Secretary General, Amnesty International, UK
BREAKING THE WALL OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. How Advocacy and Activism Pave the Way for Rights and Dignity
After more than 50 years of activity, Amnesty International does not slow down its commitment to promoting freedom and justice worldwide. It recently made headlines with reports on the human rights violations committed by Turkish authorities during the Gezi Park protests. It engages a controversial debate with Barack Obama to remind him of his promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp. But most of all, the organisation, strong of over 3 million supporters, is engaging a new strategy to increase its global relevance in the protection of human rights. The effort is led by Salil Shetty, the organization’s eighth Secretary General. A long-term activist on poverty and justice, Salil Shetty was Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign, where he played a key role in promoting global awareness on the Millennium Development Goals, and chief executive of ActionAid, which he helped transform into one of the world’s foremost international development NGOs. Son of a campaigning journalist and a feminist activist, Salil Shetty studied at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and at the London School of Economics. For Shetty, Amnesty needs to become truly international and more grassroots-oriented – especially in countries like India and Brazil as well as on the African continent. At Falling Walls, Salil Shetty presents his vision for human rights today.