What does 60 years of impact look like?

'Appeal for Amnesty'

Peter Benenson launched the ‘Appeal for Amnesty’ after learning two Portuguese students were imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom. This is the genesis of Amnesty International.

Amnesty International Australia

One year after the global movement for human rights began, Amnesty International Australia was founded in Melbourne.

Campaign against torture

Amnesty launches its first campaign against torture. 12 years later, the UN votes to combat torture worldwide with the Convention against Torture in 1984.

Nobel Peace Prize

Amnesty was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for contributing to ‘securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world’. 

Crisis response

Amnesty campaigns for an International Criminal Court to bring those responsible for genocides and war crimes to justice. ICC is established in 2002.

Ambassador of Conscience

Nelson Mandela becomes an Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience.

Freedom of expression

Amnesty’s long fight for freedom of expression across the world moves to the internet. Ali Sayed al-Shihabi is released after being jailed for posting pro-democracy articles online in Syria.

Women's rights

Following extensive campaigning by Amnesty, the Australian Government introduced a National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Children.

Arms Trade Treaty

After 20 years of pressure from Amnesty supporters, a life-saving global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) finally came into force. It stemmed the flow of weapons fuelling atrocities around the world.


Amnesty International Australia argued successfully for no changes to #SaveTheRDA when amendments were threatened to the Racial Discrimination Act.

Climate justice

After years of pressure, a historic settlement was won for Nigerian farmers and fisherman whose lives were devastated by two Shell oil spills in 2008.

End the death penalty

The Australian government said it would be 'unrelenting' in its efforts to abolish the death penalty. In 1961 when Amnesty started campaigning, only 9 countries had abolished the death penalty. Today, that figure is 108.

Individuals at risk

Phyoe Phyoe Aung, jailed for helping to organise a student protest in Myanmar, was released. Amnesty supporters across the world wrote more than 394,000 letters, emails and tweets for her as part of Write for Rights.

LGBTQIA+ rights

Marriage equality bill passed. Amnesty did everything we could to secure a YES vote - flash mobs and inspiring blogs by the LGBTQI community.

Ambassador of Conscience

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick becomes an Ambassador of Conscience for his commitment to protesting police brutality and racism.

Ambassador of Conscience

Teenage climate justice activist Greta Thunberg wins Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award.

Refugee rights

With the support of Craig Foster and Sonny Bill Williams, Amnesty handed over 65,000 Australian signatures and 40 local councils to pledge their support to improve community sponsorship program.

Indigenous justice

The ACT government committed to raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14. A result of five years of campaigning, various research reports and over 70,000 Australians taking action.

Right to protest

Amnesty successfully campaigned for the defeat of a Tasmanian Bill to restrict the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

LGBTQIA+ rights

Thanks to the advocacy of survivors and allies, VIC, ACT and QLD are now protected from harmful conversion practices. Tens of thousands of Australians stood with survivors to call on governments to ban conversion practices.

Hope for the future...

As we celebrate 60 years of human rights impact, we reflect on the challenges of the past, celebrate the courage and strength of our movement, and look ahead with hope and a renewed commitment to challenge injustice. Together, we are unstoppable.

Take action on the issues you care about

Sign reads 'No justice in a racist system' at Black Lives Matter rally, Melbourne, 2021
Support a national anti-racism strategy
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Young girl holding a placard that reads There Is No Planet B at a protest
Tell the PM: We need climate action now
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Denmark Let's Talk About Yes Rally - by Jonas Persson
Demand safety for women and girls
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Indigenous rights protest
Raise the age: Stop locking up kids
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US LGBTI march
Australia: outlaw conversion therapy
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Raise our refugee and humanitarian intake
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Support a national Human Rights Protection
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More human rights issues you can support


We live in a time of vast inequality and unprecedented change. People around the world are courageously fighting for the recognition of their fundamental rights.

But there is always hope.

For 60 years, Amnesty has been a movement of everyday people joining together to challenge injustice and defend human rights. 10 million strong and growing, our voices are powerful enough to change the world.

Our vision for 2025 is clear:

  • Advance human rights to make sure the rights of every single person are protected
  • Build people power so we can apply increasing pressure on gatekeepers to respect international law
  • Commit to sustainable growth and systemic change