2016 Global Financial Report

The Amnesty International Global Finance Report shows information from our global movement as a whole. It is part of our commitment to be as transparent and accountable as possible.

For more than five decades, Amnesty International has shone a light on the world’s torture chambers and the world’s darkest corners. We are a global movement of more than 7 million people who campaign for a world where human rights
are enjoyed by all. Through research, advocacy and campaigning, we bring torturers to justice, oppose oppression and help
free people jailed simply for their peaceful beliefs.

We take action – and empower and inspire others – to expose and stand against injustice and repression in all corners of the world. We stand together with those fighting for their rights.

Together, we take injustice personally.


Amnesty International
We work to bring torturers to justice, oppose oppression and help free people jailed simply for voicing their opinions.



countries committed documented human rights violations


countries committed war crimes


countries illegally sent refugees back to a country where their rights were at risk


countries saw people killed for peacefully standing up for human rights

We know from campaigning for human rights for more than five decades that every individual can make a positive difference – while millions standing together for justice, freedom and dignity can change the world.

We are cautious about claiming credit for human rights victories. These are often achieved through many factors, actions and actors. Sometimes too change can take years. Yet no situation is beyond hope, and we never doubt that change is possible.

People united in common action – across borders and beliefs – make human rights change happen. And there were many stories of hope in 2016 where we believe our contribution was significant.

Throughout 2016, millions of Amnesty International supporters helped create positive change worldwide.
During the year, more than 600 people were released from unfair or other abusive imprisonment – almost two people every single day.

Your pressure was critical in protecting people’s rights and saving lives.


Making Human Rights Happen

Standing up to the forces of repression and injustice is never easy. But together we can demand that governments end repression and corruption, and respect human rights. We can offer hope to the powerless and oppressed. Amnesty International founder Peter Benenson demonstrated the difference one person can make by appealing to others to unite with him in common action. He turned powerlessness into hope, and he turned an ancient Chinese proverb – “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” – into a human rights rallying call. “Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.”

© Private

Impartial. Independent. Accurate

Where our money comes from

Our deeply held core principles of impartiality, independence and accuracy underpin all we do. This is built on an understanding that all human rights must be respected together if we are to achieve a world free from fear and want.

We are independent of any government, ideology, economic interest and religion. Our only interest is in achieving human rights for all. 

In 2016, we raised €279m for human rights work, a minor increase from 2015 (€278m). 

The vast majority of our income comes from small donations from private individuals. More than 2m individuals donated to Amnesty International in 2016.

 We received only one restricted donation over €1m: the Dutch postcode lottery, which donated €1.8m. This was earmarked for protecting civic space and human rights defenders. This means we are fully independent in setting our strategic and operational goals.

How we spend our money


Our global income is crucial to achieving human rights impact and positive change.

96% of our income is “unrestricted”. This means we are not asked to use it in a particular way – so we can spend most of our money wherever the need is greatest.
Amnesty International

In 2016, our global expenditure was €283m (in 2015, it was €260m). The pie chart shows the breakdown of what was spent. We spent €6m more on our human rights research, advocacy, campaigning and education compared to 2015.

Research. Evidence. Action


What we spend our money on

Our action for human rights is based on high-quality research, evidence and legal analysis.

This is accompanied by effective campaigning action, international solidarity and relentless global pressure to insist that governments live up to the promises made in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our work covers the whole spectrum of human rights.

The top issues we spent money on in 2016 were:

• Reclaiming freedoms – including defending freedom of expression, protecting human rights defenders, and delivering human rights education.

• Securing equal rights for all – including opposing discrimination based on identity, gender or other grounds, and upholding economic, social and cultural rights.

• Responding to human rights crises – including protecting people on the move and those affected by conflict, and campaigning for international justice in crisis situations.

• Ensuring accountability – including working for international justice to ensure accountability for human rights abusers, standing up for human rights in criminal justice systems, campaigning for a world without capital punishment, and ensuring corporate accountability.