Taking injustice personally

The world is changing. We’re changing with it.

We’re changing the way we work and shifting resources to strategic locations around the world.

With a stronger global presence, we’ll support more people to know, claim and enjoy their human rights. We’ll apply more pressure nationally, regionally and internationally.

We’ll move faster. We’ll work on a greater scale. We’ll focus on the issues most relevant to people’s lives.

Our legitimacy will grow as we build a truly global movement, defending human rights for all. These are challenging times for justice and human rights. Inequality is rising. Conflicts, migration and battles over resources are leaving people vulnerable.

And while more people are striving to get their voices heard, states are responding by cracking down on human rights – often in the name of protecting public order or ending terrorism.

To respond to our changing world, we’re undergoing the biggest transformation in our history.

Amnesty International

Action is the antidote to despair

Joan Baez, Folk singer, activist and amnesty ambassador of conscience 2015
Yellow balloons in the sky above a crowd of people.
Hundreds of balloons released to celebrate the 50th birthday of Amnesty International in Helsinki, 28 May 2011.

These goals outline how we will shift the way that human rights are fought for and achieved, engaging where we can and confronting where we must.

To achieve lasting progress worldwide, we will ensure we always:

  • Analyse why human rights abuses happen, guided by the people whose rights are violated
  • Identify the most effective ways to create change
  • Confront and expose states, corporations and institutions that violate rights
  • Act quickly and effectively to support prisoners of conscience and people facing injustice
  • Innovate to achieve the most powerful impact
  • Put women’s human rights and gender equality at the heart of our work
  • Remain ready to change in the face of new challenges
  • Work with partners who share our determination
  • Support people to claim the human rights that we all share.

1. Reclaiming freedom

A world in which everyone knows and can claim their rights

Across the globe, unaccountable and unethical leadership has triggered passionate protest – often led by young people via mobile phones and online.

But as people push for greater involvement in decisions that affect their lives, attacks on peaceful protestors, journalists, human rights defenders and civil society organizations are growing.

We must turn the tide in favour of fairness and justice. To do this, we will help communities to access the information and tools they need to claim their human rights – and to build societies that truly respect them.

People standing holding placards with people's faces.
Woman smiling holding a book and surrounded by others.
Women’s human rights defender Fawzia Nawabi shares stories with women at a refuge in Afghanistan, March 2015.

We will work to create a world where:

People defending human rights are safe and supported

We’ll do this by:

  • Highlighting and reducing attacks on human rights defenders
  • Providing training and new technology – especially to women and marginalized individuals
  • Supporting laws and policies that allow civil society to thrive
  • Tackling laws and policies that prevent people from defending human rights.

People know their rights and are empowered to claim them

We’ll do this by:

  • Pushing for government action that ensures human rights education
  • Empowering people – especially young people – to defend human rights, starting in their communities.

People can claim their rights to speak out, organize and challenge injustice

We’ll do this by:

  • Tackling laws that prevent people from protesting on or expressing their views
  • Pushing for effective legal protections for whistleblowers
  • Ensuring surveillance measures meet human rights standards.

2. Securing equal rights for all

A world in which human rights and justice are enjoyed without discrimination

Around the globe, millions of people face political, economic, cultural and social exclusion – often in spite of anti-discrimination laws.

Women have less economic and political power than men, even in countries where rights are well protected. Gender-based violence remains a huge problem. And for the many people who face multiple types of discrimination – for example, a combination of prejudice based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality – the impact can be particularly severe.

At Amnesty International, we will continue to fight for equality – and especially gender equality – worldwide. And we will protect the rights of groups who are discriminated against on multiple grounds.

Villagers in Sarlingyi, Myanmar, protest the seizure of land for a proposed copper mine, March 2013.
Jesusa Ixtecoc Juarez defends her home during a forced eviction of indigenous communities in Guatemala, January 2007.

We will work to create a world where:

Progress is made towards equality based on gender, gender identity and sexuality

We’ll do this by:

  • Campaigning for more effective laws to prevent sexual and gender discrimination
  • Supporting people who experience discrimination because of their gender, gender identity or sexuality to stand up for their rights and seek justice.

Discrimination, including violent discrimination, is reduced

We’ll do this by:

  • Supporting people who face discrimination to speak out and seek justice
  • Working to reduce hate crime
  • Pushing governments to provide protection from violent discrimination
  • Ensuring that discrimination doesn’t affect criminal justice
  • Tackling laws, policies and organisations that discriminate
  • Supporting stronger national frameworks to promote equality.

More people can enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights

We’ll do this by:

  • Giving people the tools, information and opportunities to demand their rights and hold decision-makers to account
  • Supporting people to access services that help them enjoy their rights
  • Pushing for stronger legal frameworks to protect economic, social and cultural rights
  • Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3. Responding to crises

A world in which people are protected during conflict and crises
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are killed during conflicts and crises, while millions more are left needing protection and support. 

The widespread availability of weapons puts civilians at enormous risk. Regional and international bodies often fail to provide adequate protection. And perpetrators of war crimes and other violations frequently escape punishment.

We will continue to play a leading role in responding to conflicts and crises by pushing international institutions to act effectively, protecting people from the irresponsible arms trade and seeking to ensure that international borders are never closed to people whoneed aid or refuge.

A man takes a wash after being rescued from an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean, Italy, September 2014.
A house burns during attacks on property belonging to Muslims in north Bangui, Central African Republic, January 2014.

We will work to create a world where:

Civillians are better protected through effective action by national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms

We’ll do this by:

  • Calling on permanent members of the UN Security Council not to use veto powers if mass atrocities are taking place
  • Supporting peacekeeping missions to protect rights, particularly women’s rights
  • Campaigning for UN Security Council resolutions to be consistently implemented
  • Pushing for early warning mechanisms to identify growing conflicts and crises.

Those responsible for human rights abuses are held accountable and victims have access to justice, truth and reparation

We’ll do this by:

  • Seeking effective national laws on genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, enforced disappearances and torture
  • Pushing for laws and measures that ensure universal jurisdiction for international crimes
  • Supporting hybrid and international courts when domestic legal systems lack accountability for international crimes
  • Helping people – especially women – to seek justice when their rights are violated during conflicts and crises
  • Exposing and pushing for action on damaging arms transfers
  • Reducing the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

People affected by conflict, crisis, torture or persecution have access to adequate protection and assistance

We’ll do this by:

  • Supporting refugees, asylum seekers and people displaced by conflict to safely access support and protection
  • Pushing for better protection for refugees and asylum-seekers
  • Campaigning against illegal attempts to close or protect borders.

4. Ensuring accountability

A world in which human rights abusers are held accountable

Justice systems too often fail to deliver accountability – particularly for marginalized groups. When this happens, human rights treaties and laws become empty gestures.

So holding governments to account is critical, and persuading emerging powers to consistently support human rights has never been more important.

The challenges remain significant. Regional mechanisms are overstretched. The International Criminal Court faces difficulties. Abuses by non-state bodies, such as businesses, make the situation more complex. As do abuses by governments beyond their borders.

But we will continue to demand accountability focusing on change, at a national level while working regionally and internationally.

Activist Shahzadi Bi demands justice for victims of the factory disaster in Bhopal, India, which claimed up to 10,000 lives within three days in December 1984.

We will work to create a world where:

Regional and global human rights mechanisms are reinforced where national rights protection is failing

We’ll do this by:

  • Improving access to justice through regional rights systems
  • Strengthening international bodies to ensure accountability for the most serious human rights abuses.

Human rights governance and accountability are strengthened at a national level

We’ll do this by:

  • Pushing for national laws and standards that comply with international laws and standards – and deliver justice for everyone
  • Strengthening mechanisms for bringing perpetrators of international crimes to justice
  • Working to eliminate the death penalty
  • Pushing for stronger protections against corporate human rights abuses
  • Persuading governments – especially of emerging powers – to promote human rights in foreign policy

5. Maximizing our resources and engagement

We will be a truly global human rights movement of people defending human rights for all

Our ability to change the world depends on our ability to move millions of people worldwide to join us.

So we will focus on building the strongest possible global movement of people who are passionate about defending human rights.

And we will ensure we are set up to deliver success – and to achieve the strategic goals outlined in this document.

Letter writing marathon 2014

We will work to ensure that:

Amnesty International is a larger, stronger and more diverse movement with greater capacity to achieve human rights impact.

We’ll do this by:

  • Engaging 25 million people to take action for human rights each year with us by 2020
  • Inspiring four million people to donate in support of human rights each year – raising €400m in combination with gifts from our
    biggest donors.

Amnesty International is strengthened through active and diverse participation at all levels

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Help us achieve our goals and protect human rights today