BENDIGO residents are celebrating as Amnesty International marks 60 years of fearless advocacy worldwide.
The Bendigo chapter is one of the organisation's older groups and has been actively campaigning for human rights since 1976.
The rise of international refugee crises and an increased focus on climate change have changed some of the flavour of the group's work but the core issues remain, convenor Jan Govett said.
"Human rights are always an issue. If you don't fight for them, you lose them," she said.
"And it's never a given. There's no guarantee that once you achieve something in a country it will stay forever."
Some of the chapter's proudest moments have included helping outlaw the death penalty in many countries, Ms Govett said.
"Most countries had the death penalty on their books when Amnesty started and there are quite a lot now that have outlawed it," she said.
"We support campaigns like Indigenous rights, women's rights and refugees' rights.
"Our accomplishment has been keeping these issues alive within our local community, and supporting the global movements."
In just one of the group's regular events, group members unite for global letter writing campaigns to help people unfairly persecuted by authorities around the world.
"We will have a couple of hundred letters written on one day to go to governments," Ms Govett said.
Those sorts of things may seem small but when you multiply them across the globe they become a major event."
Amnesty International started with British lawyer Peter Beneson, who wrote an article drawing attention to two Portuguese students jailed for raising a toast to freedom.
He argued that there was a global trend of imprisoning, torturing and executing people due to their political views or religious orientation, and that it was unacceptable.
The movement has now grown from a single office to a movement of 10 million people in more than 150 countries and territories.
Bendigo members will hold three events in May to coincide with Amnesty International's 60th birthday.
One will take place this Saturday when members set up an information stall at Hargreave Street's Moonlit Market.
Ms Govett encouraged people to come chat with members between 5pm and 9pm.
The chapter is also holding a month-long public display at the Bendigo library and a celebration dinner for Bendigo Amnesty members.
To find out more about the group or to join email firstname.lastname@example.org