Amnesty International UK is composed of two distinct but related entities:
- Amnesty International UK Section Charitable Trust (‘the Charitable Trust’), a charity registered in England and Wales (no 1051681) and Scotland (no 03139939)
- Amnesty International UK Section (‘the UK Section’), a limited company (company number: 01735872).
Each entity is governed by its own Board.
Why are there two different Amnesty International UK organisations?
Having two separate organisations means that we can maximise our human rights impact. The Charitable Trust benefits from the government’s Gift Aid scheme, can receive gifts in Wills and raise money from trusts, foundations and individuals who will only donate to registered charities.
Although the Charitable Trust enjoys some significant benefits, it also operates under statutory regulation. This constrains what the Charitable Trust can work on, the methods it can use and how it operates. The UK Section, by contrast, has fewer constraints and has more freedom in how it pursues its human rights mission, including activity not deemed charitable under UK law.
Taken together, this arrangement means we can maximise financial support for human rights, our voice and our impact.
How do the organisations work?
The UK Section is responsible for the bulk of our campaigning, education and advocacy work in the UK. It is primarily funded by its members and by grants from the Charitable Trust.
The Charitable Trust fulfils its objectives by funding a range of charitable activities, in the UK and internationally, to promote the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various international treaties. It gives most of its grants to the UK Section and the International Secretariat of Amnesty International.
Amnesty International UK’s financial supporters are therefore made up of members of the UK Section and donors to the Trust. Both the Charitable Trust and the UK Section adhere to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice and our fundraising policy.
The UK Section is a membership organisation. As well as contributing to our human rights work, membership entitles individuals to have a say in how the organisation is run. Members are eligible to put forward resolutions and vote at the UK Section’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). They also have the right to stand for election to the Board of Directors of the UK Section and to participate in those elections. Membership is the foundation of the global democracy of the Amnesty International movement.
Membership fees are the largest source of funding for the human rights work carried out in the UK by the UK Section. The second largest source are grants from Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust.