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. Opinion 25 March 2021

    “Covid Story Will End with Equity and Leadership”, by David Edwards.

    David Edwards

    My friend and colleague and one of the education giants of our time, Mary Hatwood Futrell, wrote this on the passing of Nelson Mandela in 2013: “We pause to mark the distance we’ve come and keep focus on what’s yet to cover. One thing seems certain as the need for...

    “Covid Story Will End with Equity and Leadership”, by David Edwards.
  2. News 24 March 2021

    Morocco: Strikes and demonstrations demand better conditions for contract teachers

    Despite harassment and violence by police forces, Moroccan teachers' unions continue to demonstrate in the capital city, Rabat, to demand permanent contracts and better working conditions. They are also protesting against the rising cost of living.

    Morocco: Strikes and demonstrations demand better conditions for contract teachers
  3. News 23 March 2021

    DRC: online union training full of promise

    The Fédération nationale des enseignants du Congo/Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo (FENECO/UNTC) has closed the end of its online Trade Union Academy on the fundamentals of trade unionism.

    DRC: online union training full of promise
  4. News 16 March 2021

    German and Austrian unions call for more education support personnel specialised in health issues

    While the COVID-19 crisis is still raging, the Gewerkschaft Öffentlicher Dienst (GÖD) of Austria and the German Verband Bildung und Erziehung (VBE) have pointed out that an increasing number of children with chronic illnesses are attending schools. The unions have urged their respective public authorities to hire more health professionals...

    German and Austrian unions call for more education support personnel specialised in health issues
  5. News 12 March 2021

    Vaccine nationalism and crisis profiteering: Unions take action

    “Just 10 countries, some of the richest in the world, have administered 75% of vaccinations. Meanwhile, around 130 countries that account for 2.5 billion people have not administered a single dose. This is not an issue on which we can afford to be passive. The only solution to a global...

    Vaccine nationalism and crisis profiteering: Unions take action
  6. News 5 March 2021

    Nigeria: students and schools must be protected from attacks

    Attacks from armed groups against schools and students have been increasing in the last months in Nigeria, where kidnapping for ransom is a widespread criminal enterprise. Nigerian authorities must act swiftly to protect the right to education of children, especially girls.

    Nigeria: students and schools must be protected from attacks
  7. News 5 March 2021

    Africa: Governments must act urgently to protect educators and build stronger education systems

    During its virtual meeting from 23-25 February, the Education International Africa Regional Committee (EIARC) urged regional governments to act swiftly to ensure decent living and working conditions for educators. Proactive measures were needed to guarantee quality education on the continent in the face of challenges including the pandemic, terrorism, and...

    Africa: Governments must act urgently to protect educators and build stronger education systems
  8. Statements 4 March 2021

    Statement | Education International calls on governments to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products by waiving intellectual property rights

    Education International, the global federation of education unions, urges Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to support the “Waiver from certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19".

    Statement | Education International calls on governments to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products by waiving intellectual property rights
  9. News 24 February 2021

    Mexico: COVID-19 issues feature in SNTE demands

    The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced many of the issues put together by the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) for its 2021 list of national demands.

    Mexico: COVID-19 issues feature in SNTE demands
  10. News 23 February 2021

    Iraq: Teachers praise KTU training on quality remote education

    Training sessions by the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU) have participants wanting more training – and generated more participants! This year alone, the KTU has trained 54 teachers on teaching methods related to new technologies and remote teaching and learning. This successful training endeavour is part of its programme of training...

    Iraq: Teachers praise KTU training on quality remote education
  11. News 22 February 2021

    General strike shuts down Myanmar

    Update 9 March 2021 | As the military junta has escalated its use of undue force against peaceful protesters, Myanmar workers won’t let fear and violence silence them. They are determined to continue the peaceful civil disobedience movement against the illegal military junta. In a joint statement, Myanmar labour organisations...

    General strike shuts down Myanmar
  12. News 18 February 2021

    Iraq: Academics’ freedom and trade union rights under attack

    The Association of Iraqi Academics (AIA) has warned against the abrogation of the law allowing Iraqi academics to perform trade union activities. It has also called for solidarity with them and support for their rights of association and organisation.

    Iraq: Academics’ freedom and trade union rights under attack