Onward to year 60th; Amnesty stands with the victims of Human Rights abused

28 May 2020

Amnesty International Thailand

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 8 million people who stand together for human rights, and creating a society of equality and justice. Amnesty was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for our campaigning against torture by governments.


Amnesty International had worked to protect human rights for almost 60 years. Even when our world today is filled with violence, injustice, and people being taken advantage of everyday, but Amnesty will continue to create changes and inspires everyone who wants a society where equality and justice is for all. We are working in accordance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), an agreement that UN had created to become a guideline for member nations to treat their own citizens, Thailand included.


How did Amnesty International came to be?

Nearly 60 years ago, a British lawyer Peter Benenson was outraged when two Portuguese students were jailed just for raising a toast to freedom. He wrote an article in The Observer newspaper and launched a campaign that provoked an incredible response.

His call to action sparked the idea that people everywhere can unite in solidarity for justice and freedom. And thus the people of all careers and ages came together and took actions in their own way to support the respect and protection of human rights, and became the international movement for human rights called "Amnesty International" until this day.


'Helping the abused' The path of human rights worthy of Nobel Peace Prize

28th of May, 2020 is our 59th anniversary of the time we have stood with human rights globally. Amnesty was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for our campaigning against torture by governments. Now we have more than 8 millions supporters in 150 nations around the world.

Piyanut Kotsan, the director of Amnesty International Thailand, says that Amnesty became known in Thailand after 6th October, 1976, from its ‘prisoner of conscience’ campaign. Over 100,000 letters from people all around the world were sent to the Thai government and the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary requesting the release of students and citizens. At present, Amnesty has over 1,000 members in Thailand and carries out a wide range of activities for promoting knowledge, understanding, and campaigns for protection and defence of human rights.


"Amnesty International moving onward to our 60th years to protect human rights. We aim for the people of all genders, ages, and ethnicities to receive equality, rights, freedom, and living with dignity of being equal in humanity, under the international laws and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so that everyone in society can coexist peacefully."


Piyanut states that we emphasise in protecting human rights defenders, human rights education, anti-torture, and refugee issues. We had worked on death penalty for a long time, but mostly in cooperation with government agencies. Furthermore, we also campaign to release prisoners of conscience or protect the vulnerable against human rights abuses worldwide. All this time we have been well supported by our members, activists, and volunteers to bring a society that respect everyone's rights to life.


Amnesty is entirely funded by donation and membership. We do not accept funding from government or any group with interest to maintain our independency. Our organisation operates by having a committee filled with our members to direct and plan for our year-by-year strategy based on our researches, reports, and the trends in global human rights situation. Lately our strategy has been changed to emphasise human rights education in Thailand to teach people to respect each other's rights.


"In this year Amnesty emphasises in freedom of expression. We work and campaign around the world to make sure that the people's freedom of expression and freedom to demonstration will be protected. We campaign to release prisoners of conscience globally. People who were arrested for peacefully expressing their belief or to protect their rights. We work with journalists, professors, community leaders, government workers, students and activists everywhere so that they can speak, write, and think, to maintain the righteousness, justice, freedom and human rights."

Piyanut concludes.



Fun Fact

Amnesty's logo is a burning candle surrounded by barbs to symbolize the hope against all threats, which is a reaffirmation to our motto of "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness"