Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 550 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee is building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief for the world's poorest people.
Our efforts build the political support needed to influence world-wide decision makers, the White House, Congress, the G20, International Financial Institutions and the United Nations to promote poverty reduction and move solutions to the international debt crisis. Ultimately, we work to create an international financial system that protects and ensures participation of the most vulnerable within the context of human rights. Our advocacy promotes responsible lending and borrowing, increasing debt relief for poor countries, curbing illicit financial flows and corporate tax avoidance, moving forward an international debt resolution process, pushing reforms in international financial institutions and protecting poor people from predatory financial behavior.
Our efforts focus on the following areas:
1. Responsible Lending and Borrowing / Expanded Debt Relief- While our efforts have won over 130 billion dollars in debt relief and successful campaigns continue for debt cancellation, the financial crisis has grown and the debt crisis has spread from the south to the north. We see people around the world and across the United States impacted by unfair borrowing and lending practices. Jubilee USA continues to call for expanded debt cancellation, but it is also engaged in national and international efforts to prevent new cycles of debt through accountable and transparent borrowing and lending rules. Real solutions to the international crisis will include implementing responsible lending and borrowing principles in banks and international financial institutions.
2. Tax and Transparency- Estimates indicate that every year over one trillion dollars in earnings exits the developing world untaxed. Corporations avoid paying taxes in the developing world and use a network of tax havens, banks and shell corporations to evade paying taxes in poor countries. Throughout the developed and developing world, this same behavior leads to shortfalls in public investment, climate change protections and policies that benefit the common good. As we curb this behavior, we can achieve sustainable and accountable revenue generation and reduce the need for public sector borrowing. Promoting revenue restoration also contributes to conscious citizenship and state-building while fostering self-reliance and autonomy in policy-making. As we evolve together with our national and international partners, Jubilee USA addresses tax issues, both in terms of advocacy for international tax cooperation and also as part of national coalitions working to promote US government participation.
3. Fair and Transparent Debt Arbitration Process- Consistent with its belief in structural and lasting solutions, Jubilee USA advances proposals for the orderly resolution of debtor-creditor disputes in cases of crises, similar to a bankruptcy process. Jubilee USA believes that in order to achieve fairer solutions to debt problems, it is imperative to end the current situation where, in the absence of an impartial institutional framework, lenders have become de facto judges on their own claims against borrowers. Thus, Jubilee USA Network works to establish an international bankruptcy process or more fair, netural and transparent debt resolution processes.
4. Reform of international financial institutions- Jubilee USA pursues reform of international financial institutions (IFIs) whose policies harm developing economies, the environment and poor populations. After the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, have been given more capital and more power, while their policy-making processes and overall economic paradigm remain largely unchanged. Jubilee USA will continue its advocacy for reforms of these institutions, while supporting the emergence of alternatives, both globally and regionally.
5. Establishing trade policies that promote the common good - Jubilee USA identified trade and investment policy as a significant factor affecting on-the-ground inequality and poverty alleviation outcomes achieved through debt rleief and responsible lending and borrowing behavior. As a result, Jubilee selectively engages in advocacy efforts to reform trade and investment policies. Some of the examples of provisions that put corporate power before human rights are investor-state dispute settlement tribunals that expose governments to unlimited penalties for policy-making that interferes with investors' "expectations," and excessive patent protections that make it more difficult for the poor to access affordable, live-saving medicines.
See background information on specific issues below:
Truth About Debt