Amnesty International.


Amnesty international is a global movement organization with more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories. Their main focus is on human rights with vision that

every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards

They are independent from government, political ideology, religion and economic interest. They does not accept any fund from government or political parties, most of their income is from individuals around the world. Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961 and they begin to work in Thailand after The Thammasat University Massacre. The Thammasat University Massacre was an attack on student and protesters that occurred on the campus of Thammasat University and at Sanam Luang in Bangkok. After this massacre, Amnesty International started a campaign to release the prisoner of conscience and they have been working in Thailand ever since. They use many digital media such as Facebook, Youtube and their website to voice their demands and stories. They have Facebook page for different countries, for example, they have Amnesty International Australia which is in English and Amnesty International Thailand (In Thai). They also have Amnesty International Thailand Youtube channel. They use these channel to show what they are doing and to express their idea. For example, right now they have a campaign to ending torture. Therefore, they have a article and video about this in their website and their Youtube channel.

This is their video on ‘Ending torture’ which is post on Amnesty International Thailand Youtube channel.

 

Reflective

Amnesty International is peripheral in a sense that they provide information and they focus on something that outside mainstream media’s interest. However, after looking at their website and reading some of their story, I think that what Amnesty International think is good or right is base on ‘western’ ideology. I do agree with what Amnesty International is doing but I think they shouldn’t base what they do on certain ideology. They shouldn’t think that their way is better and the rest of the world should be the same. According to Appiah, there are 3 key ideas about cosmopolitan and I think Amenesty International should follow these ideas(1997, pp617-639).

  1. To care about people’s right and welfare even if they are not one of us, from same society.
  2. To be willing to learn from them – to accept we may be wrong.
  3. To be willing to allow them to be wrong.

Something that other countries do or believe might be wrong (in our eyes) but we should respect the different in culture and values.

Reference

Appiah, K A 1997, ‘Cosmopolitan Patriots’, Critical Inquiry, vol. 23, no. 3, pp617-639

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2 comments

  1. I like the point you made about it being based in Western ideology even though it’s something outside of mainstream interests.
    Unfortunately with programs like these we can’t always have proof of their efforts and also know exactly what goes on within the program, just something to keep in mind.
    I agree with you about respecting different values and cultures. I have found that this subject itself has opened my eyes to many of the cultural prejudices or presumptions which i guess reflects the ignorance of the world we’ve grown up in. However, i like to think that people are becoming more involved in issues and this is an example of programs that are helping people.

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  2. Hey! Really informative post, I’ve never really thought of Amnesty International as peripheral before. Unfortunately I find myself disagreeing with your last point ‘I think that what Amnesty International think is good or right is base on ‘western’ ideology’. Amnesty’s stated objective is to “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated”. Human rights are human rights regardless of what country your from, ideology you conform to or religion you follow. I don’t think that stopping human rights abuses is a Western ideology – in fact I don’t think it has anything to do with our ‘Westerness’ at all. Indeed I understand the concept of cultural imperialism, and that is very much the case in a lot of other international aid organisations that do attempt to push their values onto others. If you look into the work of Amnesty, they’re not trying to say ‘we are right you are wrong’ and they do accept cultural differences. Human rights abuses are international in nature. As an international community we have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Declaration of the Rights of the Child as just two examples of a non-western attitude to human rights and the international community saying no. These treaties are made by the United Nations who themselves are made up of a number of ‘Eastern’ countries. In fact, Japan, China and South Korea are 3 of the top contributors to the UN budget in 2013. While I agree with your point about Amnesty being ‘periphery’ in that they focus on mainstream interests, don’t you think this could also mean that in a way they don’t adopt a fully ‘westernised’ attitude, and thats why they’re not adopted by mainstream media?

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