Education International
Education International

It’s time to ratify the Migrants Workers’ Convention

published 17 December 2010 updated 17 December 2010

On 18 December, International Migrants’ Day, EI is calling on governments to ratify the Migrant Workers’ Convention (UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families).

Globally, there are still far too many instances where migrant teachers and other educational workers are being subjected to working conditions and salaries that are inferior to those of education professionals in the host countries. These workers’ human and labour union rights, as well as their right to education and family reunion, appear to be losing ground given the practices and the criminalisation of contemporary migration.

EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, said: “Many governments are failing to address the issues related to education and economic development: shortage of teachers, quality education, but also migration and mobility, which have a growing impact on our schools. The growing migration and mobility within the teaching profession demands actions. Governments need to ratify the key convention on migrant workers!”

Education unions have a key role to play in safeguarding the human and labour rights of migrants and their right to education, as well as developing workplace strategies to tackle discrimination, racism and xenophobia.

EI is continuing to advocate an approach to migration based on non-discrimination.

The most recent EI Executive Board meeting took concrete steps to address the challenges faced by migrant teachers and other education personnel by setting up a Task Force on Teacher Migration and Mobility in 2011, and agreed to develop a global network of migrant teachers.

EI also recently endorsed the 18 December campaign and encourages affiliates in EU Member States to lobby their governments to ratify this Convention too.

EI continues to stress the need to respect the rights of all people, women and men, girls and boys. EI is working to fight against any form of discrimination by authorities, public or private, on any basis: gender, race or ethnic origin, age, place of origin, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.