Ei-iE

Peter Marshall / Demotix Images
Peter Marshall / Demotix Images

Trade union rights are human rights

Trade unionists are far too often subject to attacks by repressive governments. Every year, many are subjected to violence, arrest and imprisonment, torture and even murder. Trade union leaders in education are targeted by non-democratic governments who seek total control of education, and deny teachers and education support personnel their rights.

Even in democratic countries, many education workers are denied the right to join unions and/or engage in collective bargaining. Where bargaining exists, limits on its scope can be imposed. Moreover, teachers and education support personnel are denied the right to strike.

Education International also supports the right of students to organise and join the fight for more inclusive and democratic communities.

Working closely with our member organisations, other global unions and human rights networks, we use supervisory mechanisms at the national, regional and global levels to ensure rights and standards are respected and social dialogue is effective.

Solidarity actions among our global membership are a powerful tool to advance rights everywhere.

Our work in this area

  1. Publications

    Trade union rights toolkit

    8 December 2022

    To support education unions everywhere in their struggle to defend their members’ rights, Education International has developed the Trade Union Rights Toolkit. The toolkit aims to equip education unions to formulate cases when their rights are violated and defend their cases based on the fundamental rights of the global community.

    Trade union rights toolkit
    1. Download
  2. News 13 February 2024

    Gaza’s journalists face hunger as well as well as bombing

    Article by Tim Dawson

    As the war in Gaza continues, Global Union Federations are shining a light on the crisis workers face across all economic sectors. Through a series of essays and articles on our websites, we aim to expose the conflict's devastating impact on livelihoods, safety and well-being for working people while emphasizing...

    Gaza’s journalists face hunger as well as well as bombing
  3. News 6 February 2024

    France: sustained union action against the collapse of public education

    Deep-rooted anger and a firm commitment to public education: this is what French teachers are demonstrating through their week of action and the launch of a joint union petition calling for the ‘knowledge shock’ measures - a series of government measures that are supposed to raise the level of students...

    France: sustained union action against the collapse of public education
  4. News 21 December 2023

    International solidarity in the face of regressive actions by the government of Argentina

    The Education International Regional Committee for Latin America (IEAL) has expressed concern regarding the recent decision taken by the Government of the Republic of Argentina, under resolution 943/2023 of the Security Ministry. This measure restricts the right to social protest, freedom of speech, and restricts people’s ability to exercise their...

    International solidarity in the face of regressive actions by the government of Argentina
  5. Worlds of Education 18 December 2023

    Education Voices: The current situation in Argentina and a renewed commitment to Go Public! Fund Education

    Roberto Baradel is a teacher and deputy general secretary of the Confederation of Education Workers of Argentina (CTERA). He is also a member of the Confederation of Argentinian Educators (CEA). A tireless advocate for public education and union rights, Baradel is a prominent figure in the fight for education justice...

    Education Voices: The current situation in Argentina and a renewed commitment to Go Public! Fund Education
  6. Worlds of Education 10 December 2023

    Human Rights begin in small places – close to home

    Jim Baker

    International Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 – 75 years ago. The Declaration reflects the highest aspirations of humanity. The fact that rights are too often ignored does not invalidate the Declaration. It remains the standard for our evolution and progress...

    Human Rights begin in small places – close to home
  7. Statements 8 December 2023

    Our global solidarity is imperative to defend human rights

    Education International's statement on International Human Rights Day

    On International Human Rights Day, Education International reaffirms our collective commitment to defending human rights around the world.  We must remain firm and united around the principles of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and dignity for all. It is our shared responsibility to stand resolutely against all human rights violations and ...

    Our global solidarity is imperative to defend human rights
  8. News 22 November 2023

    South African President Ramaphosa: Investing in education builds resilience in times of crises

    “It is a real privilege to address this 10th Africa Regional Conference of Education International, particularly with its focus on shaping the future of education on our continent, as well as beyond. And the theme of your conference, 'Standing together for resilient education systems in times of crises', resonates very...

    South African President Ramaphosa: Investing in education builds resilience in times of crises
  9. News 20 November 2023

    We stand with France Castro. Education International firmly condemns the death threats against the Filipino congresswoman

    France Castro has received repeated death threats from Rodrigo Duterte, former President of the Philippines. The lawmaker has filed a formal complaint against Duterte, making this the first criminal case against Duterte after the end of his mandate.

    We stand with France Castro. Education International firmly condemns the death threats against the Filipino congresswoman
  10. News 14 November 2023

    Canada: Broad union action for better pay and working conditions in all public services in Quebec

    After a year of negotiations on the renewal of public sector collective agreements, and in light of the inflexibility displayed by the government of Quebec, its refusal to listen to workers’ demands and its unjustified attacks on their working conditions, the Front Commun, a common front of unions representing public...

    Canada: Broad union action for better pay and working conditions in all public services in Quebec
  11. News 13 November 2023

    Norway: Quality education, international solidarity, and addressing the teacher shortage are imperatives for unionists around the world

    In his final official speech as President of the Union of Education Norway (UEN), Steffen Handal, also a member of Education International (EI) Executive Board, reflected on educational realities in his country and around the world: “Never has the shortage of teachers been more pressing than now! Never have more...

    Norway: Quality education, international solidarity, and addressing the teacher shortage are imperatives for unionists around the world
  12. News 20 October 2023

    Workers exchange strategies for inclusive trade unions and education systems

    Trade unionists gathered for the 6th Education International (EI)/Public Services International (PSI) lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)+ Forum held on 13 October in Geneva, Switzerland, reaffirming the need for workers, including in the public education sector, to show promising practices on how trade unions are , protecting LGBT+ rights,...

    Workers exchange strategies for inclusive trade unions and education systems
  13. News 19 October 2023

    Top Asia-Pacific education unionists advocate for increased investment in public education systems and educators, and call for gender equity, and sustainable, democratic and peaceful societies

    The Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) Regional Committee called for a greater investment in public education and educators, more for gender equity within unions, urgent action on climate change and expressed solidarity with colleagues across the region and the world who are facing violations of their human and trade union rights.

    Top Asia-Pacific education unionists advocate for increased investment in public education systems and educators, and call for gender equity, and sustainable, democratic and peaceful societies
  14. News 13 October 2023

    Iran: Education International denounces harassment of teachers at United Nations Human Rights Committee

    Education International (EI) denounced the arbitrary detention and torture of teachers and students, particularly girls, in Iran, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on October 9 in Geneva. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is obligated to uphold rights related to...

    Iran: Education International denounces harassment of teachers at United Nations Human Rights Committee
  15. News 28 September 2023

    Tanzania: EI requests the Government to stop meddling in the internal affairs of the Tanzania Teachers Union

    Education International is concerned by the disruption of legitimate union activities and meetings of the Tanzania Teachers Union (TTU) by the police, including a TTU Council meeting on 25 September. The intimidation and intervention in the internal affairs of the union by government authorities is a serious violation of international...

    Tanzania: EI requests the Government to stop meddling in the internal affairs of the Tanzania Teachers Union
  16. News 27 September 2023

    African educators demand increased funding for education and express solidarity with colleagues in crisis

    Education unions in Africa demand increased funding for public education systems and teachers, as they prepare the upcoming regional conference, and show full solidarity with teachers and education support personnel across the continent. These are the key messages conveyed by the Education International Africa Regional Committee (EIARC) during its 20...

    African educators demand increased funding for education and express solidarity with colleagues in crisis