Structure and people

The International Secretariat (IS) is overseen by the International Board and is responsible for:

  1. Conducting research and reporting
  2. Ensuring Amnesty International (AI) speaks with one voice globally about the whole range of human rights themes and situations and their impact on people and communities
  3. Providing expert legal analysis of our research data, forming the basis of expert lobbying of international government organisations
  4. Providing endorsed materials to sections for campaigning
  5. Monitoring AI’s financial health
  6. Supporting and maintaining systems required to ensure that AI is ready to serve 24 hours a day

The work carried out through AI’s International Secretariat is organised into two legal entities, in compliance with United Kingdom law. These are Amnesty International Limited (“AIL”) and Amnesty International Charity Limited (“AICL”).

Amnesty International Limited is a company registered in England & Wales, limited by guarantee (no. 01606776), with registered office at 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW.

Amnesty International Charity Limited is a company registered in England & Wales, limited by guarantee (no. 02007475) and a registered charity (no. 294230), with registered office at 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 0DW.

Amnesty International’s International Board, is elected by our Global Assembly, which meets annually. The International Board provides guidance and leadership for the AI movement.

The Secretary General, is the operational leader of the movement, and CEO of the International Secretariat. A team of Senior Directors is responsible with the Secretary General for the leadership of the International Secretariat.

Sections, groups, individuals and networks

Sections carry out AI work at a national and/or regional level. AI has sections set up in more than 70 countries.

They are responsible for:

  • Lobbying local government
  • Campaigning/fundraising/communications within their country/region
  • Developing strategies for media work
  • Recruiting new supporters for the organisation
  • Conducting own research projects focusing on human rights abuses in their own country – this must be developed from research work carried out by and is agreed by the International Board.


Many of our members are a part of a group based in their community, whether this isf their local neighbourhood, town or their workplace, college or place of worship. AI groups are official units of the organisation, and some of its most important work is done at group level.
Groups carry out activities such as campaigning, education, engaging local media contacts, fundraising, and recruitment of members & activists. Groups also take part in AI decision-making – contributing to national and international consultations, attending Annual General Meetings, and participating in section working groups.


Members: individuals who pay a membership fee
Supporters: individuals who make a donation
Activists: individuals who take part in actions such as letter writing, signing petitions, demonstrating


Networks are made up of members who share an interest, identity or expertise which gives them a particular role to play in taking up human rights issues.

The largest AI network is the worldwide urgent action network, whose members take rapid action at short notice to protect people whose life or physical security is at risk.