Human rights are the basic freedoms and protections that belong to every single one of us.

© Amnesty International / Illustration Graphfac.com© Amnesty International / Illustration Graphfac.com

Why do we have human rights?

In 1948, following the traumatic events of World War Two, representatives from the 50 member states of the United Nations created a list of the rights everyone around the world should enjoy.

Under the guidance of Eleanor Roosevelt, then-first lady of the United States and a politician, diplomat and activist in her own right, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was born.

Human rights are being violated all the time and right now thousands of people are being denied a fair trial, tortured and imprisoned because of what they think or believe.

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Human rights are...

Universal: They belong to all of us, to everybody in the world

Inalienable: They cannot be taken away from us

Indivisible and interdependent: Governments should not be able to pick and choose which are respected

The UDHR lists thirty rights and freedoms that belong to all of us.

Article one? We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas and we should all be treated the same way. The remaining articles include the right to asylum, the right to freedom from torture, the right to free speech and the right to education.

The UDHR is the bedrock of our campaigning, allowing us to hold authorities to account when rights are abused.

You can help defend human rights

There are lots of ways to get involved with Amnesty International and help us fight for human rights.

Take action

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Take action for human rights

TAke Action

By signing a petition or sending an email on behalf of someone whose human rights are being abused, you can have a direct and positive impact on their case.

Your support really helps change lives. In 2015, almost 26,000 people signed our petition calling on Australia to offer asylum to Syrian refugees. In September the Australian Government stepped up to offer safety to 12,000 Syrians escape the conflict.

Take action now and make a difference to those who need it.

Make a donation

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Join us in protecting human rights

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We rely on contributions from people like you.

Amnesty International does not accept funding from governments or political organisations. This financial independence means we are free to campaign with objectivity and impartiality and to defend human rights worldwide.

Make a donation now and join us in protecting human rights.

Get involved locally

There are more than 150 Amnesty International action groups in Australia, and dozens of events held each week.

To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.

Nelson Mandela

Find out how to get involved and connect with like-minded people with a passion for human rights.

Become a member

Joining Amnesty International gives you a voice to stand up against human rights abuses. The more voices we have, the stronger we grow.

As a member you can help us rapidly respond to those at immediate risk. You’ll also help determine the future of our work by voting in Board elections.

Become a member today and stand up for what you believe in. Justice. Freedom. Courage.