Resolution on Trade Union Rights Violations in Ethiopia

published 25 July 2007 updated 31 March 2017

The 5th World Congress of Education International (EI), meeting in Berlin (Germany) 22 to 26 July 2007,

1. Protests that the ruling of the Ethiopian Federal High Court 7th Civil Division Bench meeting on 21 June 2007 ruling against the authentic Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA), and EI affiliate, which could result in all the property of the ETA being transferred to the Government supported ETA created in 1993, is not based upon a proper examination of the facts but is politically motivated;

2. Notes that such action follows other repressive measures adopted by the Government of Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, including the assassination or killing of the ETA Deputy General Secretary, Assafa Maru in 1997, the imprisonment of Dr Taye Woldesemayat from 1996 until 2002 who was declared by Amnesty International to be a Prisoner of Conscience, the persecution of teacher trade unionists across Ethiopia, the closure of most of the ETA office, the freezing of bank accounts and the disruption of local, national and international meetings; for example the ETA General Assembly 30 April 2006 and the EI sub-regional conference planned for April 2007;

3. Condemns the continuing imprisonment of ETA members Anteneh Getanet, Meqcha Mengistu and Woldie Dana, and calls for their immediate release;

4. Condemns the forced disappearance of Tilahun Ayalew;

5. Considers the interference in the affairs of the ETA to be an infringement of the rights of teachers to freedom of association, as established in international conventions and declarations including ILO convention 87;

6. Resolves to continue to support the ETA, and to request that the General Secretary and the Executive Board raise these concerns through the ITUC and Global Unions and the ILO;

7. Resolves to support its affiliate, the ETA in taking forward its case to appeal through the legal processes in Ethiopia;

8. Calls upon EI affiliates to make representations to their own governments to press the Ethiopian Government to cease all actions interfering in the internal affairs of the ETA and other unions; and

9. Resolves to organise a high level delegation to Ethiopia as an act of solidarity and to press the case for respect for trade union rights and human rights in all areas of the country.