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Global world, local voices...


In AMARC INTERNATIONAL, we believe that every person is important. We really want to move the lines, and since our beginnings in 2000, we have defended the values ​​that have always been those of our NGO: support, empowerment and change.


The world we live in is difficult, so it's more important than ever to raise your voice and take action to change things. Amarc International aims to strengthen the idea of ​​the collective, and to prove that the actions of a group are often more powerful than words.



The history of AMARC International dates back to the 1980s, when the community radio movement began to grow in different parts of the world. Faced with the challenges and opportunities these independent radio stations faced, activists and free speech advocates realized the need to create an international organization to represent and support them. ​


In 1983, at an international conference in Vancouver, Canada, representatives of community radio stations from several countries decided to found the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC). The main objective was to facilitate cooperation and exchange of experiences between community radio stations in order to strengthen their role as an essential voice of local communities. ​


Over the years, AMARC International has grown in importance, attracting more and more members around the world. Its role has expanded to include promoting media pluralism, defending community media rights, and fighting for recognition of community radio frequencies in many countries where they were not officially recognized. Through its continued commitment to freedom of expression, cultural diversity and access to information, AMARC International has earned the respect and support of various international organizations, governments and donors. This increased recognition has allowed AMARC to play an increasingly active role in global media policy debates and to influence decision-making processes at the international level.

The organization has also played a crucial role in creating strong links between community radio stations in different regions, thus promoting the exchange of content, ideas and resources. These links have strengthened the capacity of community radio stations to make their voices heard in regional and international contexts, while maintaining their local roots and relevance in their respective communities. ​


Today, AMARC International continues to thrive as an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement. Through its commitment to the defense of media rights, its support for voluntary initiatives, and its promotion of a participatory development model, AMARC continues to play an essential role in promoting the democratization of the media and in implementing value of the voices and perspectives of local communities around the world.

Community radio

What is community radio?

Community radio, rural, associative, cooperative, participatory, free, alternative, popular, student, educational radio; There are many names to characterize community radios around the world. The radio stations, networks and production groups that make up AMARC have even more numerous practices, and there is no definitive model. Some radio stations are musical, others provide local news, some are the voice of indigenous or marginalized communities.


But what characterizes them is their desire for independence and to be at the service of their local territory and the populations served, without commercialization, or with commercial practices at the service of the community. They are located in isolated rural areas, in valleys and mountains, on campuses, and in the heart of the largest cities. Their signal, in FM or on other frequency bands, sometimes digitized, can be reached either within a radius of one kilometer, throughout the territory of a country or in other regions of the world by short waves.


Some stations belong to non-profit organizations or cooperatives, particularly in rural areas. Others belong to students, universities, municipalities, churches or unions. There are radio stations financed by donations from their audiences, by international development agencies, by advertising and by governments or states, in any case those which protect freedom of creation, production and expression.

« Les vagues de la liberté ». Rapport de la sixième réunion mondiale des stations de radio communautaires. AMARC – Dakar 1995.


When a radio station promotes citizen participation and defends their interests; when it responds to the tastes of the majority, when it tells the truth, when it helps solve the problems of daily life; when in their programs all ideas are debated and all opinions are respected, where cultural diversity is encouraged, when women are present in communication and are not a simple decorative and advertising voice, when music is not not offered by record companies, that's community radio.


The stations which are so called do not submit to the logic of money or propaganda. Its goal is different, its best energies are put at the service of civil society with the idea of ​​creating consensus, and expanding democracy.

« Manuel d'urgence pour les passionnés de la radio,», José Ignacio López Vigil. 1997


The philosophy of community radio is to allow those who have no voice to express themselves, to serve as spokespersons and to offer a development tool. The goal of community radio is not to do something for the community, but rather to give the community an opportunity to do something for itself, such as controlling its own media.

« Qu'est-ce que la radio communautaire », Institut Panos Afrique 1998


Declaration of principles of AMARC & its members

  • Contribute to the expression of different social contexts, political and cultural movements, and to the promotion of all initiatives in favor of peace and friendship between peoples. ​

  • Recognize the fundamental and specific role of women in establishing new communication practices.

  • Programming:

    • the sovereignty and independence of all peoples;

    • solidarity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries;

    • international cooperation based on the creation of permanent and widespread links on the basis of equality, reciprocity, and mutual respect;

    • non-discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual or religion;

    • respect for the cultural identity of peoples.


The principles promulgated and promoted by our members are also expressed and realized in various charters and declarations :

  • The Amman Declaration (2006)

  • The Kathmandu Declaration

  • The Milan Declaration

  • Community Radio Charter for Europe

  • Community and Citizen Radio Charter

  • Gens’s Communication Charter

  • Statement from the Latin American and Caribbean Festival of Radioempassioned and Televisionaries

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