Life and debt: Global studies of debt and resistance


6 November 2013 by Jubilee Debt Campaign

Report investigating the impact of debt and austerity, and campaigns for justice, in Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Jamaica, Latvia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal and Tunisia.

Debt is used by international institutions and local elites to force through economic policies which act against the interests of ordinary people. As the current global financial meltdown fuels a growing debt crisis, millions of people across the world are being forced in to poverty.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign was founded to campaign on the Third World debt crisis which created massive hardship and suffering for millions of people in the global South from the late 1970s. During that crisis we uncovered some of the ways debt is created and used to transfer wealth from one part of society (and the world) to another, to make finance more powerful at the expense of the mass of people and to predetermine economic choices and restrict democratic rights.

We campaigned to end such crises, but while we won some debt relief for some countries, debt was actually growing across the world and the financial system – which fuelled the debt – grew ever more powerful. The most recent financial crisis was the culmination of this unsustainable economic situation, where complex financial instruments Financial instruments Financial instruments include financial securities and financial contracts. were used to hide the true extent of global debt.

This report looks at nine countries currently suffering debt crises – examining the common threads and differences in where the debts have come from, the effects they have had, and how people have resisted those debt regimes.

Download Life and debt: Global studies of debt and resistance (PDF, 1.2MB)

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