Resolution on the Situation of Colombian Educators

The Third World Congress of Education International, meeting in Jomtien, Thailand, from 25 to 29 July, 2001: 1. Recalls that, as set out in Article 2(b) of the Constitution of Education International, one of the organisation's objectives is to promote peace, democracy, social justice and equality among all peoples and nations, and to promote the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the development of education and the collective strength of teachers and education workers; 2. Notes the Vienna Declaration and the Action Programme adopted following the UN Conference on Human Rights, which state that human rights and fundamental civil liberties are inherent in all human beings and that protecting and promoting these rights and freedoms is the first responsibility of governments; 3. Highlights and denounces the fact that since 1987 Colombian educators have been subjected to all manner of political persecution and attacks against their trade unions, and have been the victims of numerous "disappearances" and murders; more specifically, that to date 433 teachers have been murdered or have disappeared and more than 1,000 have had to leave their homes under threat of death, and that in the first few months of 2001 seven of our colleagues have already fallen victim to the wave of violence unleashed against teachers in Colombia; 4. Denounces and rejects the repressive policies - aimed at quashing social protest - which the Colombian government under the leadership of the President of the Republic, Andrés Pastrana Arango, has been implementing against Colombian workers in general and teachers in particular; In view of the above, the Congress recommends that Education International and its member organisations: 5. Uphold the human rights of all teachers; 6. Convey to Colombia's leaders their condemnation of the wave of persecution and assassinations; 7. Urge the Colombian government to condemn and reject the persecution and murder of Colombian educators and to take effective measures to guarantee the free exercise of the teaching profession and of trade union activity.

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