Demanding Justice |

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in 92 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.We work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

What we do

Find out how we work with others to end poverty and injustice, from campaigning to responding to emergencies.

Why we do it

Oxfam believes that respect for human rights will help lift people out of poverty and injustice, allow them to assert their dignity and guarantee sustainable development. When we speak about having a rights-based approach, this is what we mean.

We believe that everyone should have the right to:

A livelihood

Oxfam works at many levels with partners and communities in support of their right to a decent living. We argue for better working conditions and better protection of the natural resources on which poor communities depend. We campaign for fairer trade rules at the global level, and for better policies at the national level. We work with partners and communities to implement programs that lead to self-sustaining livelihoods, with a strong focus on women.

Basic services

Being healthy and educated is an essential step along the route out of poverty. Yet millions of people have no access to health services, schooling or safe water. They are constantly at risk from illnesses that are easily prevented or treated, or are unable to read and write, which means exclusion from their society. We campaign for more and better aid, with a focus on basic services. At the program level, Oxfam provides health training and clean water supplies, as well as funding schools and teacher training.

Be safe from harm

War and natural disasters cause untold suffering for millions of people around the world and keep them locked in poverty. In disasters, people are at greater risk of violence, disease and abuse. We save lives in emergencies by providing shelter, clean water and sanitation. And by working with local partners, we help communities to rebuild and to better prepare themselves for future disasters.

Be heard

People living in poverty often have little influence over decisions that affect their lives.
Oxfam supports partners and communities to understand their rights and to speak out about their needs and concerns. And, with others, we get people in power to listen and act.

Be treated as equal.

People who are marginalized – because they are women, disabled or members of a religious or ethnic minority – are more likely to be poor. We combat such discrimination, and work with these groups to ensure they have the means to enjoy equal access to jobs, essential services and influence.

Our History

Oxfam International was formed in 1995 by a group of independent non-governmental organizations. Their aim was to work together for greater impact on the international stage to reduce poverty and injustice.

The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942. The group campaigned for food supplies to be sent through an allied naval blockade to starving women and children in enemy-occupied Greece during the Second World War.

As well as becoming a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, Oxfam International implements long-term development programs in vulnerable communities. We are also part of a global movement, campaigning with others, for instance, to end unfair trade rules, demand better health and education services for all, and to combat climate change.

Today, there are 17 member organizations of the Oxfam International confederation. They are based in: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Quebec, Spain and the United States.

The Oxfam International Secretariat is based in Oxford, UK. The Secretariat runs advocacy offices in Brussels, Geneva, New York, Washington DC and Brasilia.


We strive to do what we say we will do. Read about our core values and operating principles against which we measure ourselves. Until 2012, our work to achieve a just world without poverty will be guided by our Strategic Plan, “Demanding Justice.”

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