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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. News 12 July 2021

    Educators in the Arab countries ready to rebuild education systems despite challenges

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive loss of human life and an unprecedented challenge to public health, education systems and the economy in the Arab region. Education unions remain committed to quality education, advocating for their students and members and rebuilding with equity.

    Educators in the Arab countries ready to rebuild education systems despite challenges
  10. News 9 July 2021

    Arab educators and their unions ready to rebuild education and shape the future of their work

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the education sector, the future of work, climate change action, the protection of human and trade union rights, and safeguarding democracy were at the heart of discussions during the 5th Conference of Education International's Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (ACCRS).

    Arab educators and their unions ready to rebuild education and shape the future of their work
  11. Statements 7 July 2021

    Eswatini: Education International calls for democracy, freedom of association and respect for human rights

    Education International, the global federation representing 32.5 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries, including Eswatini, is seriously concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths, abductions, and disappearances.

    Eswatini: Education International calls for democracy, freedom of association and respect for human rights
  12. Opinion 23 June 2021

    "Celebrating the value and virtue of public service."

    David Edwards

    United Nations Public Service Day was established by the General Assembly in 2002. It “celebrates the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlights the contribution of public service in the development process; recognizes the work of public servants and encourages young people to pursue careers in the...

    "Celebrating the value and virtue of public service."
  13. News 27 May 2021

    Germany’s Order of Merit awarded to Israeli teacher unionist Avraham Rocheli

    On May 26th, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was presented to Dr Avraham Rocheli, one of the leading figures of the long-standing partnership between Germany’s GEW and the Israel Teachers Union, both Education International member organisations. GEW and the German Federation of Trade Unions nominated...

    Germany’s Order of Merit awarded to Israeli teacher unionist Avraham Rocheli
  14. Statements 26 May 2021

    Israel and Palestine: Education International calls for immediate action to ensure lasting peace

    Education International Executive Board Statement

    While a ceasefire is critical to end this month’s violence between Israel and Hamas, it cannot lead to a lasting and permanent peace if the underlying causes of the violence remain unresolved. This is the moment for ending both the occupation and the blockade. It is critically important for rebuilding...

    Israel and Palestine: Education International calls for immediate action to ensure lasting peace