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. Opinion 5 December 2022

    #16Days | Brazilian women fighting to protect the Amazon

    Fátima da Silva

    The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an international UN Women campaign that has been running since 1991 and which provides an opportunity to reflect on the issue of abuse suffered by women around the world. The campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December and this year...

    #16Days | Brazilian women fighting to protect the Amazon
  2. Opinion 30 November 2022

    #16Days | I was less afraid of a russian missile than of a russian soldier: Sexual violence as a weapon of war in Ukraine

    Kateryna Maliuta-Osaulova

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 marked the beginning of a collective nightmare. Attacks against civilians, including sexual violence against women and girls have been used as part of the campaign of terror to intimidate the population. This first-hand account from Ukraine details the horrors war unleashed but...

    #16Days | I was less afraid of a russian missile than of a russian soldier: Sexual violence as a weapon of war in Ukraine
  3. Opinion 28 November 2022

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!

    Khazar Lotfi

    The death of Jina Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish-Iranian woman has sparked nationwide protests in Iran since September. Educators and students were amongst the first to go on strike in protest against the Islamic regime’s brutality and in support of Iranians fighting for their freedom. As the voice of teachers...

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!
  4. News 24 November 2022

    Haiti: strengthening trade unionism in times of crisis

    Thanks to considerable effort, the use of new technologies and international support, the education workers’ union, the Union nationale des normaliens/normaliennes et éducateurs/éducatrices d’Haïti (UNNOEH), was able to hold its 4th National Congress as a hybrid event and reaffirmed its determination to fight for quality public education for all in...

    Haiti: strengthening trade unionism in times of crisis
  5. Statements 10 November 2022

    Executive Board Resolution on Solidarity with Women and Girls in Iran

    On September 16th, 2022, Mahsa Amini was detained by a “Guidance Patrol” in Iran for allegedly wearing a loose headscarf and thus violating Iranian dress laws.  She was beaten and subsequently died. Her death sparked a furious response and protest among Iranian women and girls, who posted videos to social...

    Executive Board Resolution on Solidarity with Women and Girls in Iran
  6. News 21 October 2022

    Solidarity with Ukraine: Education unionists from the United States and Poland meet with colleagues in Ukraine

    On October 11-12, 2022, a delegation of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and of the Polish education trade union ZNP visited Ukraine at the invitation of the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU). AFT President and Education International Executive Board Member Randi Weingarten headed the...

    Solidarity with Ukraine: Education unionists from the United States and Poland meet with colleagues in Ukraine
  7. News 13 October 2022

    Ethiopia: Trade union demands de-escalation of military hostilities and continued humanitarian assistance

    In a press statement to local media, the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), affiliated to Education International officially called for de-escalation of conflict and an immediate return to cessation of hostilities in the wake of the resumption of militarised hostilities between federal defense forces and forces of the Tigray regional government....

    Ethiopia: Trade union demands de-escalation of military hostilities and continued humanitarian assistance
  8. Statements 10 October 2022

    Statement | Myanmar: Global Unions call for the release of jailed trade unionists and the recognition of the NUG

    The Global Unions, representing 200 million workers worldwide, call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, in particular the more than 60 trade unionists who have been unjustly incarcerated by the military junta since its coup in 2021. We demand the immediate dismissal of the trumped-up charges...

    Statement | Myanmar: Global Unions call for the release of jailed trade unionists and the recognition of the NUG
  9. News 13 September 2022

    Kosovo: Teachers’ strike for decent pay met with intimidation campaign

    Teachers in Kosovo have joined administration workers in a general strike for decent pay. Since the beginning of the strike on August 25, the Union of Education, Science and Culture of Kosova, Education International member organisation, has been the target of repeated attacks from a government that refuses to negotiate...

    Kosovo: Teachers’ strike for decent pay met with intimidation campaign
  10. News 5 September 2022

    Polish educators in full solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues and children

    From hosting refugees in union buildings, to organising donations, volunteering at border crossings and reception centres and organising classes for children, education unions and their members in Poland have shown great solidarity with those fleeing the war raging in the neighbouring country of Ukraine.

    Polish educators in full solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues and children
  11. News 30 August 2022

    Ukraine: Trade unions strongly oppose new law that undermines labour rights, collective bargaining, and democracy

    A new law deprives as many as 70% of Ukrainian workers of labour protections, including their collective bargaining rights. Trade unions in Ukraine, including Education International member organisation, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine, are dismayed at this push to undermine the rights of workers in...

    Ukraine: Trade unions strongly oppose new law that undermines labour rights, collective bargaining, and democracy
  12. News 25 August 2022

    Ukraine: Education International condemns Russian attacks against teachers and education in occupied territories

    In a horrific effort to rewrite history and indoctrinate, Russian forces are cracking down on teachers and education in occupied territories in Ukraine. According to Serhiy Shkarlet, Ukraine’s Minister of Education and Science, the Russian army is burning Ukrainian books and threatening, arresting, and torturing teachers in the Kherson region...

    Ukraine: Education International condemns Russian attacks against teachers and education in occupied territories
  13. News 9 August 2022

    Mali: Alarming situation in schools under attack from armed groups

    More than 1,800 schools in Mali have closed following attacks or direct threats from armed groups. These groups kidnap teachers, set fire to schools and school materials, and start shooting during lessons. Moustapha Guitteye, General Secretary of the Syndicat National de l’Éducation et la Culture (SNEC), recently went to the...

    Mali: Alarming situation in schools under attack from armed groups
  14. News 8 August 2022

    Education International Latin America to visit Chile to express support for the new constitution and its defence of the right to education

    Representatives of the Education International Latin America Regional Committee will take part in an event, alongside national affiliates, in support of Chile’s proposed new constitution The right to education is enshrined in article 35 of the new draft constitution, which will be put to a referendum on 4 September.

    Education International Latin America to visit Chile to express support for the new constitution and its defence of the right to education
  15. Statements 5 August 2022

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

    On the 9th of August, Education International (EI) joins the celebration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and reaffirms the human rights of Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme is The Role of Indigenous Women in the Preservation and Transmission of Traditional Knowledge.

    International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
  16. News 3 August 2022

    Romanian unionists unite and take action to support Ukrainian educators and students

    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Fédération des Syndicats Libres de l'Enseignement (FSLE) of Romania has been undertaking many activities in solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues and children. Romanian educators are working as volunteers making sure schools are ready to receive Ukrainian students and organising rapid training for teachers to...

    Romanian unionists unite and take action to support Ukrainian educators and students
  17. News 2 August 2022

    Outstanding education unionists receive the Kounka Damianova Award

    The Kounka Damianova Award was given to Borka Visnic of the Teachers Union of Serbia (TUS) and Dorota Obidniak of the Polish Związek Nauczycielstwa Polskiego (ZNP) during the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) Special conference held from 5-6 July, in Liège, Belgium.

    Outstanding education unionists receive the Kounka Damianova Award
  18. News 1 August 2022

    Education International Latin America to visit Chile to express support for the new constitution and its defence of the right to education

    The right to education is enshrined in article 35 of the new draft constitution, which will be put to a referendum on 4 September.

    Representatives of the Education International Latin America Regional Committee will take part in an event, alongside national affiliates, in support of Chile’s proposed new constitution.

    Education International Latin America to visit Chile to express support for the new constitution and its defence of the right to education