The Charter for Compassion is a document that urges the peoples and religions of the world to embrace the core value of compassion.The charter currently is available in more than 30 languages and has been endorsed by more than two million individuals around the globe.
Charter for Compassion International, the Charter’s supporting organization, has enrolled 311 communities in 45 countries in its Compassionate Communities campaign and has partnered with more than 1,300 organizations to spread the Charter’s message of compassion in 10 sectors: the arts, business, education, environment, healthcare, peace, religion/spirituality/interfaith, science & research, social sciences and restorative justice. There is no cost to affirm the Charter.
On February 28, 2008, acclaimed scholar and bestselling author Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize. In her acceptance speech she called for help in creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion, based on the fundamental principle of the Golden Rule. An open writing process to create the Charter began in November 2008 with the launch of the Charter for Compassion website. People of all faiths, nationalities and backgrounds submitted ideas on what the Charter should include. Individuals from more than 100 countries added their voices to this process and their submissions were read and commented upon by more than 150,000 visitors to the site.
The Council of Conscience, a multi-faith, multi-national group of religious thinkers and leaders, then met in Vevey, Switzerland, to craft the final Charter for Compassion. The Councilors sorted and reviewed the thousands of written submissions, considered the meaning of compassion, determined key ideas to include in the Charter and created a plan for how the Charter will live in the world.
The Charter for Compassion was unveiled by Karen Armstrong and the Council of Conscience on November 12, 2009, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. That day, more than 75 launch events took place around the globe and more than 60 Charter for Compassion plaques designed by Yves Behar were hung at significant religious and secular sites around the world. At its launch, the Charter was endorsed by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu among many others.
Charter for Compassion’s vision is to foster a world where everyone is committed to living by the principle of compassion.Its mission is to support the emergence of a global movement that brings the Charter for Compassion to life. It does this by being a network of networks—connecting organizers and leaders from around the world; providing educational resources, organizing tools and avenues for communication; sharing lessons, stories and inspiration; and providing an umbrella for Charter for Compassion conferences, events, collaborations, conversations and initiatives to create compassionate communities and institutions around the globe.
The CFC logo incorporates the ancient symbol for infinity. The symbol has long been used to represent the concept of endless love. CFC’s use of the symbol in the context of the Charter for Compassion represents the limitless potential of compassion to transform human relationships, institutions and communities.