Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I become an Amnesty International activist?
Individuals of diverse backgrounds join Amnesty International for various reasons. For some people, they feel it is their moral obligation to campaign for human rights. Some people see activism as an educational opportunity. Some newcomers join us to gain valuable knowledge and leadership skills that will prepare them of a chosen career. There are those who join because they want to meet like-minded people in a social setting. And others join because of a personal experience with human rights violations. No matter what your reason may be, Amnesty International will make sure you have a place to take part in human rights activism.
2. What are the steps to becoming an Amnesty International Philippines member?
Amnesty International Philippines makes it easy to do human rights activism. To become a member, just follow the steps below.
1. Pay fees – the first step to becoming a bona fide member of Amnesty International Philippines is to pay the membership fee. See next FAQ for our socialized system.
2. Join group – once you have paid the membership fee, you can join a local or thematic group depending on your interest. If you are a student, find out if there is a school-based Amnesty International Philippines group in your school. You may also take part in activism as an individual member.
3. Learn about Human Rights – Amnesty International Philippines offers several training events or learning sessions for the development of members. You can learn about general human rights concepts, or you can also learn specific skills related to campaigning, human rights education, media work, and other skills that will turn you into an effective human rights activist.
4. Take action – At the core of being an activist is taking action for human rights. Human rights work is serious work, but Amnesty International Philippines can find ways to make it fun, easy, and engaging. Visit our activism page to find out the different ways that you can take action for human rights today.
3. How much do I need to pay to become a member?
Amnesty International Philippines uses a socialized system of membership in order to ensure that those with financial limitations are still able to take part in human rights work. The table below shows membership fees based on income. Keep in mind that regardless of the membership fee you paid, all members are treated equally and have the same rights, duties and responsibilities as members.
|PhP 50.00||students and minimum wage earners|
|PhP 100.00||above minimum wage but below 18,000|
|PhP 300.00||above 18,000 but below 36,000|
|PhP 500.00||above 36,000|
4. Where does my membership fee go?
Your payment is used to shoulder membership servicing costs. Membership servicing includes communication costs, as one way to keep our members engaged is by ensuring that we communicate in different channels. These channels may vary from one member to another. Some members prefer to receive information through email, some through mobile phones, and others, through landline phones. Membership servicing also includes costs related to the production of communication materials as well as the corresponding shipping costs. This pertains to printing of letters from the Board of Trustees or the Secretariat and mailing these communications to members who may not have access to the Internet.
5. What is the use of the ID?
The Amnesty International Philippines identification card (ID) is available for a cost of Php50.00. It may be used by members to prove their membership to
the organization in events such as the Annual General Meeting, local group gatherings, or training events. The ID also serves as a reminder of the member’s valid dates of membership as it indicates when a member’s membership begins and expires. The ID is not a valid government-issued ID and may only be used for purposes internal to the organization.
6. What is the membership cycle?
– A member’s involvement with Amnesty International Philippines begins with recruitment. Our recruitment takes different forms as we always ensure that the first point of contact with possible members is memorable. Based on our experience, some members decided to join the organization after attending training. Some have joined after seeing one of our public actions. Members have different points of entry but the common theme is an interest in human rights.
– Once interested individuals pay the membership fee, they become an official member of Amnesty International Philippines. The date that the Secretariat receives the payment is designated as the member’s start date. The new member can then get involved in many activities. Amnesty
International Philippines provides various opportunities for new members to be engaged. Members may continue learning about human rights concepts or gaining new skills. Members may also choose to join specific campaigns that suit their interest.
– The membership fee covers one calendar year. However, members may choose to make advanced payments to secure their membership beyond one year, or they may choose to wait until the renewal season. Upon expiry of membership, the member is given a two month grace period. If the member is unable to renew within the grace period, the member’s membership cycle will lapse and the start date will be reset. Individuals whose memberships have expired will lose privileges like voting and involvement in certain activities, but they are not prohibited from taking part in other forms of activism.
7. What kind of campaign work do you do?
Amnesty International believes that it takes more than one method to spur social change. As such, our campaigning takes several forms, examples of which are the following.
– Human rights issues can be made known to people through peaceful, public rallies. Large gatherings of people draw attention and hopefully point to the
different violations and abuses being highlighted.
– Petitions are easy, and relatively cheap to organize. It’s a fast approach to expressing just how concerned a number of people really are about an issue.
The more signatures in a petition, the more people take a stand in agreement with Amnesty International’s appeals.
Dialogue with Public Officials
– Approaching local official is another key component of campaigning for human rights issues. Through their positions of power, local officials can sway
public opinion, enact laws that protect human rights locally, and influence other governments to do the same.
8. Does your letter writing method work?
Yes. Letter-writing works effectively in two ways. First, it is an effective tool to mobilize people. In the process of writing a letter, the writer is effectively informed of the issue. The more people we involve in letter-writing, the more we are able to raise awareness. Second, it reminds governments that it cannot keep issues a secret. Letter-writing has been one of Amnesty International’s most effective human rights activism tool.
9. Why work on international issues when we have so many human rights abuses here in the Philippines?
Amnesty International Philippines believes that a human rights violation in one part of the globe has an effect on the rest of the world. Time and again,
we have seen that conflicts in far areas can force prices of goods to rise. We’ve also seen that a change in power elsewhere can force a change in policies in our country. Amnesty International Philippines is part of the bigger picture and believes in one of its core values: international solidarity.
10. What impact or changes have resulted from the work of Amnesty International Philippines?
Amnesty International Philippines has been part of many successes in the Philippine human rights movement. We were heavily involved in the following
1. Passage of an Anti-Torture
2. Ratification of the OPCAT
3. Passage of the RH Law
4. Enactment of a domestic International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
5. Work onJuvenile Justice
6. Repeal of the Death Penalty Law
7. Passage of the Anti-VAWC Law
In addition to policy change, we have also broadened and strengthened the local human rights movement by developing human rights activists in the country.
Our membership has grown to more than 2,000 in 2013 with a support base of about 40,000 people.