Paraguay: Excessive repression against teachers

published 4 September 2014 updated 5 September 2014

When teachers in Paraguay took to the streets last month to demand a decent budget for public education, they were met with police force rather than having their calls for quality education heard.

Despite having notified the competent authorities that the 27 and 28 August demonstration would be held, the protesters were beaten by the police, among which were two colleagues from the UNE-SN, as well as a journalist and a female student.

Education International (EI) has condemned in the strongest terms the excessive repression to which many of the demonstrators fell victim to.

Education International affiliates, the Unión Nacional de Educadores (UNE-SN) and the Organización de Trabajadores de la Educación del Paraguay (OTEP-SN), took part in the mobilization. The peaceful demonstration sought to draw attention to the negative effect caused by the absence of an education budget, which mainly affects the most economically vulnerable.

The teachers argue that the state budget is insufficient to fund training, infrastructures, school meals, school kits, wages and deferred benefits, among others. The poor infrastructure, the lack of books and the rationalisation of the teaching budget affect precisely those areas in which more investments should be made.

Education International, speaking through its regional office for Latin America, called on the authorities and the Government of Paraguay to put an end to the constant repression against teacher demonstrations and requested the strengthening and defence of education as a human right, as well as labour rights which, by law, relate to education workers.

This week, EI supported an official complaint addressed by the union UNE-SN to the International Labour Organization, detailing the attacks on the freedom of association that are taking place in the country.

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