ACT/Philippines leader Raymond Basilio.
ACT/Philippines leader Raymond Basilio.

UK: Teacher union gives international solidarity award to Filipino trade union leader

published 11 May 2020 updated 13 May 2020

UK teacher union NASUWT has presented its International Solidarity Award 2020 to Raymond Basilio, Secretary General of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in the Philippines, and member of the Education International Executive Board.

The NASUWT International Solidarity Award recognises the bravery and commitment of individuals around the world who work tirelessly to promote human rights and to defend the rights of teachers, and who are committed to the trade union values of solidarity, equality, and democracy and to challenging violence, injustice, bigotry, and hatred.

Subject to threats and harassment

This year, on 8 May, the award was presented to Raymond Basilio, who has received state-sponsored threats and harassment in the Philippines. In addition, members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have been subjected to state-sponsored profiling, vilification, harassment, intimidation, threats and red-tagging – being labelled “communist” or “terrorist” regardless of their actual beliefs or affiliations, because they are critical of the Government of the Philippines.

Vocal advocate

“Raymond has been a vocal advocate of the rights of all children to quality education and the rights of teachers,” said NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach. “His story is a stark reminder that trade unionists around the world continue to be targeted in their fight for freedom of expression, social justice, and human rights.”

He added that, along with Amnesty International, Education International, and the International Trade Union Confederation, NASUWT and teachers throughout the UK would continue to press the Government of the Philippines to allow Basilio and ACT members to carry out their legitimate trade union activities without fear of harassment or imprisonment.

Spotlight on government

“We hope that the NASUWT International Solidarity Award will help to maintain a spotlight on the actions of the Government in the Philippines and provide reassurance that the NASUWT, together with the wider international community, continues to support Raymond and the work of ACT, as a champion of the rights of teachers and students,” Roach concluded.