We research the impacts of Australian government and corporate behaviour overseas, lobby key actors to bring about policy change, and inspire Australians to get involved.
Papua New Guinea. Photo credit: Antony Loewenstein.
Jubilee Australia evolved out of the Australian Jubilee debt campaign of the late 1990s, and we have continued to work on the issue of sovereign debts ever since.
In 1999, through the public pressure and lobbying of the Australian Jubilee 2000 movement, our government pledged 100% debt forgiveness for countries that qualified for relief under the IMF and World Bank HIPC scheme.
In 2004 the government fulfilled its earlier commitment, cancelling the bilateral debts of the Central America country of Nicaragua, worth $5.4 million, followed by cancellation of Ethiopia’s bilateral debt of $7.9 million.
In 2006, Jubilee Australia turned its attention to the issue of illegitimate debt, joining the International South-North Campaign on Illegitimate Debt.
In 2007, the new Labor government finally shifted Australia’s long-standing resistance to participate in a Debt-for-Development exchange, agreeing to the Global Fund’s Debt2Health initiative with Indonesia.
In the same year, Jubilee Australia launched an audit of Australia’s debt claims, culminating in a legal challenge to the Freedom of Information exemption afforded Australia’s export credit agency.
In 2008, Jubilee Australia expanded its mandate to begin monitoring current extractive industry projects being financed by the Australian government in the Pacific region.
This work culminated in the 2009 report, Risky Business: Shining a Spotlight on Australia's Export Credit Agency and has drawn attention of United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights, Foreign Debt and International Financial Obligations, Dr Cephas Lumina.
In 2010 Jubilee Australia launched the Australian arm of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, to popularise the idea of a government tax on speculative wholesale financial transactions to reduce high frequency speculation, slow the extraordinary growth in the derivatives market and which could raise billions to support social services and climate change action both here and overseas.
Jubilee Australia is leading a campaign to STOP DEBT VULTURES, calling on the Australian government to enact legislation to outlaw the practice of Vulture Funds collecting debt in Australia that has been purchased cheaply from highly indebted poor countries.
Visit our Resource Page for detailed information on these topics.