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60 years - a War on Want timeline

War on Want was set up 60 years ago when thousands of ordinary people responded to a public call for action against militarism and world poverty. Since then, War on Want has been at the forefront of the movement for global justice. Here are some highlights from 60 years in the struggle.

1951 War on Want is born when 10,000 people respond to a letter in the Guardian calling for a global struggle against poverty
1952 The original report War on Want: A Plan for World Development is published
1964 War on Want founder Harold Wilson, prime minister of the day, sets up Britain’s first Ministry of Overseas Development, with former War on Want trustee Barbara Castle as its first minister
1974 War on Want publishes The Baby Killer, an exposé of baby milk companies that leads to a boycott of Nestlé products which continues to this day, as well as the adoption of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
1987 War on Want launches Profits out of Poverty, the first British campaign to call for the cancellation of ‘Third World’ debt
1998 War on Want calls for a Tobin Tax on foreign currency transactions; the campaign continues today as the Robin Hood Tax campaign
2005 War on Want wins change to UK government policy ensuring aid to developing countries can no longer be made conditional upon privatisation or trade liberalisation
2006 War on Want’s partner the FTZGSEU trade union in Sri Lanka wins the first ever agreement guaranteeing workers an increase in salary every year, annual leave and an end to persecution of trade union activity
2008 War on Want is named by Third Sector as one of the top five most admired charities in England and Wales
2009 War on Want’s partner Zaytoun, a collective of Palestinian olive oil growers living under Occupation, becomes the first olive oil to be awarded Fairtrade status
2010 War on Want partner the National Garment Workers’ Federation secures a 65% rise in the minimum wage for more than three million Bangladeshi garment workers - their first in four years
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