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. News 16 September 2020

    Taking the lead: Teachers around the globe come together to mark World Teachers' Day 2020

    On October 5th – World Teachers' Day 2020 – Education International is hosting the biggest online meeting of teachers in history. After a year marred by disruption and crises, the 24-hour live event will give teachers everywhere the opportunity to come together, celebrate their achievements and mobilise to ensure the...

    Taking the lead: Teachers around the globe come together to mark World Teachers' Day 2020
  2. News 16 September 2020

    US: AFT and RFK Human Rights launch human rights and democracy programme

    The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), working with RFK Human Rights will launch a programme to share lesson plans on human rights and democracy developed by classroom teachers at a webinar on 17 September. The webinar, “Defenders of Human Rights and Democracy in Your Community” will feature AFT President Randi...

    US: AFT and RFK Human Rights launch human rights and democracy programme
  3. News 10 September 2020

    Germany: Call to standardise hygiene guidelines in schools

    Two education unions and a parents’ council in Germany have called for an improved standardised approach to the management of COVID-19. The call comes in response to extended hygiene guidelines issues by the country’s education ministers.

    Germany: Call to standardise hygiene guidelines in schools
  4. News 8 September 2020

    OECD Education at a Glance 2020; education for more resilient societies

    Today, 8 September, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued its annual Education at a Glance (EAG) report for 2020. Although the data was gathered prior to the shock of COVID-19, the concerns expressed in the findings are only amplified by the pandemic and the economic hardship that...

    OECD Education at a Glance 2020; education for more resilient societies
  5. News 8 September 2020

    Iraq: Safety and continuity at heart of KTU guidelines for new school year

    The Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) seeks continuity of education and improved terms and conditions for teachers and students in its proposals for the 2020-2021 academic year. The union’s plans aim to ensure health and safety in schools and quality education.

    Iraq: Safety and continuity at heart of KTU guidelines for new school year
  6. News 4 September 2020

    GEM Report: “Lost generation” risk without post-pandemic rapid action on SDG 4

    Today, 4 September, the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM) released a policy paper entitled, “Act now: Reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the cost of achieving SDG 4”. The paper argues that acting rapidly as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic will reduce costs that would otherwise be necessary...

    GEM Report: “Lost generation” risk without post-pandemic rapid action on SDG 4
  7. News 3 September 2020

    Korea: Supreme Court annuls decision to delegalise union

    The decision to delegalise the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU) has been annulled by the Supreme Court of Korea. The government had ordered the delegalisation of the organisation in 2013.

    Korea: Supreme Court annuls decision to delegalise union
  8. News 31 August 2020

    Belarus: Condemnation of violence against peaceful protesters

    Education International’s European office, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), strongly denounces the violence used by the Belarussian authorities towards the peaceful protesters across the country.

    Belarus: Condemnation of violence against peaceful protesters
  9. News 24 August 2020

    Canada: a safe and sustainable return to public schools

    The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) stressed that all necessary protections need to be put in place to open public schools safely. The fact that those measures have not yet been taken, in large part due to inadequate resources and social dialogue, means that a long-term strategy is required if reopening...

    Canada: a safe and sustainable return to public schools
  10. Opinion 21 August 2020

    A question in the wilderness, by Joseph Jovellanos.

    Joseph V. Jovellanos

    A story was once told that after WWII, the then Emperor Hirohito of Japan called one of his soldiers and asked the question: “How many teachers survived?” This question is an acknowledgment by the emperor of the crucial role of teachers in building or re-building a nation. Without teachers, a...

    A question in the wilderness, by Joseph Jovellanos.