secretariat on the decision of the International Board.
Sections shall take no action on matters that do not fall within the stated vision and mission of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. The International Secretariat shall maintain a register of sections. Sections shall act in accordance with the core values and methods of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and shall comply with the Core Standards as well as any strategic goals, working rules and guidelines that are adopted from time to time by the International Council.

STRUCTURES
14. An AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL structure is an AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL national or regional body established by the International Board, to promote and implement the movement’s vision and mission. The purpose of a structure is to coordinate a sustained programme of human rights activities and consolidate its national or regional organization. A structure must consist of at least a board and active volunteers, unless otherwise determined by the International Board, and shall comply with the Core Standards as well as any strategic goals, working rules and guidelines that are adopted from time to time by the International Council.

INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS
15. An AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL “International Network” exists to promote and implement the movement’s vision and mission, primarily on the basis of a specific theme or identity.
An International Network must meet the following requirements:
(i) have AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL members from at least five different sections and/or structures;
(ii) have AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL members from at least two International Secretariat programme regions;
(iii) be theme or identity based;
(iv) have terms of reference that meet the Statute and core values of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL;
(v) have terms of reference approved by the International Board;
(vi) be formally recognized by, and registered with, the International Board.

AFFILIATED GROUPS
16. Groups of not less than five members may, on payment of an annual fee determined by the International Council, become affiliated to AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL or a section thereof. Any dispute as to whether a group should be or remain affiliated shall be decided by the International Board. Each section shall maintain and make available to the International Secretariat a register of affiliated AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL groups. Groups in a country, state, territory or region without a section shall be registered with the International Secretariat. Groups shall take no action on matters that do not fall within the stated vision and mission of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. Groups shall act in accordance with the core values and methods of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, as well as any strategic goals, working rules and guidelines that are adopted from time to time by the International Council.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP
17. An individual member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is any person who contributes to the advancement of the mission of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, who acts in accordance with the core values and policies of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, and who has been recognized and registered as a member by an AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL section, structure or affiliated group by virtue of payment of annual dues or having been granted a dues waiver.

Individuals residing in countries, states, territories, or regions where there is no section or structure and who are not members of an affiliated group, may, on payment to the International Secretariat of an annual subscription fee determined by the International Board, become international members of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. In countries where a section or structure exists, individuals may become international members of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL with the consent of the section or structure and of the International Board. The International Secretariat shall maintain a register of such international members.

INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
18. The International Council shall consist of the members of the International Board and of representatives of sections and structures, and of representatives of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’s international membership, as defined in the second paragraph of Article 17, and shall meet at intervals of not more than two years on a date fixed by the International Board. Only representatives of sections and structures and the international membership shall have the right to vote at the International Council.

18a. The international membership shall have the right to appoint one representative to the International Council. In addition, they may appoint:
more than 250 international members 1 representative
more than 2,500 international members 2 representatives
more than 15,000 international members 3 representatives
more than 40,000 international members 4 representatives
more than 80,000 international members 5 representatives

19. All sections and structures shall have the right to appoint one representative to the International Council. In addition, a section may appoint:
more than 250 members 1 representative
more than 2,500 members 2 representatives
more than 15,000 members 3 representatives
more than 40,000 members 4 representatives
more than 80,000 members 5 representatives
or, if a section so chooses:
10 – 49 groups 1 representative
50 – 99 groups 2 representatives
100 – 199 groups 3 representatives
200 – 399 groups 4 representatives
400 groups and over 5 representatives
Only sections having paid in full their annual fee as assessed by the International Council for the two previous financial years shall vote at the International Council. This requirement may be waived in whole or in part by the International Council. If an AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL entity has not provided the agreed annual financial reports and its audited accounts to the International Secretariat within one month of the final date for submission, that entity is not entitled to vote at the International Council. This requirement may be waived in whole or in part by the International Council.

20. The International Board may invite to the International Council delegates from international networks and other individuals as non-voting participants.

21. A section or structure unable to participate at an International Council may appoint a proxy or proxies to vote on its behalf and a section represented by a lesser number of persons than its entitlement under Article 19 hereof may authorize its representative or representatives to cast votes up to its maximum entitlement under Article 19 hereof.

22. Notice of the number of representatives proposing to attend an International Council, and of the appointment of proxies, shall be given to the International Secretariat not later than one month before the meeting of the International Council. This requirement may be waived by the International Board.

23. A quorum shall consist of the representatives or proxies of not less than one quarter of the sections and structures entitled to be represented.

24. The Chairperson of the International Council and an alternate shall be elected by the preceding International Council. The Chairperson or, in his or her absence, the alternate, shall preside at the International Council. In the absence of the Chairperson and the alternate, the Chairperson of the International Board or such other person as the International Board may appoint shall open the proceedings of the International Council which shall elect a Chairperson. Thereafter the elected Chairperson, or such other person as the Chairperson may appoint, shall preside at the International Council.

25. Except as otherwise provided in the Statute, the International Council shall make its decisions by a simple majority of the votes cast. In case of an equality of votes the Chairperson of the International Council shall have a casting vote.

26. The International Council shall be convened by the International Secretariat by notice to all sections and structures not later than 90 days before the date thereof.

27. The Chairperson of the International Board shall at the request of the International Board or of not less than one third of the sections and structures call an extraordinary meeting of the International Council by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to all sections and structures.

28. The International Council shall elect a Treasurer, who shall be a member of the International Board.

29. The agenda for the meetings of the International Council shall be prepared by the International Secretariat under the direction of the Chairperson of the International Board.

INTERNATIONAL BOARD
30. The International Board shall consist of the Treasurer and eight regular members, who shall be individual or international members of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL. The regular members and Treasurer shall be elected by the International Council. Not more than one member in any section, structure or affiliated group, or international member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL voluntarily resident in a country, state or territory in which there is no section or structure, may be elected as a regular member of the International Board.

31. The International Board shall meet not less than twice a year at a place to be decided by itself.

32. Members of the International Board, including the International Treasurer, shall hold office for a period of four years and shall be eligible for re-election once. Their terms of office shall begin and end at the close of the International Council meeting.

33. The International Board may co-opt not more than two additional members who shall hold office until the close of the next meeting of the International Council; they shall be eligible to be re co-opted once. Co-opted members shall not have the right to vote.

34. In the event of vacancies occurring on the International Board, it may co-opt further members to fill the vacancies until the next meeting of the International Council, which shall elect such members as are necessary to replace members (or their co-opted alternates) who are at the end of their terms and to fill the vacancies for the positions with two remaining years of office.

35. The International Board shall appoint one of its members to act as Chairperson.

36. The Chairperson may, and at the request of the majority of the International Board shall, summon meetings of the International Board.

37. A quorum shall consist of not fewer than five members of the International Board.

38. The agenda for meetings of the International Board shall be prepared by the International Secretariat under the direction of the Chairperson.

39. The International Board may make regulations for the conduct of the affairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and for the procedure to be followed at the International Council, and may take such steps as it sees fit to establish and maintain a system of effective committees, including standing committees, intermediate structures, or other forums, in support of its functions. The International Board shall comply with the Core Standards, as applicable.

CHAIRS FORUM
40. The Chairs Forum shall:
(i) be composed of the Chairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL sections and structures, as well as representatives of the international membership who have been elected in accordance with Article 18;
(ii) have a Steering Committee composed of members elected at the Chairs Assembly, a representative of the International Board, and the Chairperson of the International Council;
(iii) meet once a year at the Chairs Assembly with an agenda prepared by the Steering Committee.
41. The Chairs Assembly shall be chaired by the Chairperson of the International Council elected by the preceding International Council in accordance with Article 24.
42. Each member of the Chairs Forum will hold one vote in all decisions, except for decisions referred to the Chairs Forum by the International Council where the same voting rights as held at the preceding International Council apply.
43. The size, chairing, terms of reference, and operational arrangements for the Steering Committee shall be agreed by the Chairs Forum in cooperation with the International Board.

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT
44. The International Board may appoint a Secretary General who shall be responsible under its direction for the conduct of the affairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and for the implementation of the decisions of the International Council.
45 The Secretary General may appoint senior executive staff in close cooperation with the International Board, and may appoint all other staff as are necessary for the proper conduct of the affairs of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.
46. In the case of the absence or illness of the Secretary General, or of a vacancy in the post of Secretary General, the Chairperson of the International Board shall, after consultation with the members of that International Board, appoint an Acting Secretary General to act until the next meeting of the International Board.
47. The Secretary General or Acting Secretary General and such members of the International Secretariat as may appear to the Chairperson of the International Board to be necessary shall attend meetings of the International Council and of the International Board and may speak thereat but shall not be entitled to vote.

INTERNATIONAL NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE
48. There is an International Nominations Committee responsible to the International Council.
49. The International Nominations Committee will function in accordance with its terms of reference and the functions and responsibilities given to it by the Statute, the Standing Orders of the International Council and decisions of the International Council.

TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
50. International administration and suspension of entities The International Board may decide:
(i) that there is to be international administration of a section, structure or international network; or
(ii) to suspend temporarily a section, structure, international network, internationally registered group or international member if the International Board considers that in all the circumstances such an action is necessary in order to protect the reputation, integrity or operation of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, or is unavoidable because of the local circumstances in which the section, structure, network, group or member is operating, and that such an action is the only one reasonably available.
51. Termination of membership and closure of entities An international member of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL may terminate their membership at any time by resignation in writing. A section, structure, international network or internationally registered group may voluntarily relinquish its registration at any time by written notice to the Secretary General.
The International Board may:
(i) terminate the membership of an individual international member;
(ii) close a section, structure, international network, or internationally registered group.

52. Membership Appeals Committee
The Membership Appeals Committee shall consist of five members elected by the International Council in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as provided for in Article 30 for the International Board. The function of the Membership Appeals Committee is to determine appeals in respect of which the Statute or a decision of the International Council gives a right to appeal.
Once the International Board has made a final decision:
(i) on administration under Article 50 for the first time;
(ii) on temporary suspension under Article 50 if the temporary suspension is for a period greater than three months;
(iii) on termination of membership or closure under Article 51;
(iv) more than five years after the original decision to extend a period of administration or temporary suspension under Article 50; the section, structure, international network or internationally registered group, anyone who can demonstrate that they speak on behalf of a significant number of its members, or the international member affected, may appeal to the Membership Appeals Committee.
53. Procedures for international administration, suspension, termination and closure The International Council may adopt procedures:
(i) in relation to how the International Board takes decisions under Articles 50 and 51, and in relation to the consequences of such decisions;
(ii) to be followed by the Membership Appeals Committee.

FINANCE
54. The International Board shall, through the International Treasurer, provide reports, at least once a year, to the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL movement on the financial results and the financial position of the movement and of the International Secretariat.

AMENDMENTS OF STATUTE
55. The Statute may be amended by the International Council by a majority of not less than two thirds of the votes cast. Amendments may be submitted by the International Board or by a section or structure. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the International Secretariat not less than seven months before the International Council meets, and presentation to the International Council shall be supported in writing by at least five sections or structures. Proposed amendments shall be communicated by the International Secretariat to all sections and structures and to members of the International Board.

Index: POL 20/001/2013
Amnesty International Publications, International Secretariat, Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW, United Kingdom

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