An amazing year in the fight for justice
20 December 2012
Throughout the year, across the country, War on Want supporters give generous donations and add their voices to our campaigns – helping to change the structures which keep people poor. It's a clear example of people power at work!
Every single supporter of War on Want helps to drive forward the fight for justice and together we have achieved some amazing victories in 2012...
- Following Israel's horrific military assault on Gaza last month, thousands of supporters wrote to their MPs and to the Foreign Secretary calling on the government to Stop Arming Israel. The government was overwhelmed with messages (they even asked us to stop emailing them!). The campaign also received a significant boost when 52 international Nobel Laureates and cultural figures including Ken Loach, Roger Waters, and Noam Chomsky issued a statement calling for urgent international action towards a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo against Israel.
- Our seven-year campaign to stop the exploitation of workers in supermarket supply chains achieved a double victory when the government not only agreed to introduce a supermarket watchdog, but also bowed to public pressure earlier this month announcing that the watchdog will have the power to fine.
- After a six-month battle, our partner in Zambia, the National Union of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers, secured significant wage increases for permanent and seasonal workers in the agricultural sector ranging from 20% to 66%. This extra income will make a huge difference to thousands of workers and their families.
- As Adidas took centre stage at the London 2012 Olympics, we exposed the exploitation that lies behind Adidas' brand, forcing its CEO to defend himself against our accusations of abuses of workers' rights in high profile interviews with the Times and the Independent. In August a ground-breaking agreement was signed with factories supplying Adidas in the Philippines, committing them to implement national labour laws and to promote freedom of association for their workers.
- Women nut breakers across five states in northern Brazil are now able to make a better living for themselves and their families as they have established a new product – babaçu nut cooking oil – which they can sell via the new cooperative set up by War on Want's partner, the Movement of Women Nut Breakers.
- Millions of people in Kenya and Zambia who earn a living as market traders and street vendors no longer face harassment or confiscation of their stock by police, following landmark rulings in both countries which legalise the trade. War on Want's partners in Kenya and Zambia have fought for many years to improve the working and living conditions of street vendors and this legal recognition will be a huge step forward for millions of people and their families.
As the New Year begins we will need the support of people like you more than ever on a whole range of issues – including Palestine. Israel's recent announcement of further illegal settlement expansion will only serve to entrench the isolation of East Jerusalem, cutting off the economy from the West Bank. The UK government condemned the announcement – but we must pressure them to offer more than words and instead take action against Israel to bring it in line with international law.
It's only thanks to the support and generosity of people like you that our work fighting the root causes of poverty is made possible.