Ei-iE

Democracy

Democracy is vital to healthy societies and critical to ensuring all human rights are respected. Essential as it is, democracy is not irreversible. In recent years, even established democracies have witnessed the rise of authoritarianism that threatens to tear the very fabric of our communities.

Defending and advancing democracy is central to the purpose of the trade union movement in education. The right to education, trade union rights and freedom of expression are critical enabling rights that help to leverage other rights. Together with our member organisations, we mobilise in support of democracy through trade union action and through education.

If we want democracy, we have to demand it, and we have to be able to educate children who will make and remake it.

Timothy Snyder

We believe that the strongest safeguard of democracy is quality education with trained and supported teachers who enjoy full professional autonomy. Some of the profession’s collective wisdom was brought together in “On Education and Democracy: 25 Lessons from the Teaching Profession”. Authored by our President, Susan Hopgood, and our General Secretary Emeritus, Fred van Leeuwen, the book serves as an invitation to all educators to take a stand in defence of democracy and to consider contributions that teachers, schools, universities, and representative organisations can make to solidify and progress democratic life.

Our work in this area

  1. Statements 12 October 2021

    The attack on the CGIL in Italy is an assault on democracy

    Education International condemns the assault by neo-fascist groups on the CGIL union headquarters.

    David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, the global federation of teachers and education workers, expressed his outrage after the headquarters of the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL), the largest union confederation in Italy, was ransacked by neo-fascists.

    The attack on the CGIL in Italy is an assault on democracy
  2. News 8 October 2021

    Educators of the world congratulate Maria Ressa on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

    The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”. Ressa has been a friend and ally of Education International and the global teaching community, joining forces...

    Educators of the world congratulate Maria Ressa on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize
  3. News 8 October 2021

    Yemen: Education union takes the lead in ensuring freedom and quality education despite war

    Education International stands in solidarity with the Yemen Teachers Syndicate (YTS), which continues its struggle to ensure that teachers’ human and trade human rights are respected. The YTS is also campaigning for teachers’ salaries to be paid by public authorities, so teachers can focus on delivering quality public education to...

    Yemen: Education union takes the lead in ensuring freedom and quality education despite war
  4. News 6 October 2021

    World Teachers’ Day: Teaching profession is key to effective and equitable recovery – and must be supported through the COVID-19 crisis

    On World Teachers’ Day, 5 October, Education International’s President, Susan Hopgood, highlighted how too many educators paid the ultimate price during the pandemic to ensure quality education for their students.

    World Teachers’ Day: Teaching profession is key to effective and equitable recovery – and must be supported through the COVID-19 crisis
  5. News 20 September 2021

    Data-driven OECD report highlights lifelong impact of educational inequities

    Gender, race, and an immigrant background are key determinants in educational achievement and lifelong opportunities. That’s according to the latest report of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Education at a Glance (EAG) 2021 .

    Data-driven OECD report highlights lifelong impact of educational inequities
  6. News 15 September 2021

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government

    On the International Day of Democracy, Education International joins the Global Union Day of Action organised by the Council of Global Unions (CGU) to stop the military-led junta from gaining recognition at the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and recognise the National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate government of...

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government
  7. Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government

    On the International Day of Democracy, Education International joins the Global Union Day of Action organised by the Council of Global Unions (CGU) and global union federations to stop the military-led junta from gaining recognition at the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and recognise the National Unity Government (NUG) as...

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government
  8. News 14 September 2021

    Philippines: Call for global action as independent report catalogues government’s human rights violations

    Education International has called for an end to the violence and state-sponsored attacks on Filipino educators. Its comments follow an independent investigation which shows that the Duterte government is deliberately violating human rights, using violence and repression against those who are standing up for education, democracy, and peace.

    Philippines: Call for global action as independent report catalogues government’s human rights violations
  9. News 31 August 2021

    Cameroon: Education organisations’ joint project for democracy and union renewal

    Education International and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES, German acronym) are working together in Cameroon on a capacity building project, “Union renewal: building strong, inclusive, democratic and effective unions in the education sector in Cameroon”. The project involving all of Education International’s national member organisations will run from 2021 until...

    Cameroon: Education organisations’ joint project for democracy and union renewal
  10. News 20 August 2021

    Jordan: Court declares education union leader innocent of spreading false news

    Education International welcomes the acquittal of Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA) Vice-President Dr. Nasser Al-Nawasra. The appeal court in Amman ruled that he was innocent of the misdemeanor of broadcasting false and exaggerated news undermining the prestige of the State.

    Jordan: Court declares education union leader innocent of spreading false news
  11. News 5 August 2021

    East Asian education unions unite for quality peace education

    Understanding that history is often distorted and that political forces often interfere with education systems and curricula, Chinese, Korean and Japanese teachers are exploring their shared past to teach students for a better future.

    East Asian education unions unite for quality peace education
  12. Opinion 5 August 2021

    The militarisation of schools in Brazil: a threat to the educational process and to democracy.

    Fátima da Silva

    The election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil in 2018, led not only to a process of deregulating the economy, but it also brought with it a new educational agenda for the country. Despite already existing in different ways before his election, the standard bearers of what is known...

    The militarisation of schools in Brazil: a threat to the educational process and to democracy.
  13. News 3 August 2021

    Education International expresses solidarity with Hong Kong education union and academic freedom worldwide

    Education International strongly condemns the Hong Kong government for cutting ties with the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU), the city’s largest teachers’ union with around 95,000 members and representing 90 per cent of the city’s educators. EI also denounces severe violations of academic freedom and a systematic attack on...

    Education International expresses solidarity with Hong Kong education union and academic freedom worldwide
  14. News 30 July 2021

    Ecuador: Teachers on hunger strike for quality public education

    Education International's affiliate in Ecuador, the National Educators’ Union (UNE), has launched a difficult struggle to advocate for quality public education for the Ecuadorian people.

    Ecuador: Teachers on hunger strike for quality public education
  15. News 28 July 2021

    Belarus: Education International calls for an end to crackdown on democratic forces

    Education International is calling for an end to the repression against students, workers, activists, and others who are fighting for democracy in Belarus and facing a nationwide crackdown. A series of repressive actions in recent weeks, from the arbitrary arrests of activists to the illegal raids on NGO’s, have raised...

    Belarus: Education International calls for an end to crackdown on democratic forces
  16. News 19 July 2021

    Philippines: Education unionists targeted by Duterte regime in escalating human rights violations

    The Second Report of the Independent International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines (Investigate PH) was released this month. The report documents intensifying human rights violations perpetrated by state agents, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s security policies and violent statements that have been adopted as...

    Philippines: Education unionists targeted by Duterte regime in escalating human rights violations