About Us

We are a campaigning organisation that exists to end unjust debt and its root causes. Through campaigning, community organising, research and activism, we build collective power with the people most affected by personal debt in the UK and public debt in exploited countries. So together we can rewrite the rules of global finance and build a fair economy for all.

We are a people powered organisation and part of global movement for change. Get involved in our campaigns today.

Our work

Our work involves building collective power with people affected by unjust debt. We champion their demands so that debt is no longer used by wealthy, powerful lenders to extract income from people and countries.

We research global and UK debt issues, educate and campaign in solidarity with people in debt and countries facing debt crises. We work in partnership with allies in the UK and around the world to challenge governments and banks to cancel unjust debt, change policy and shift public attitudes. We also support the movements that connect with our cause — from tax justice and climate justice globally, to stronger rights here in the UK for labour, wages, housing, and migration.

We’ve helped to bring about some big changes, including:

  • $130 billion of debt cancellation for developing countries between 2000 and 2015, as part of the global Jubilee campaign
  • A UK Act of Parliament to protect 40 impoverished countries from being sued by vulture funds
  • $1 billion of debt cancellation by the IMF, and $13 billion of debt payments suspended, during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • £500 million support fund and £65 million vulnerable renters package announced to support people with the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Credit Suisse fined for its role in a debt scandal in Mozambique and made to cancel debts
  • Debt writeoffs and financial support for Together Against Debt network 
  • Cap on the cost of credit won for rent-to-own products  
  • A new set of UN principles for sovereign debt restructuring
  • $100 million of debt cancellation for countries affected by the Ebola crisis

Our story

On the 16th May 1998, 70,000 people took to the streets of Birmingham and formed a ‘human chain’ around the city which was then hosting a global summit with world leaders. Thousands of ordinary people filled the city centre calling for debt cancellation for lower income countries..  This was a defining moment in our campaign for debt justice.

Standing on the shoulders of decades of debt justice activism in the global south, the late 1990s saw the issue of debt injustice – particularly that owed from the global south to the global north – become one of the most significant political issues of the era because of the Jubilee 2000 movement. Between 2000-2015 the global Jubilee campaign won $130 billion of debt cancellation for developing countries.

However, the scheme did not prevent debt crises recurring. The same structural causes that led to the crisis remain in place. The 2010’s also saw the debt crisis come to Europe in the wake of the financial crisis as the Greek government was forced to cut spending because of their debts, and debt began building again in lower income countries. Exacerbated by the global pandemic in recent years, 54 countries are now in debt crisis. In 2020 we launched a new campaign for debt cancellation, and have already won significant changes. Including the launch of a new international process for debt cancellation.

Here in the UK personal debt has reached new highs. Over half of UK adults are now in debt or worried about falling into debt. As an organisation that aims to stop debt from causing and exacerbating poverty, we began work on tackling the unjust build-up for personal debt here in the UK.

We continue to campaign for debt justice, working alongside our allies in lower income countries facing debt crises, such as Mozambique and Zambia, as well as working on the issue of personal debt here in the UK.

Debt Justice’s work is underpinned by our Memorandum & Articles of Association and governed by our Board of Trustees. Debt Justice is a registered charity (number 1055675) and a company limited by guarantee (number 3201959)

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