A petition wins on Change.org almost every hour. Think about that. Almost every 60 minutes people are changing their cities, their countries, or maybe even the whole world.
To celebrate that more than 100 million people are using Change.org to make change, we wanted to take a look at the biggest victories we have seen around the world, in the top 10 countries by users.
There are criminal justice victories, human rights victories, health victories, and even a victory for entertainment. Some of these victories highlight specific people and the problems they face, while others tackle overarching societal problems. What is consistent across these highlighted victories, however, is that eight of the 10 were declared victories in 2014 or 2015.
The number of high-profile victories around the world since 2014 speaks to the growing power of the petition. Three factors have made petitions a more effective catalyst for change in the last few years:
- Social media is more integral to our lives than ever before. It provides a platform to share petitions and makes it easier than ever to find supporters all over the world.
- Mainstream media is turning to online platforms and social media for stories. As petitions gain traction online, media are providing in-depth coverage of them.
- The world’s most powerful businesses and governments recognize the unprecedented opportunity the internet gives them to interact with their customers and constituents and they are engaging more regularly with them online.
In addition to these three factors, high profile examples of victories – such as the Boy Scouts of America overturning its ban on LGBT scouts – inspire people to embracing the petition for their own uses. And single victories inspire other people to take up the cause in their own communities.
For example, the biggest ever victory in France helped to create a new law requiring all supermarkets to donate their unsold food. This one victory in France has inspired other people all over the world to start petitions asking their own governments to create similar legislation.
To create this list, below, we took a list of the 10 countries with the most users on Change.org. Then, we highlighted the most popular victory from that country by signature count.
MOST POPULAR VICTORIES FROM OUR TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY USERS
1. United States: Prosecute the Killer of Our Son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin
Date of Victory: April 11, 2012
Number of Signatures: 2,278,945
Following the tragic death of their son Trayvon, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton started a petition to call for charges to be brought against the man who killed their son. See Victory
2. United Kingdom: Don’t Execute Meriam Yehya Ibrahim for Being Christian #SaveMeriam
Date of Victory: July 24. 2014
Number of Signatures: 1,092,281
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese mother and doctor was charged with adultery and apostasy on the grounds that she was a practicing Christian marred to a Christian man. She was eight months pregnant when she was arrested and gave birth to a baby girl in jail where she was also confined with her two-year-old son. While Meriam was imprisoned in Sudan, it was a UK petition that brought global attention to her plight and led to her release. See Victory
3. Spain: Don’t Let the Tragedy of Madrid Arena Happen Again
Date of Victory: May 6, 2013
Number of Signatures: 428,739
Following the death of her daughter Cristina and four other young women at a Halloween party in the Madrid Arena, Isabel De la Fuente started a petition to improve the Performances Act of the Community of Madrid and increase penalties for non-compliance. See Victory
4. France: Stop Food Waste in France!
Date of Victory: May 21, 2015
Number of Signatures: 211,278
After months of volunteering to distribute unsold food from supermarkets to needy people in Courbevoie, Arash Derambarsh and Mathieu Kassovitz launched a petition to create legislation that would require all supermarkets to distribute their unsold food. See Victory
5. Russia: Don’t Allow the Commercial Slaughter of Seals!
Date of Victory: June 6, 2015
Number of Signatures: 243,134
George Mzhavanadze started a petition to protect seals native to Russian (many of them endangered) from hunting, resulting in a ban from the Federal Fisheries Agency. See Victory
6. Turkey: Right to Fair Trial
Date of Victory: December 2, 2014
Number of Signatures: 622,328
One Turkish football fan was so outraged with the way the President and management of Fenerbahçe Sports Club were accused and then convicted of match-fixing that he used a petition to successfully call for their retrial after the original courts that saw their cases were disbanded. See Victory
7. Canada: Rockstar: Release Grand Theft Auto V on PC
Date of Victory: June 11, 2014
Number of Signatures: 728,144
In Canada, passionate gamers made sure they could play their favorite game, Grand Theft Auto, not only on PlayStations and Xboxes, but also on their PCs. Their petition addressed game publisher Rockstar and led to GTA V being released for PC as well as the game consoles in 2014. See Victory
8. Italy: Stop the Annuity to Former MPs Convicted of Mafia and Corruption
Date of Victory: May 7, 2015
Number of Signatures: 522,991
Libera e Gruppo Abele had a landmark win with their petition to discontinue annuities for deputies and senators who were been convicted of serious crimes, such as involvement with the mafia, corruption, and fraud. See Victory
9. Germany: Midwives Need Higher Remuneration #sicheregeburt
Date of Victory: June 26, 2014
Number of Signatures: 133,798
German mother, Anke Bastrop, relied on midwives before, during, and after the birth of her two children. But the rising costs of insurance and the low pay in the field meant that fewer midwives would be available when she decided to have a third child. Anke asked the government to help stabilize midwifery. See Victory
10. Australia: The Premier of NSW - The Hon. Barry O'Farrell MP: Reform Sentencing Laws to Curb Alcohol-Fuelled Violence
Date of Victory: February 6, 2014
Number of Signatures: 144,330
Following the death of their son Tom to alcohol-fuelled violence, Ralph and Kathy Kelly successfully asked the New South Wales government to increase penalties for crimes committed while affected by alcohol or drugs. See Victory
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