Write a Letter, Change a Life with Amnesty International

Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is the largest country section of Amnesty International, a membership-based global human rights movement founded on the idea that every person can make a difference standing up for the rights of others wherever they may be. For six decades, we have been seen worldwide as the premier grassroots organization demanding human rights for every person and tackling the most pressing challenges to human rights. 

Our vision is of a world in which every person enjoys their full range of human rights, and our mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international rights instruments. Combined with our award-winning research, our members, supporters and activists—over 10 million globally—work to advocate in their communities and beyond to ensure that all people can claim the full spectrum of their human rights and to amplify the voices of human rights defenders and individuals at risk everywhere.

Write for Rights is Amnesty International’s largest annual human rights campaign, held throughout the fall to mark Human Rights Day on December 10th. Each year, AIUSA activists and supporters around the world write letters to support people at risk and help end human rights abuses, such as the imprisonment of individuals solely for the peaceful expression of their beliefs or identity—people we call prisoners of conscience. 

Through Write for Rights, millions of people around the world, like you, each write a letter to the government official(s) responsible for the case. These letters pile up in their offices and can’t be ignored. We supplement these letters with e-mail actions, lobbying, media attention, and social media to increase the pressure on those officials. We also write “solidarity” notes to the people we are trying to help, or their families, to give them hope. 

Each year the campaign focuses on the cases of ten different individuals. This year’s cases include human rights defenders and individuals at risk in Egypt, Mexico, Thailand, Belarus and beyond. Write for Rights shines a spotlight on human rights defenders like Bernardo Caal Xol in Guatemala, who was jailed for protecting a sacred river while doing everything he can to peacefully protect his people’s land and natural resources from plunder and biodiversity loss. Or activists Anna Sharyhina and Vira Chernygina, who have been repeatedly attacked for defending LGBTI and women’s rights in Ukraine. 

Good news from previous Write for Rights cases:     

“To everyone who sent me countless letters from around the world…I want to express my deep gratitude, while in prison, these actions lifted my spirit and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”Taner Kilic. Former Amnesty Turkey Board Chair, released after more than 14 months behind bars. 2017 Write for Rights – Turkey. 

“Thank you very much each and every one of you. Not just for campaigning for my release, and the release of other prisoners, but for helping to keep our hope and our beliefs alive.”Phyoe Phyoe Aung, Student leader imprisoned after peaceful protest, freed in 2016. 2015 Write for Rights – Myanmar. 

 Ready to get writing? Here’s how to get started: 

  1.     SIGN UP: at write.amnestyusa.org 
  2.     DOWNLOAD: our guide with the cases, addresses and instructions 
  3.     WRITE: from now until December 20, 2021 
  4.     REPORT: your letters by January 31, 2022 at write.amnesty.org/impact 

For any questions, you can reach out to our team at: w4r@aiusa.org 

Even if you only have time to write one letter, it counts. Through our collective power, prison doors will open, families will be reunited, justice will be achieved, and human rights activists will be safe and supported in continuing their important work to change the world. 

CREDO and supporters like you make it possible for us to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied—thank you! 

March for human rights in Bangalore, India, 10 December 2018. #AbkibaarManavAdhikar
Amnesty International members and supporters march through central Bangalore to mark International Human Rights day on 10 December 2018.