Global Manifesto for
Public Services

Read the Manifesto
Sign the Manifesto
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.

Join our email list

Sign the Manifesto


199 Organisations

As of 25 January 2022

Add your voice, and join the Manifesto! If you are an individual, please contact us about how you can get involved.

Sign the Manifesto


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.

The Event

‘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.

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