Global Manifesto for
Public Services

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Africa Week of Action Against Water Privatisation

Climate-saving, gender-transformative, democratic public services are possible 


Public services are crucial in responding to the world’s multiple crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has cast into stark relief the consequences of decades of privatisation and commercialisation of public services that form the bedrock of our socities. This is a crucial moment to build public services as part of a just recovery and transition to a more sustainable and resilient economy and society. Join the growing movement, sign the Manifesto.

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207 Organisations

As of 12 August 2022

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The Manifesto

The Future is Public: Global Manifesto for Public Services was developed collectively by dozens of organisations and actors to serve as a rallying cry for public services for civil society, providing a concrete alternative to the dominant neoliberal narrative that has failed to ensure a dignified life for all. The manifesto positions public services as the foundation of a fair and just society and of the social pact that implements the core values of solidarity, equality and human dignity. It advances a series of ten principles for universal quality public services in the 21st century, and outlines how funding universal quality public services is possible.

“The manifesto is very timely and, I will say, necessary, so it’s very welcome. In this time, it’s very relevant to highlight the importance of the public sector in the era of neoliberalism where many people are advocating for the replacement of the State by the market.”

– Léo Heller, former UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

“The manifesto is really a great initiative which captures the current consciousness, the current consensus and indeed expectations of a wide segment of society in terms of the kind of world, the kind of societies that we would like to live in.”

Solomon Ayele Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Numbers at a glance

PPP schemes

Public health services

The Audit Chamber of the Autonomous Community of Madrid has found that health services delivered in PPP schemes are six times more expensive than health services delivered by the public sector.

This represents an excessive cost to the local Government, and as a consequence public authorities have demanded the revision of the PPP agreements with private entities.

IMF austerity cuts in 15 countries have blocked the recruitment of over 3 million nurses, teachers and other essential public sector workers.

In just those 15 countries, the recommended IMF cuts add up to nearly US$ 10 billion – the equivalent of cutting:

(The Public Versus Austerity report, October 2021)



other public sector workers

Gender and public services

Childcare – hours per week

women 62
men 36

Housework – hours per week

women 23
men 15

Women within the European Union spend on average 62 hours caring for children and 23 hours doing housework per week, compared to 36 hours and 15 hours for men.

Since the pandemic has put further pressure on public health systems that were already strained due to privatisation and austerity measures, women had to fill in the gaps for the lack of these services (to which dependent family members no longer have access). Even before COVID-19, women have traditionally been in charge of care responsibilities concerning sick family members. This was the case of the Zika crisis in the Dominican Republic, where women were solely responsible for caring for ill in in 79 per cent of the cases. UN Women’s rapid assessment surveys suggest that these trends have persisted during COVID-19 crisis.

(From the brief ‘Women and Public Services’, March 2021)

Children out of school due to COVID-19

Only 10% of children defined by the Government as vulnerable attended school or early years education during the first lockdown.

(From the brief ‘Women and Public Services’, March 2021)


Nine organisations began collaborating in 2020 with the aim of establishing a collective vision that could mobilise a strong broad-based movement to demand public services: ActionAid, the East African Centre for Human Rights, Eurodad, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights, Oxfam, Public Services International, the Society for International Development, and the Transnational Institute.

Two key events were held in 2020:

  • A public roundtable discussion bringing together the UN special rapporteurs across six different mandates, to reflect on the impacts of privatisation and on building renewed momentum and strategies for the public provision of ESCR-related services.
  • A two-day civil society workshop bringing together over 80 participants from all around the world to start building a global civil society strategy against privatisation and for reclaiming public services.

A key outcome of the civil society workshop was the idea of developing a collective narrative to unite and mobilise a broad-based movement to challenge privatisation and demand public alternatives for the provision of services that ensure the realisation of human rights. A working group was formed, bringing together representatives from 25 organisations from various sectors and regions.

This group met regularly from January to June 2021 to develop a draft manifesto. Input was then sought through a series of regional workshops and online consultations held from June to September, with the feedback being integrated into a revised draft by the working group.

The final version of the manifesto incorporates the comments and inputs received from hundreds of civil society organisations and actors throughout the world. It aims to establish a clear, unifying vision on public services that can be used as a basis for advocacy and campaigning in different contexts, at the local, national, regional and global levels.


‘Enough is Enough: The Future is Public’ is an annual event that was organised for the first time in October 2020, and again in October 2021, that gathers current and former UN human rights special rapporteurs to discuss the importance of public services, and the alternatives to failing commercialisation models.

The October 2021 event was attended by over 500 people. It brought together for the first time nine global and regional human rights representatives to reflect on the crucial role of public services in building a more sustainable, inclusive, socially-just and resilient economy and society.

Highlight of the event

This event built on a similar very successful discussion in 2020 with eight current and former UN mandate holders on privatisation and public services. To find about more, click here.

In 2022, the Our Future is Public Conference will gather social movements and civil society organisations from all over the world in Santiago, Chile for a 4-day Conference aiming at developing strategies and narratives to strengthen public services for the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights and tackle the effects of climate change. The first two days will be devoted to sectoral meetings on health, education, agriculture, economic justice and social protection, energy, food systems, housing, transportation, waste and water; while the final two days will bring together all movements and organisations participating in the conference for a collective discussion on cross-cutting themes including the climate emergency, gender equality, economic and tax justice, and democratic public ownership. Pre-registration for this event is open! Click here to pre-register.

  1. The manifesto has been signed by the following organisations:

  1. A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights, Serbia
  2. All for Education! National Civil Society Coalition, Mongolia
  3. All U. P. Workers Union
  4. ActionAid International
  5. Aeopas – Spanish Association of Public Supply Operators
  6. African Palliative Care Association
  8. Agora Association, Turkey
  9. AHTELAB-C Asociación Hondureña de Técnicos en Laboratorio Clínico, Honduras
  10. Akina Mama wa Afrika
  11. Albanian Coalition for Education
  12. All Pakistan Labour Federation
  13. All U.P. Workers Union – Philippines
  14. Amis des Étrangers au Togo (ADET)
  15. Aqua Publica Europea
  16. Arab Campaign for Education for all
  17. Asamblea Social del Agua Solidaridad, México
  18. Asamblea Social del Agua, Mexico
  19. ASPBAE – Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education
  20. Asociación Generaciones de Paz (ASDEPAZ), El Salvador
  21. Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores/as de Agua Potable y Saneamiento del Ecuador (ANTAPS)
  22. Association Marocaine des Droits Humains ( AMDH )
  23. Associação Nacional de Pesquisa em Financiamento da Educação, Brazil
  24. Association pour le Développement Économique Social Culturel Quartier Las Palmas, Mauritania
  25. Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
  26. Association pour la défense des droits à l’eau et à l’assainissement, Senegal
  27. Athens Solidarity Social Clinic/Pharmacy
  28. Azerbaijan Trade Union of Cultural Workers
  29. Banka BioLoo Limited, India
  30. Beacon Teachers Africa
  31. Blue Planet Project
  32. Both ENDS
  33. Brazilian Campaign for The Right to Education
  34. Bring Back British Rail, the UK
  35. CADTM France
  36. Campaign of Campaigns
  37. Canadians for Tax Fairness
  38. CEDAW People’s Tribunal, the UK
  39. CEE Coalition
  40. Centar za mirovne studije I Centre for Peace Studies
  41. Center for Economic and Social Rights
  42. CeVI – Centro di Volontariato Internazionale, Italy
  43. Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ), Argentina
  44. Civil Society Network for Education Reforms, Philippines
  45. CIVISOL : The Civicness and Solidarity foundation for Systemic Change
  46. Coalition Education
  47. Coalition for Transparency and Accountability in Education (COTAE), Liberia
  48. Coalition pour l’Education Pour Tous Bafashebige, Burundi
  49. Comité Cerezo México
  50. Comitê Nacional em Defesa das empresas Públicas, Brazil
  51. Comité pour l’abolition des dettes illégitimes – Afrique (CADTM Afrique)
  52. Comité pour l’Annulation des Dettes Illégitimes (CADTM) France
  53. Commons Network
  54. Community Medicine Practitioners and Advocates Association
  55. Confederación Nacional de Servidores Públicos del Ecuador (CONASEP)
  57. Cooperativa RÍOS
  58. Coordination Nationale des Enseignants d’Education aux Droits de l’Homme et à la Citoyenneté
  59. Corporate Accountability
  60. Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
  61. Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
  62. Counter Balance
  63. CROSOL – Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity
  64. Debt Observatory in Globalization
  65. Diálogo Institucional Assessoria e Análise de Políticas Públicas, Brazil
  66. E-Net Philippines(Education Network)
  67. Earth Thrive
  68. East African Centre for Human Rights (EACHRights)
  69. Eau Secours 62
  70. EnaBanda
  71. Enginyeria sense Fronteres
  72. Equidad de Género: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
  73. Estudio Jurídico Freiler, Argentina
  74. European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)
  75. European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad)
  76. European Water Movement
  77. Fagforbundet, Norway
  78. Federación de sindicatos de la hidrológica de Venezuela
  79. Federación Nacional de Asociaciones Judiciales del Ecuador (FENAJE)
  80. Federación Nacional de Trabajadores del Agua Potable y Alcantarillado del Peru (FENTAP)
  81. Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging (FNV)
  82. Federatie Nederlandse Vakvereniging sector Overheid (FNV Overheid)
  83. Feminist Hiking Collective
  84. FIAN International
  85. Firelight Foundation
  86. FNV
  87. Food & Water Watch, USA
  88. FOA, Denmark
  89. Free Trade Union Development Center (FTUDC)
  90. Free Trade Union Development Center Sri Lanka
  91. Freelance
  92. Friend of the Earth International
  93. Friends of the Disabled Association (FDA), Lebanon
  94. Friends of the Earth International
  95. Gender and Development Network (GADN)
  96. Genel-İs, Public Services Employees Union of Turkey
  97. Get Glasgow Moving
  99. Global Campaign for Education
  100. Global Campaign for Education, USA
  101. Global Colaition for Social Protection Floors
  102. The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  103. Global Policy Forum
  104. Global Social Justice
  105. Hope of Africa (HOFA), Cameroon
  106. Human Rights Research Documentation Center (HURIC)
  107. Human Rights Research Documentation Center (HURIC), Uganda
  108. Hydroconseil
  109. In the Public Interest, USA
  110. Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), Uganda
  111. Institut za političku ekologiju
  112. Institute for Economic Justice
  113. Institute for Economic Research on Innovation
  114. Instituto de los Gobiernos Locales, Universidad Abierta de Recoleta, Chile
  115. Inter Pares
  116. International Alliance of Inhabitants
  117. International Network of Scholar Activists
  118. International Transport Workers’ Federation
  119. Iraqi journalists rights defense association
  120. Josoi Care Association, Uganda
  121. Kamwenge secondary School, Uganda
  122. Kisumu Social Rights Association
  123. KnowPolicy
  124. Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak atas Air (KRuHA – people’s coalition for the right to water), Indonesia
  125. Land Sea Maldives
  126. Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE)
  127. Lithuanian Non-Governmental Development Cooperation Organisations’ Platform
  128. Madhira Institute
  129. Medicus Mundi Mediterrània
  130. Mesopotamia Ecology Movement, North Kurdistan, Turkey
  131. Microgeographies
  132. Miroir Vagabond
  133. Mkaazi
  134. Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos (MNDH) Brasil
  135. Municipal Services Project
  136. National Campaign for Education Nepal
  137. National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
  138. National Education Union, UK
  139. Naturefriends Greece
  140. Nawi – Afrifem Macroeconomics Collective
  141. Network of Public Interest Lawyers, Uganda
  142. New Hope New Winners Foundation, Tanzania
  143. Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association
  144. NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark
  145. OIKO.POLI.S
  146. Organisation pour la Démocratie le Développement Economique et Social (ODDES), Côté d’Ivoire
  147. Oxfam India
  148. OMEP- World Organisation for Early Childhood Education
  149. Pamoja Trust
  150. People’s Health Movement (PHM), East Africa
  151. People’s Health Movement (PHM), Europe
  152. People’s Health Movement (PHM), North America
  153. Personal, Educador
  154. Phenix Center, Jordan
  155. Plataforma contra la privatización del Canal de Isabel II, Spain
  156. Plataforma de Acuerdos Público Comunitarios de las Américas (PAPC)
  157. Platform, the UK
  158. Power For The People, the UK
  159. Pressenza International Press Agency
  160. Public Services International (PSI)
  161. Quepo, Sccl, Catalonia
  162. Red Agua Pública, Spain
  163. Red de Información y Acción Ambiental de Veracruz (RIAAVER), México
  164. Red del Agua Pública de Aragón
  165. Rede Latino Americana e Africana de Pesquisadores em Privatização da Educação
  166. Regroupement Education Pour Toutes et pour Tous (REPT), Haiti
  167. Right to Education Initiative
  168. Salut Drets Acció / Health Rights Action
  169. SANIDAD
  171. Share The World’s Resources
  172. Sindicato de las Empresas Municipales de Cali (SINTRAEMCALI)
  173. Sindicato de trabajadores del Hospital Universitario San Ignacio
  174. Sisters of Charity Federation
  175. Society for International Development
  176. Solidarité Laïque
  177. Solidarité Laïque Antenne Régionale Afrique de l’Ouest
  178. Sosyal Haklar Dernegi
  179. State Employees Federation, Mauritius
  180. Synafen
  181. Syndicat des Professeurs du Sénégal (SYPROS)
  182. Syndicat National Autonome de l’Enseignement Secondaire
  183. Syndicat solidarité
  184. TEACH Côte d’Ivoire
  185. Teso Anticorruption Coalition, Uganda
  186. The Center of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  187. The Democracy Collaborative, USA
  188. Transnational Institute
  189. Tripla Difesa Onlus Guardie Sicurezza Sociale e Eco Zoofile odv
  190. Tunisian Observatory of Economy
  191. Uganda Peace Foundation
  192. Uganda Society for Disabled Children
  194. UILPA
  195. Union of Kenya Civil Servants
  196. VHS Berlin-Mitte
  197. Vigência, Brazil
  198. Viva Salud
  199. We Own It, UK
  200. Wemos
  201. Widener University Commonwealth
  202. Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
  203. Xúquer Viu, Spain
  204. Young Men Action for Education
  205. Young Professionals for Development, Kenya
  206. Za Zemiata (Friends of the Earth Bulgaria)
  207. Zukunftskonvent Germany