This doesn’t surprise me:
Amnesty International is to lose most of its senior leadership team after a report said it had a “toxic” workplace.
The human rights organisation’s secretary-general, Kumi Naidoo, ordered an independent review after two employees killed themselves last year.
In the review one staff member described Amnesty as having “a toxic culture of secrecy and mistrust”.
Amnesty said the senior leadership team accepted responsibility and all seven had offered to resign.
Five of the seven senior leaders, based mainly in London and Geneva, are now believed to have left or are in the process of leaving the organisation.
Amnesty International is just one of an inexhaustible list of institutions captured by the hard left and converted to anti-western political campaigning with its original purpose forgotten. And it appears to have become a truism that the more self-righteous a charity is, and the more it embraces progressive ideology, the worse the people running it are.
In May 2018, Gaëtan Mootoo, 65, killed himself in Amnesty’s Paris offices. He left a note talking of stress and overwork.
A subsequent inquiry found he was unhappy over a “justified sense of having been abandoned and neglected”.
Amnesty International was founded to campaign on behalf of political prisoners who had been abandoned and neglected. Now they’re giving their staff a similar experience.
Many staff gave specific examples of experiencing or witnessing bullying by managers.
There were reports of managers belittling staff in meetings and making demeaning and menacing comments, for example: “You should quit. If you stay in this position, your life will be a misery.”
To be fair, this doesn’t sound much different from the management in any other large organisation. These days the only characteristic that is tolerated is unwavering obedience.
There were multiple accounts of discrimination on the basis of race and gender, and in which women, staff of colour, and LGBT employees were allegedly targeted or treated unfairly.
I’d be willing to bet major oil companies are an order of magnitude better on this score. But who gets held up as the conscience of the world while the other has protesters outside their offices looking to shut them down?
The report also pointed to an “us versus them” dynamic between employees and management.
Which is as common a management style as you’ll find anywhere.
Amnesty is not the only human rights organisation to come under fire for its treatment of employees.
A report earlier this year said that bullying and harassment were commonplace at Oxfam, and last year Save the Children was at the centre of serious allegations of workplace sexual harassment.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. One day someone will confirm the rumours I hear about what working in the United Nations is like.