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. Take action! 8 February 2023

    Global Action Day in support of teachers and workers in Iran

    On 8 February, Education International joins trade unions all over the world for a Global Action Day in support of Iranian teachers and workers in their struggle for decent working conditions, union rights, democracy and freedom. Education International calls on its member organisations to show solidarity with the labour and...

    Global Action Day in support of teachers and workers in Iran
  2. Take action! 1 February 2023

    Myanmar : Global Action Day and solidarity for the return of democracy

    On the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, Education International (EI) joined the Global Day of Action called by the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar (CTUM) to demand for the formal diplomatic recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate representatives of the people of Myanmar,...

    Myanmar : Global Action Day and solidarity for the return of democracy
  3. News 23 January 2023

    Education unionists take stock of development cooperation in Asia-Pacific

    During a Development Cooperation (DC) Café on Asia-Pacific held on 12 January, DC partners learnt about the accomplishments in the region in partnership with member organisations. Anand Singh, Director of the Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) regional office, reported on priorities and challenges faced by the region as well as activities...

    Education unionists take stock of development cooperation in Asia-Pacific
  4. News 21 December 2022

    Belarus: Education International denounces the political trials against union leaders

    Education International stands in solidarity with union leaders targeted in Belarus for their trade union activities and the anti-war stance taken by their organisation, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Belarus: Education International denounces the political trials against union leaders
  5. News 19 December 2022

    Ethiopia: Education union’s plea for peace

    During the Tigray war in Northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Teachers Association (ETA) condemned the damage and disruption inflicted on students, teachers and the education system. They called on relevant public authorities to put an immediate halt to the armed conflict, and highlighted the role of peace education in bringing about...

    Ethiopia: Education union’s plea for peace
  6. Statements 8 December 2022

    Human Rights Day: Education unions mobilise and organise in defence of human rights everywhere

    As the world marks 74 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the struggle for dignity, freedom, and justice for all continues. Unions are leading this global effort, working together across borders and continents for the fundamental principle of human dignity.

    Human Rights Day: Education unions mobilise and organise in defence of human rights everywhere
  7. News 6 December 2022

    France: State education staff called to the ballot box for the social dialogue elections

    French education unions are currently campaigning for their social dialogue elections. The 1.4 million voters in the Ministry of National Education and Youth, the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research are invited to vote by internet from 1 to 8 December 2022.

    France: State education staff called to the ballot box for the social dialogue elections
  8. Worlds of Education 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
  9. Worlds of Education 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
  10. Worlds of Education 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.

    #16Days | Woman, life, freedom!
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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