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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 23 November 2020

    The Philippines: Unionism Is not Terrorism

    Trade union and other leaders and activists from the Philippines recounted stories of repression in the Philippines in a Council of Global Unions Webinar on the Quest for Justice held on 23 November 2020. Vivid accounts were given of killings, threats and intimidation, red-tagging, and police abuses across private and...

    The Philippines: Unionism Is not Terrorism
  2. News 19 November 2020

    The Philippines: Webinar on Workers’ Quest for Justice

    Assaults on human and trade union rights are growing in the Philippines. As part of its ongoing solidarity campaign, the Council of Global Unions (CGU), has organised a webinar on Monday, 23 November, where trade union and human rights activists will explain the latest moves of the Duterte government and...

    The Philippines: Webinar on Workers’ Quest for Justice
  3. News 10 November 2020

    Switzerland: teachers call for uniform and reinforced measures

    Teacher unionists have responded to the Federal Council's announcements concerning the introduction of compulsory masks in upper secondary schools throughout Switzerland and the transition for universities to distance learning from 2 November, with face-to-face classes still permitted at primary and upper secondary school level. They have been closely monitoring the...

    Switzerland: teachers call for uniform and reinforced measures
  4. News 9 November 2020

    France: education workers demand better sanitary measures

    French teaching unions seek a commitment from the public authorities to improve the sanitary protocol to ensure the full and total protection of their health and that of their pupils.

    France: education workers demand better sanitary measures
  5. News 6 November 2020

    Burundi: Trade union takes action to raise awareness of COVID-19 and to organise and improve the quality of education through international solidarity

    The Syndicat libre des travailleurs de l'enseignement du Burundi (STEB), thanks to financial support from Education International’s COVID-19 Solidarity Fund, was able to run an important awareness-raising campaign on taking protective measures against COVID-19 and on unionisation in schools, and to organise a conference to take stock of the situation...

    Burundi: Trade union takes action to raise awareness of COVID-19 and to organise and improve the quality of education through international solidarity
  6. Statements 5 November 2020

    Statement | Education International Welcomes the First International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying

    No child should be afraid to go to school. But with one in three children bullied at school at least once in the last month, our education systems are failing students. The consequences are severe and far-reaching for individual students and for societies as a whole. To address this issue,...

    Statement | Education International Welcomes the First International Day against Violence and Bullying at School including Cyberbullying
  7. News 4 November 2020

    UK: Unions concerned as schools stay open during second lockdown

    The main teachers’ unions in the United Kingdom (UK) have a range of concerns after the announcement of a four-week national lockdown in England. With education settings to remain open, the unions have called for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure that schools are safe environments for students and...

    UK: Unions concerned as schools stay open during second lockdown
  8. News 3 November 2020

    DRC: Collaboration of education trade unions in the production of a guide on COVID-19 in schools

    Education International affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have embarked on a project to develop a guide on COVID-19 intended for teachers and to organise workshops on how to use it. The project has also raised awareness among teachers on the importance of unionisation.

    DRC: Collaboration of education trade unions in the production of a guide on COVID-19 in schools
  9. News 2 November 2020

    Colombia: Campaign Launched to Combat Death Threats Against Trade Unionists

    Renewed death threats against education union leaders in Colombia have prompted a global support and solidarity campaign in protest against the continued repression and deaths, which now number more than 6,000.

    Colombia: Campaign Launched to Combat Death Threats Against Trade Unionists
  10. News 2 November 2020

    Education International research and advocacy strategy grows in context of COVID-19

    Education International brough over 170 scholars, experts, unionists, and activists together to explore how research can underpin advocacy for quality education. The global group met at the 15th Research Network (ResNet) online meeting on 28-29 October.

    Education International research and advocacy strategy grows in context of COVID-19
  11. News 2 November 2020

    UK: Trade unions highlight the unequal impact of COVID-19 on students

    Disadvantaged children and young people, as well as students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities will be given additional priorityby teacher unions in the United Kingdom (UK). The unions have reaffirmed their commitment to help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on their students’ education.

    UK: Trade unions highlight the unequal impact of COVID-19 on students
  12. Statements 29 October 2020

    Statement | Global Day of Action for Care

    Unions and civil society mobilising to demand investments in care for building more inclusive, accessible, resilient, and caring economies.

    Statement | Global Day of Action for Care
  13. News 28 October 2020

    Belgium: Without consultation with unions, schools close earlier than planned for the holidays

    The Belgian teacher unions strongly reacted to the announcement by the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation to introduce distance learning for secondary school students from 28 October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were unhappy that they were not consulted and that teachers were taken by surprise and left with...

    Belgium: Without consultation with unions, schools close earlier than planned for the holidays
  14. Opinion 28 October 2020

    “Technology & education in a post-Covid era”, by Alison Egan.

    Alison Egan

    The Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic has ushered in a new era in education, where technology is now being used by educators to teach, connect and collaborate with students, parents and peers, all while working from their own kitchen table. Most educators have taken to this online pivot with energy and...

    “Technology & education in a post-Covid era”, by Alison Egan.