Job cuts looming at Amnesty International UK
6 May 2019 at 5:01 pm
Amnesty International says it has made a “painful and difficult decision” to cut staff as reports emerge the organisation faces a multi-million dollar hole in its budget.
The Guardian recently reported Amnesty faced a £17 million (A$32 million) budget shortfall to the end of 2020 and that up to 70 staff would be made redundant.
The London-based international NGO, which has 50 national sections worldwide, confirmed the cuts in a statement but would not shed light on figures around the budget or the number of job losses.
“Even though membership of Amnesty is increasing worldwide, the International Secretariat will have to unfortunately cut its expenditure, while at the same time ensuring future priorities,” it said.
“We are working closely with staff and the union to find a solution though we can confirm that there will be redundancies.
“This is a painful and difficult decision and we will do everything in our power to support impacted staff.”
Amnesty said its recently appointed secretary general, Kumi Naidoo, will shortly share with staff his plans for the strategic direction of the International Secretariat, including his decision on changes to the leadership team to help the organisation going forward.
“We cannot provide further details until staff have been fully consulted,” the statement said.
The Guardian reports Naidoo wants to increase Amnesty’s work on climate change and economic rights, and that the cuts have fostered concerns that research on traditional Amnesty causes such as the death penalty and torture could be affected.
Naidoo said in a statement at the time: “Staff wellbeing is now our absolute priority and will be at the heart of everything we do. As the report states, we have started to take steps in the right direction. However, we have a long way to go.”
Amnesty International currently has about 650 staff.