What is a global citizen?

We all live on the same planet, which we share with other living things.

The lives many of us live now, in the 21st century, are very different from those of our ancestors hundreds or thousands of years ago. We use resources from all over the planet, we travel around the world, perhaps live in different countries, and we know about what is going on all round the world through global communications.

Even living an ordinary everyday life in many countries means that we have an impact upon the lives of other people, and the environment, that is far greater than our ancestors in the past. Global communications mean that we are all aware of this.

A citizen is a member of a community – with all the benefits and responsibilities this involves. Citizenship may involve formal status, like being a citizen of a particular town or city or country. But in a less formal sense, we are members of an interconnected global community – we are global citizens too.

Of course we can be good or bad global citizens! The International Global Citizen’s Award recognises that our lives have impact on others, and the environment, and encourages us to become better and more responsible citizens of this planet we all share.

A lot has been written on global citizenship. For further information visit:

Oxfam Education (for teachers)





The International Global Citizen’s Award