On International Human Rights Day 2012, Education International (EI) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) launched a new international teachers’ union project in Egypt, Georgia, Honduras and Zimbabwe.
As world events provide continual reminders of the courage and determination required to advance and preserve basic democratic rights and freedoms, Education International and the American Federation of Teachers have decided to initiate a project to promote human and workers’ rights in these four countries, which are in various stages of political and social transition.
The title of the project is Teachers Advancing a Rights Culture, or TARC. It will provide teachers and their unions with the information and tools to assist them to promote human and workers’ rights and, in particular, democratic rights such as freedom of expression, assembly and association; and also help them to pursue the right of every child to a quality education.
Together with Education International and its affiliate unions in the countries concerned, the AFT Educational Foundation is leading the TARC project in each country. Partner unions in each country will be encouraged to engage with their governments, conduct training, host community events and develop curricular initiatives about tolerance, inclusion and respect for fundamental human and workers’ rights.
“Education unions around the world are standing up on International Human Rights Day for universal respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens. This project will contribute in important ways to the democratic, social and economic development of the nations involved,” said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of Education International.
“Two pillars of any democracy are a strong public education system and an independent labour movement. The TARC Project will bolster teachers’ ability to promote human rights and deal with difficult issues such as intolerance so that they can help foster a culture of rights in their schools and communities,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.