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Walk Together

A year-long campaign to continue Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom, by building global empathy and supporting civil society on issues of peace, health, justice and equality.





About the campaign

Amidst growing intolerance and polarisation, The Elders mark their 10th anniversary by launching a global campaign to help bridge the deepening global fault lines of division, hate and xenophobia that are leading to inward-facing populism.

Focusing on the freedoms and principles their founder Nelson Mandela devoted his life to achieving -- peace, health, equality and justice -- The Elders will champion and give a platform to courageous voices in civil society who assert the values of empathy, compassion and solidarity.

The campaign will run for twelve months from 18 July 2017 – the tenth anniversary of the group’s founding – to 18 July 2018, the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

Discover more about the key themes tackled by the campaign below.


Freedom for Peace

Peace is the essential prerequisite from which every other aspect of freedom flows. When peace is absent, the most fundamental of human rights are denied: the rights to safety, dignity, protection and self-expression.

The legacy of Nelson Mandela and his example of magnanimity, empathy, truth and reconciliation must be at the heart of every struggle for freedom, now and in the future. True peace will otherwise always remain elusive.

Leaders must rise above the narrow concerns of nationhood and embrace the common humanity that binds us all together from the cradle to the grave.


Freedom for Health

Health is a human right. If people do not have access to healthcare free at the point of use, then they cannot be free in all the other spheres of their life. Our world cannot prosper if people continue to suffer from preventable conditions and diseases because they lack the resources to access adequate treatment.

This is why The Elders advocate Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as the best way to achieving freedom for health. Across the Walk Together campaign, The Elders will push for freedom for health for every child, woman, man and family, in place of fear and in step with progress.


Freedom for Justice

Justice sits at the very heart of human freedom. Just as the principles of impartiality and equality before the law remain a powerful bulwark against tyranny, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi’s legacies prove that the impulse for true justice can never be crushed.

Justice must be universal in nature and be realised through institutions that truly represent contemporary diversity, give a voice to the voiceless and are informed by indigenous and traditional perspectives alongside a globalised narrative.


Freedom for Equality

Guided by the example of our founder Nelson Mandela, who personally stood in solidarity with the victims of AIDS in South Africa, including minority sexual groups, and challenged the ugly impulses of bigotry and discrimination, we affirm that real equality means that everyone is treated exactly the same and enjoy exactly the same rights.

Similarly, any individual’s sexual orientation has to be respected under the law. Respect for religious traditions must live alongside the principle of equality for every individual in any society.

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