Resolution on Respect for Diversity

published 25 July 2011 updated 21 March 2023

The 6th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, from 22nd to 26th July 2011:

Recognising that

1. education is a basic human right which should nurture fair treatment and respect towards all others regardless of race; colour; language; sex; sexual orientation; religion or ethnicity, finding policies and practices to overcome marginalization, prevent attitudes of fear of the other and enhance inclusion for all into citizenship, work, democratic political processes and other areas of social and cultural participation.

2. increased mobility, migration and diversity of lifestyles in combination with persistent and increasing marginalization, discrimination and exclusion of stigmatized groups in all societies have become a threat to achieving social inclusion and cohesion, and the ability for all to maintain their own identity and access services and equal opportunities in society.

3. the principle of non-discrimination and equality before the law and equal protection under the law is at the core of human rights principles and part of attempts to construct fairer, freer and more egalitarian societies: but it is under threat in the present circumstances of globalisation, world economic crisis and increasing xenophobia, racism, anti-semitism, islamphobia, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia.

4. Integrating respect for diversity in all its forms and the promotion of non-discrimination in education, in education unions and in societies is an imperative as well as an enriching factor and a force for educational vitalisation and innovation;

5. Civil Society, including trade unions, and national governments, have vital roles to play in promoting social inclusion, equal opportunity, social cohesion with respect for diversity.

Mandates the Executive Board to

6. ensure that all Educational International’s policies and practices related to the rights of teachers, education staff and learners promote equality of treatment, non-discrimination and support for diversity including indigenous, religious, linguistic minority education rights;

7. raise awareness of the human rights dimension of non-discrimination and the value of respect for diversity and to encourage inclusive teaching and learning by promoting exchange of best practices in policies, resources, teacher training methods, projects and research;

8. promote more supportive teaching and learning environments for gender justice, minority rights and multiligualism, where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

Recommends that member organisations:

9. advocate for a teaching profession which has its staff and other education personnel reflect the diversity of society.

10. Urge the promotion and facilitation of teachers training based on criteria or interculturality by placing within the reach of teachers the necessary resources, technologies, research and exchange of experiences;

11. Enhance diversity within the union membership and leadership by recruiting, employing, supporting, and retaining under-represented and socially-excluded groups;

12. Campaign in its societies and with its governments to promote policies and practices in its schools and teacher training which bring rights and dignity to male and female learners and educators experiencing for whatever reason any form of neglect, discrimination, hostility, violence, hatred, hostility, sexism, misogyny, racism, xenophobia homophobia and transphobia;

13. Develop and foster affirmative action policies with civil society allies and local and national governments that promote access to quality education and employment for under-represented and socially-excluded groups.