As the movement has developed, the member organisations of Emmaus International have adopted founding texts that set out the purpose of the movement, its specific features and scope of action.
Click on the links to download these four documents in PDF format.
Universal manifesto (1969)
Adopted in Berne at the first meeting of all the world’s Emmaus organisations in 1969, the universal manifesto is our founding text. It details the origins of Emmaus, the meaning of our name and describes our main ethos in a few words: "Serve first those who suffer most".
The universal manifesto is available in 21 languages.
Scope and Limits of Emmaus’s Social Commitment (1976-1979)
This text takes the universal manifesto a step further, stating Emmaus will always be in conflict with those who are the causes of suffering. Every Emmaus organisation must commit to do this. The document reiterates the movement’s religious and political independence. It is still compatible with its members' individual political and religious choices, as long as they clarify these choices are not those of the movement as a whole.
Principles and Membership Charter (1996)
With membership requests coming in from organisations whose activities differed from Emmaus communities’ traditional activities, the movement’s members felt it necessary to redefine their identity. That’s why this charter was drawn up as it sets out common rights, duties and objectives.
“That men and women from all walks of life meet and learn about one another, through working together, sharing common goals, combating injustice and seeking to enable the poor to build their own future.”
Solidarity commitments (1999)
This document was written as a result of the world assembly debates in 1999 on the theme of ‘united for justice’. It explores the movement’s fundamental values in more depth, brings them up to date, and identifies contemporary society’s challenges and ways of bringing about change.
“In a world where poverty and inequality are to be found everywhere, our Communities and Groups should be living examples of our values. They should be like oases of freedom and justice where everyone’s basic human rights are respected. As a Movement we are committed to fighting poverty and oppression and its causes wherever we are able to.”