THIS Friday, May 28, Amnesty International marks its 60th anniversary.

Being a member of Amnesty International means that ordinary people like me and you can join with millions of others across the world, from Workington to Warsaw, Kendal to Kampala, to insist that the rights of each and every human are respected and protected. Rather than just shouting at the telly or putting the world to rights in the office, pub or through a Zoom chat, our joint actions bring about positive change.

From its inception in 1961, when British lawyer Peter Benenson wrote a letter to the newspaper regarding two Portuguese students who were imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom, Amnesty has become a worldwide movement for human rights.

Change has not happened overnight. It has taken persistence and a belief in the power of humanity to make a difference. And the result? The release of tens of thousands of people imprisoned for their beliefs or their way of life, the end of the death penalty in dozens of countries and previously untouchable leaders brought to account.

Sixty years on, we’re still battling for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. And we won’t stop until it’s achieved.

If the bad news is the world still needs Amnesty, the good news is Amnesty is going strong. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

If you are interested in joining us, please visit


Chair, Allerdale Amnesty Group,

By email