How you're making a difference
Your actions are creating real change.
Your actions are creating real change.
We’re less than half way through the year, and already you’ve played a decisive role in campaigns that are making progress to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
You’ve been a part of some big campaign wins - from securing tens of millions to get kids back in school, to creating marine protection zones to protect the oceans, to changing a law in Malta that discriminated against girls and women.
Here’s just some of what you’ve helped make happen so far this year and what needs to happen next - including what we’re winning but haven’t yet won, those that are making progress but need more work, and those that we’re losing.
- Education Cannot Wait: 40,000 actions by you and tireless campaigning by our team with partners secured $90m at the launch of the Education Cannot Wait fund. Announced at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May, this funding will reach around 750,000 kids in crisis this year, getting them back into school. Both UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown, and Global Partnership for Education Chair, Julia Gillard acknowledged Global Citizen’s leadership at the launch event. You can read the full story here. BUT - our job’s not done yet - there’s so much more that needs to be done to get ALL kids back into school, which is why we’ll be asking for your help to secure more money in the coming months.
- Girls & Women in Malta: After you took 250,000 actions directed at their government last year, the government of Malta wanted to stay on your good side. So, at the launch of our Level the Law campaign on gender discrimination, Malta committed to repeal a law (Section 199 & 200 of the Criminal Code) that legalized violent abductions of girls and women. Full story here.
- Child Refugees in UK: Global Citizen worked with Save the Children and partners to get more than 70,000 people to sign a petition calling on the UK to admit unaccompanied child refugees to the UK. In response, Prime Minister Cameron announced that thousands of vulnerable refugee children in Europe will be offered the chance to build a new life in the UK. Read more.
- Electrify Africa Act: Global Citizens took 33,214 actions in support of this campaign with ONE in late 2015. This bill will help sub-Saharan African countries modernize their power infrastructure and increase their access to electricity—saving lives, strengthening education, alleviating extreme poverty, and accelerating growth and development. The legislation passed the Senate in December and was signed by President Obama in January.
- Oceans. More than 30,000 of you have taken action in support of our partners Blue Marine Foundation, who are calling on the UK to implement marine conservation areas in the oceans surrounding overseas territories in response to massive overfishing. These actions were a key contributor to the UK government’s decision in January to create a marine conservation area around Ascension Island, and in coming months, Global Citizens will push for similar areas around 11 other British Territories.
Winning, but not yet won.
- Global Food Security Act: Over the last 18 months more than 100,000 of you have called, petitioned, met with and tweeted at US leaders to help advance the bill that will benefit millions of people. Versions of the Act have now passed in both the House and Senate, and they are at the process of being reconciled - we are hopeful that leadership in the House of Representateswill take the bill back to the floor of the House for a final vote in the coming weeks.
- #SheWill - Girls Education: In just the last few weeks more than 25,000 of you have supported our #SheWill campaign in partnership with the UK Department for International Development and CHIME FOR CHANGE. Your voices are helping to secure new financial and policy commitments for girls education at a Girls Education Forum on July 7th in London, bringing together governments, business and civil society. Later that night, British artist Tom Odell will perform an exclusive set at the top of one of London’s most iconic buildings - The Shard - attended by Global Citizens who have taken action to support the campaign. Wanna go? Take action to enter the draw.
- Netherlands WSH commitment accountability: Last year at Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, the Dutch promised to double the number of people they reached with improved water and sanitation. We and our Dutch NGO partners felt they were being slow to deliver this, so on World Water Day in March, we launched a campaign directed at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Prime Minister, reminding Minister Ploumen of her commitment and asking for a concrete plan and timeline. Within hours of the action launch, hundreds of you had taken action, and we heard back directly from the Ministry, and they agreed to meet with us in April. In our meetings, they committed to publish their plan to deliver their commitment this summer.
- Polio Eradication: There have been just 16 polio cases this year around the world, which means the world is on track to completely eradicate polio in the next few years. But to do it, we need to close a $1.5b funding gap. Global Citizens have been vocal on the issue, with more than 20,000 in Germany taking action, chants of “End Polio Now” at Global Citizen events in Canada, and parliamentary events in multiple countries. With a final push from Global Citizens and partners in the next few months, we’re confident we can secure significantly increased funding before the end of the year.
We’re making progress
- Iraq - Yazidi Genocide: More than 20,000 of you have taken action to get the rape and genocide of the Yazidi people referred to the International Criminal Court. Working closely with Yazidi woman and advocate Nadia Murad, we have secured support from the UK Parliament, leading human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, and seen the US government call the case a genocide. Over the coming months we’ll need your help to turn this momentum into a referral to the ICC - we’ll focus on both Iraq and countries who have ISIS fighters so that justice can finally be secured.
- UN Secretary General Selection: For the first time ever, candidates vying to be lead the UN had to apply for the job, and you’ve been there making sure they get a thorough job interview. More than 30,000 Global Citizens voted on questions to ask candidates at a public town hall and in official UN hearings, and we’ve been regularly reporting on what candidates are saying on a range of global issues. We’ve set an important precedent that the UN Secretary-General is our citizen representative at the UN, and in coming months, we’ll be holding any new applicants to the same standard ahead of the final decision around October.
- G7 Hunger Pledge: Last year, the G7 promised to lift 500m people out of hunger by 2030. More than 65,000 of you have taken action to push them to deliver on this - and behind the scenes, there’s movement, very slowly. As we reported from May’s G7 in Japan, leaders continue to say that hunger and nutrition are important, but they haven’t yet released a plan or the money to do it. So, we’re doubling down in the coming months and pushing for the G7 to show us a plan and show us the money, with a particular focus on Italy, who will chair next years’ G7.
- Tanzania - Child Marriage: We are supporting a local Tanzanian CSO, Youth For Change, led by Aristarick Joseph, and its campaign to call on the Tanzanian Parliament to amend the Law of Marriage Act and end early/forced child marriage. Thousands of you have already shown your support, and Aristarick is going share your commitment - along with the commitment of young Tanzanians - during an event on June 18 where the key decisions-makers from Tanzanian government will be present. This event alone won’t be enough to change the law, so we’ll come back to you in July with what we need to do next.
- Pakistan - Honor Killings: In support of Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, you have been calling on the Pakistani Government to outlaw honor killings. Sharmeen’s campaigning has meant that there is now legislation currently before the Parliament to do this, and in coming months we’ll continue to support to get it passed.
- European Aid: More than 100,000 people around Europe - 20,000 of whom are Global Citizens - took action, calling on European governments to stop redirecting life-saving aid to refugee costs. Although we got a strong and quick response from the key officials, the ongoing refugee crisis is putting governments in a tough position, no matter how generous they want to be. It’s likely that we will lose the overall campaign, as it is in the interest of countries to change the aid rules so that refugee spending counts as aid. We’re working with partners to work out what the next steps can be here.
- Canada budget: More than 1,200 Global Citizens wrote emails to the Government asking them to increase aid in the budget, in supported of a campaign led by Engineers without Borders. No increase in budget was forthcoming. The campaign was useful to build relationships with the new government, and we’ll continue to call for increases to the aid budget in the future.
- Australian Aid: Despite actions from thousands of Global Citizens and tens of thousands of people across Australia, the Government cut A$224m from the foreign aid budget in May. Shortly thereafter, they called an election, where in response to our work alongside the Campaign for Australian Aid, the Australian Labor Party (currently sitting in opposition) announced that if elected on July 2nd they would reverse $224M in recent cuts to the aid budget. We continue to call on all parties to reverse the cuts - you can take action here.