Two activists writing letters

Urgent actions

Write a letter and change a life. Join our global urgent action network today to work for critical cases when it is most needed.

Urgent Action (UA) is a simple idea: when someone is in imminent danger of serious human rights violations, the authorities responsible are flooded with thousands of letters from across the world.

You’ll be joining over 100,000 everyday people from around the world, all writing for critical cases when it is most needed. Amnesty’s global UA network tackles more than 300 cases each year addressing various human rights issues. These messages tell the authorities that the world is watching and create pressure to stop the violation:

Where to find urgent actions

  • Join your local urgent action network today to receive urgent actions by post or email. Email your name and postcode to and we’ll set you up with your regional network, who will send you cases based on your preferences and keep you updated on progress.
  • Visit our global website to search and download urgent actions from across the world. Be sure to have Resource Type > “Urgent Action” selected.
  • Write your letters on this template and return to your nearest action centre, so we can keep track of the amazing working being done by Amnesty activists.
  • Need some inspiration, check out this example Urgent Action letter.
  • Prefer to take action online? Visit Act Now for current cases.

More than 40 years of Urgent Actions

Amnesty International issued its first Urgent Action appeal in 1973, from our London, UK offices.

It worked — people all over the world were inspired to put pen to paper and express their outrage. Together they helped secure the release of Luiz Basilio Rossi, a professor of economics at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and a trade union leader.

The UA Network is still going strong, helping hundreds of individuals at risk all over the world every year.

Messages of thanks

Because people like you take action on a massive scale, individuals at risk are treated better in prison and released earlier. People who are the subject of Urgent Actions often send their thanks to Amnesty International members:

I want to thank everyone for joining together for my release. Thank you to Amnesty International’s members for protecting my freedom.

Mam Sonando, journalist and former prisoner of conscience, Cambodia

… it could not be achieved without the international community’s concerns and the effort and support from the membership of Amnesty International, for which my family and I feel most grateful.

Geng He, wife of former prisoner of conscience, Gao Zhisheng

… when members started sending all those letters, they put a lot of pressure on the government. Certain people used those letters as tools to protect us.

Lydia Cacho, journalist and human rights defender, Mexico

See more wins here

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