We want responses to the world’s complex problems to be informed by humanitarian approaches.
Jo Cox was a life-long humanitarian. She dedicated her career to helping those less fortunate than herself, whether in Batley and Spen or around the world. She was a staunch advocate of an ethical foreign policy, and committed to the protection of civilians in conflict.
Every decade or so, the world is tested by a crisis so grave that it breaks the mould: one so horrific and inhumane that the response of politicians to it becomes emblematic of their generation — their moral leadership or cowardice, their resolution or incompetence. It is how history judges us. We have been tested by the Second World War, the genocide in Rwanda and the slaughter in Bosnia, and I believe that Syria is our generation’s test.
— Jo Cox
The Jo Cox Memorial Grants
We have worked with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office since 2017 on the development of the Jo Cox Memorial Grants. Through the grants, £10 million of funding has been provided to projects focusing on two areas that Jo was passionate about: women’s empowerment and building resilient communities to combat identity-based violence, including mass atrocities.
women and girls across 17 countries have benefitted from these grants
women have been helped into politics
women in leadership positions have received assistance and training
Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), Uganda
88 women from the communities FOWODE works in ran for a leadership position in the 2021 general elections and 66 were successful in securing a position of power and influence.
Internews, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Internews supported women’s networks to take a leading role in conflict prevention in the country. Women’s roles are typically overlooked in such processes, but the predominantly female Nyunzu Early Warning Group sensitively and actively contributed to the diffusion of a conflict.
At The Jo Cox Foundation, we advocate for political parties to commit to robust atrocity prevention policies. We are a member of the Atrocity Prevention Working Group, which is led by Protection Approaches.
In 2020 we submitted evidence to the International Development Committee and they have now published their report – ‘From Srebrenica to a safer tomorrow: Preventing future mass atrocities around the world‘ – which recommends the adoption of a national atrocity prevention strategy and is a positive step forward for this campaigning.
When working on atrocity prevention, we reflect on Jo’s own work on this topic including The Cost of Doing Nothing Report. With the support of The Jo Cox Foundation, cross-party colleagues Alison McGovern MP and Tom Tugendhat MP came together in 2016 to finish the report Jo had started with Tom, making the case for action to protect civilians from atrocity in conflicts around the world.
Restoring the aid budget
Jo Cox was a firm believer in International Aid. In November 2020 the UK government announced that it would reduce the annual aid budget from 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to 0.5%, a reduction of between about £4bn and £5bn. The cut will continue until at least 2024. We believe the 0.7% commitment must be restored.
“We put this country firmly on the road to fulfil our historic commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid – an act of solidarity that has seen millions more children in school and many more women surviving childbirth.”Jo Cox