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Celebrated Spanish musician and actor Miguel Bosé is one of the biggest stars of the Spanish speaking world. A force in Latin music, he is also a dynamic and dedicated campaigner for Oxfam.
In 2005, the Latin Grammy winner was dumped on with cotton for Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign, to highlight the rigged rules of global trade before the Hong Kong World Trade Organization meeting that year.
He visited the cotton fields of northern Peru in 2006 to find out about the problems faced by cotton growers. He met farmers living a precarious existence. There are 28,000 cotton farmers in Peru, but their livelihoods are threatened by US subsidies that keep prices low.
Fighting for fairer trade
In 2008, Miguel met with the President of the Congress of Peru, D. Luis Gonzales Posada. Later that year, the Congress approved a motion recognizing the quality of traditional varieties of Peruvian cotton and the need to protect them. A law was introduced protecting cotton farmers and funds were provided to build a factory where they could process their own cotton, adding value to their products.
Miguel's high profile support, his unflagging commitment to the campaign and intensive work in helping to raise awareness about the issue have undoubtedly helped political progress in shielding Peruvian cotton farmers from foreign subsidies.
On Miguel's Spain and Latin America tour in 2007, Oxfam talked to his fans about the Make Trade Fair Campaign. Following the tour, Miguel joined Ariane Arpa, the head of Oxfam Intermón (Spain) to present the Spanish Government with 600,000 signatures, many gathered on his tour, calling on the government to modify Spain's trade policy.
Miguel joined other global figures, including Sir David Attenborough and Ian McEwan, in making an urgent call to world leaders to tackle climate change at the 2008 UN climate meeting in Poland. In the same year, together with Oxfam's other global ambassadors, he called on heads of state attending the G8 summit in Japan to raise their game on poverty. Miguel has also signed letters to world leaders attending the Copenhagen and Cancun UN Climate Conferences, telling negotiators that they must put people at the heart of their discussions and ensure a safer future for the generations to come.
In 2010, Miguel took part in a project with Haitian producer Carlos Jean and a host of top musicians, actors and footballers from Spain and Latin America to produce a song called Ay, Haiti. This project generated a great deal of media attention and was a major fundraising success, with all funds going to Oxfam.
And recently, in November 2011, he was a finalist in the 6th International Green Awards, voted by the public, together with British singer Paul McCartney and Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen, in the category Green International Celebrity, which awards celebrities for their promotion of ethical issues and the protection of the environment.
In response to this recognition, much linked to his work with Oxfam Intermón (Spain), Miguel wrote: “For 55 years, I’ve been a very uncomfortable person for many who do not understand why I devote my heart and all my resources to a right that nobody can take away from me: my desire to change things that seem unfair to me. It’s very simple: without justice, social or any other kind, there won’t be any dignity for people in this world. And I want a world that faces reality.”
View the animations: The rigged rules of global trade