Amnesty International – still burning brightly after 40 years
By Kathleen Carmody
Amnesty International is calling on Australians to become human rights defenders by buying a candle on October 26 to raise awareness and funds
for its campaign against global human rights abuses.
Candle Day is Amnesty’s primary fundraising appeal.
Amnesty does not accept any government funding, it is solely dependent on donations. For as
little as $2 you can help keep this organisation alive.
Amnesty International says the candle is symbolic of Amnesty’s efforts to offer hope and synonymous with its determination to expose human rights
The first Amnesty International Candle was lit at St Martin’s-in-the-Fields Anglican church in London in 1961, the year Amnesty International was founded.
“Each candle burns for people who
were shot, tortured, kidnapped or political prisoners who disappeared, that’s what the Candle is for,” says Peter Benenson, founder of Amnesty International.
Although primarily a fundraising event, Candle
Day also serves to highlight Amnesty’s ongoing campaigns.
This year Candle Day will focus on stamping out torture. Amnesty says that despite universal condemnation, thousands of the world’s most vulnerable
people are being tortured by government forces and armed opposition groups in interrogations, to extract confessions, to punish or to intimidate.
Amnesty is campaigning to combat such human rights abuses
through an action agenda for gov ernments, non-government organisations and the public. Its main focus is on the issues of women and children and its major country campaign focus is Burma.
Volunteers will be
selling candles on Friday-Saturday, October 26-27.
You can become involved in Candle Day as a volunteer candle seller, or through your school or parish.
Suggested school fundraising activities include
mufti days, cake stalls, sausage sizzles, raffles, or a school dance; parishes are encouraged to hold a special collection, request an Amnesty speaker to discuss the latest campaign, or run a special activity to
For more information call Amnesty in NSW on (02) 9217 7670, or visit the website at www.amnesty.org.au