Economic justice

The rules of the global economy are written in the interests of big business. 

For too long decisions made by politicians have stripped ordinary people of their power and handed it to corporations and elites. We know poverty is political and the massive inequality in the world today is the result of those decisions.

Our campaigns can challenge this and win important victories in the fight for a future based on justice, equality and rights, not exploitation and profit. There is an alternative.

Trade

For over 30 years, multinational corporations have used free trade agreements as the primary means to increase their power.  A 'new generation' of trade deals continue to prioritise big business profits over the public interest.

Key principles fundamental to achieiving trade justice include human rights, democracy and the global South. With the starting gun fired on Brexit, we must seize the opportunity to build a positive trade agenda for the UK and the world. Find out more.

What is ISDS? Corporate courts, or ISDS, are a shadow legal system that give foreign companies the power to sue governments for millions over laws that harm their profits.

What is CETA?The EU-Canada deal CETA (Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement) is one of a series of secretly negotiated 'new generation' trade deals which undermine democracy and destroy basic rights.

What was TTIP? The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was a major trade deal being negotiated in secret between the EU and USA. TTIP would have opened up public services to permanent privatisation and allow corporations to sue governments.

Precarious contracts

More and more workers in the UK find themselves on precarious contracts, unable to plan their lives or support their families as their hours and schedules are unpredictable.

Precarious contracts are a recipe for insecurity and exploitation. With bosses holding all the power, workers are too afraid of speaking out for fear of losing their job.

Right now migrant workers across the UK face racism, abuse and exploitation. As the UK labour market moves towards lower paid, less secure and more exploitative forms of employment, migrants in search of work find themselves increasingly vulnerable. 

Tax

Tax plays a vital role in every society, redistributing wealth, funding vital public services and tackling poverty. Yet multinational companies and wealthy individuals dodge billions of pounds in tax every year, siphoning off profits and leaving the rest of us to pay the price.

By cracking down on tax dodging, countries could fund public services and avoid harsh cuts which punish the poorest. The UK plays a central role in the worldwide web of tax havens, and the City of London is a critical hub in their operation. Find out more.

South Africa

War on Want has a long standing partnership with housing social movements in South Africa. These movements have successfully challenged evictions and have contributed towards strengthening the laws against evictions. This has made it difficult for anyone to be evicted. However, those living in informal settlements still face the threat of evictions.

Abahlali baseMjondolo

Abahlali baseMjondolo  (people who stay in shacks) was established in 2005. It is a shack  dweller movement organised in 22 informal settlements in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. It has a membership of over 11,000. At the heart of the organisation's values and objectives is the rights of poor people to have decent housing and access to affordable basic services. Abahlali  campaigns for decent public housing; provision of water, sanitation and refuse removal in informal settlements; electrification of shacks to prevent recurrent fires; an end to evictions and forced removals. Abahlali organises community workshops to raise awareness on the right to housing and basic services; it engages politically through protest marches on offices of local and provincial authorities, police and municipal offices,and through negotiations and meetings with authorities, policy makers and politicians. Abahlali has successfully engaged in litigation, including Constitutional Court challenges, that has seen eviction law developed to its threshold. They have set up income generating projects for shack dwellers. They have also created food gardens to keep shack dwellers food secure.

Housing Assembly

Formed in 2009,the Housing Assembly is a housing  movement organising poor people in the Western Cape. It has a membership of over 6,500 representing over 20 communities. Housing Assembly campaigns for the rights of poor people to decent housing and affordable basic services. It campaigns together with shack dwellers, backyard dwellers who are squatting, people who are living in dilapidated social housing   and people in social housing facing evictions, provision of affordable basic services such as water, electricity, sanitation and refuse removal; an end to evictions and forced removals. Housing Assembly  uses grassroots organising methods used by anti-apartheid movements in the 1980s (door-to-door visits and community speakouts) to raise awareness of housing rights and the right to basic services. They engage with city officials, local and provincial authorities through protests and negotiations. It has successfully helped develop eviction laws to its threshold. Housing Assembly supports income generating projects and works with drug affected communities on the Cape Flats. It has also started Women for Change with Housing Assembly women in Beacon Valley. Women for Change ensures that children in the community are kept in school - this means going door to door and waking up the children, making sure they are dressed, fed breakfast and givign them a packed lunch to take to school.

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Latest news

Indian workers protest draconian government measures which undermine their rights

22 May 2020 - 3:00pm

As many thousands of workers face destitution and hunger as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we stand in solidarity with workers across India who today are protesting the government’s use of the pandemic to introduce anti-worker labour laws. 

Organisations such as Cividep India are working hard to expose the impact that the pandemic and lockdown measures are having on an already vulnerable workforce. 

Read more

Government succeeds in advancing Trade Bill which ‘erodes the power of Parliament to nothing’

21 May 2020 - 12:00pm

Press Comment

21 May 2020

The government has succeeded in advancing the Trade Bill through Parliament - despite broad opposition through reasoned amendments from Caroline Lucas MP, Keir Starmer MP and Sarah Olney MP. Emily Thornberry MP called the bill “a massive missed opportunity for our country” which “erodes the power of Parliament to nothing”. Responding to the news, Leah Sullivan, Trade Campaigner at War on Want, says:

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