Tattoo-Petition Action for Global Justice in Post-2015

Tattoo-Petition Action for Global Justice in Post-2015

GCAP Global Foundation

Temporary tattoos for long-lasting change. Let the world know you want Global Justice!

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Target countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom and other European countries
Start date and end date of the Action: 1 April – 31 December 2015
Names of Co-applicants in the Action: Alianza por la Solidaridad, Spain; EDUCON, Czech Republic; FOCSIV, Federazione Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario, Italy; GERT, Bulgaria; Hellenic Platform for Development, Greece; Stop Climate Chaos, Ireland; Südwind Agentur, Austria; WWF Italia, Italy

In the Tattoo-Petition project, 51,169 EU citizens took action on the Post-2015 agenda and climate change in more than 10 EU Member States. Especially youth got involved in the campaign for global justice and sustainable development. The project was also integrated in the global action/2015 campaign which contributed significantly to the mobilisation in Europe. Especially the national partners involved in the project used the EYD2015 as a great opportunity to involve citizens with the three main activities.

With 18 temporary tattoos in 6 languages (English, Bulgarian, Czech, Italian, Spanish and Greek) people expressed their political demands on their bodies. 34,050 tattoos were used and on average we calculated that one person showed the tattoo to four people (a low calculation based on empirical experiences). By this another 130,000 people got to know about the demands of the campaign.

Tattoos were developed in line with the EYD topics and more specifically the demands of the project’s petition, and resonating with the diverse lives of EU citizens from different cultures and experiencing different realities: women’s rights, peace, climate, migration, youth, democracy, trade justice, participation. In addition to the 8 English tattoos with texts: “My body, my rights”; “Peace and prosperity, not war and austerity”; “There is no planet B”; “No one is illegal”; “We are the 99%”; “no-TTIP sign”; “Action2015 – Leave no one behind!”; and “Youth Power – it’s down to us”; 10 tattoos were developed in Bulgarian (2), Czech (2), Italian (2), Spanish (3) and Greek (1) to better match perceptions of aesthetics across Europe.

Youth organisations, environmental and global justice activists were involved in activities where the broad public got to know about the EYD and was invited to sign the tattoo petition and of course to get tattooed. The Tattoo-Petition action was communicated to decision-makers and politicians in different countries, for example, to European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid from 2004 to 2009, Mr. Louis Michel, in the Open Doors Day in Brussels and the Parliament in Latvia; and MP Carmen Montón in Spain took a picture with the tattoo to vindicate women rights in a street action and spread it in the media.

An online petition on Global Justice in Post-2015 for the SDG summit and the COP21 was developed in a participatory way within the project consortium and in collaboration with civil society across the EU through action/2015 hubs of discussion and having it broadly endorsed by the global action/2015 campaign, to create a maximum ownership for the petition and the associated tattoos. The petition was translated into 10 EU languages (Bulgarian, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latvian, Portuguese and Spanish) and it was signed by 2,398 people (1,571 from all EU Member States except Luxembourg and Romania and 827 additional signatures from the rest of the world, altogether from 118 countries). Also as a communication on the petition, a letter signed by more than 1,500 people from 26 EU Member States was sent to 652 MEPs of the 28 EU Member States in January 2016.

Global Days of actions took place across Europe as part of the global movement:

  1. Light the Way for the SDGs, 24th September 2015, included mobilisations in 8 EU Member States with 5,379 participants. The action build on the momentum created by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and gathered a broad variety of CSOs and citizens highlighting the new framework for sustainable development. Altogether 150 events were organised in 100 countries across the world, which the project team strove to turn into opportunities to raise worldwide the visibility of the EYD and more generally the role of Europe in the world. For this action, an agreement on 3 following key demands was achieved and promoted also in the global action/2015 toolkit for the UNGA: “Walk the Talk”; “Finance Our Future” and “Be Accountable & Transparent”.
  2. Global Climate March, 29th November 2015: In 8 EU Member States marches were organised in cooperation with climate movements with 10,600 participants (estimated in the framework of this project; in total 118,100 participants in the marches across Europe). COP 21 taking place in France was an extraordinary opportunity to approach the EU citizens with the interlinkages between the way we live in Europe and the lives of billions of people across the world. The media coverage was far beyond expectations.

Altogether, the number of participants in Global Days and local actions across the EU reached 18,548. The local actions included for example a joint stand at the Open Doors Day (Europe Day) and a joint Civil Society Lounge at the European Development Days of the Tattoo-petition project and the CONCORD coordinated EYD Civil Society Alliance in Brussels; “My body my rights” street action on women’s health in Madrid; “Finance Our Future” action in Vienna with 7 pregnant women with belly-paintings at the core addressing development financing, “Unleash your #YouthPower” training of trainers’ camp for youth and teachers in Bulgaria, and several workshops, film screenings, discussions, and concerts leading from Light the Way and Climate Justice mobilizations.

The outreach on media and social media was overwhelming: globally 20 million people were reached – many more than expected. On media, about 5 million people were reached (all in the EU) and on social media about 15 million (including 600,000 people within the EU). The media coverage of the Austrian action demanding proper financing for the implementation of Post-2015 was assessed alone to have reached over 3 million people. In addition to publicity in Austria, main television channels and newspapers across Europe covered the Climate Justice Marches and approached the sustainable development issues linked to the fight against climate change, including the role of EU citizens. Articles were published and the action featured in media – related to women health rights, Financing for Development, agreement on the new SDGs, COP21 and climate change and justice – such as El Pais, 20 Minutos,, and the main TVs in Spain covering the Climate March: Lasexta, Antena3, TVE, Tele5; in Austria in Kurier Daily and online, Tiroler Tageszeitung online, Kathpress – catholic press agency online, protestant press agency online, EPO Online – Development Policy online, Austrian Press Agency (APA) online, Oneworld AT online, TV channel W24 and the infoscreens of the Metro and tram system in Vienna; Pravo, Radio Wave and Czech Radiojournal; and in Italy,,,, and so on.

The main website of the action was opened 10,110 times in the EU and 197,431 times globally. The banners of the project (translated into the 10 European languages of the petition ) were seen 629,627 times in the EU and 14.5 millions times globally. Also a promotional video was produced for the promotion of taking action for global justice:

The level of interaction which we had with EU citizens through social media is an additional indicator of the broad reach that was achieved online. For example, just on its main activities, one of which was the 28th May action for women’s rights, the Spanish partner alone had 8,145 viewers/readers of the content developed, 108,750 impressions in Twitter and 820 retweets. The Austrian partner sent the action newsletter to 15,000 email addresses and GCAP to 3,500 addresses. In total far more than 200,000 European citizens benefited from the awareness-raising on EYD2015 issues.

The Tattoo-Action worked through broad civil society coalitions operating at national level also including “climate coalitions”. In Austria, the financing aspect was retained as the main angle to talk about the EYD. In Bulgaria, democracy and peace were chosen to make the links between the EYD topics and the daily lives of people. In the Czech Republic, the promotion of peace and disarmament appeared particularly relevant and climate was also considered important, especially in view to the COP21. In Greece, the right to health was chosen as an entry point into the petition and the topics addressed by the EYD. Trade justice was also an important concern. In Ireland, the most telling EYD issue for the fellow citizens was found to be climate. In Italy, migration and climate were considered the most important topics to interest the citizens. In Spain, migration, climate and women’s rights were chosen as topics. This collaboration and participatory approach within the project explained the success of the initiative in terms of the number of EU citizens outreached.