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 6 December 2021

    Iran: Global education union community rallies around arrested trade unionists and demand their release

    As an organisation committed to trade union and human rights, Education International is demanding the release of Esmail Abdi and other arrested trade union leaders in Iran. There is a particular and urgent concern for Abdi’s health, severely affected after long imprisonment in dire conditions. During a meeting of Education...

    Iran: Global education union community rallies around arrested trade unionists and demand their release
  2. News 3 December 2021

    Afghanistan: Education International “schools should never be targets of terrorism or violence”

    Education International reiterated its support for education, peace, and human rights in Afghanistan as the country faces a deepening humanitarian crisis. Earlier this year, Education International and member organisations expressed grave concerns about the safety of educators and about equal access to education for all, especially for girls , after...

    Afghanistan: Education International “schools should never be targets of terrorism or violence”
  3. News 28 October 2021

    Eswatini: Education International and ITUC condemn the brutal attacks on educators and civilians

    Education International (EI) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) emphatically denounce the attacks and recent violence perpetrated by the police against teachers and other public sector workers in Eswatini. We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, which has caused in scores of injuries and the...

    Eswatini: Education International and ITUC condemn the brutal attacks on educators and civilians
  4. News 26 October 2021

    Jordan: Global solidarity in response to the dissolution of education union and harassment of teachers and unionists

    Education International launched an urgent action appeal calling for affiliates to show solidarity with colleagues in Jordan and a campaign with LabourStart in response to the dissolution of the Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the massive dismissals of teachers, including 14 JTA leaders.

    Jordan: Global solidarity in response to the dissolution of education union and harassment of teachers and unionists
  5. Opinion 19 October 2021

    Samuel Paty, one year later: “The teaching profession: the light that illuminates darkness”

    David Edwards

    A year ago, French history and geography professor Samuel Paty was decapitated near his school in a suburb of Paris. In response to this horrifying attack, the Education International Executive Board adopted a resolution reaffirming the crucial role of teachers in supporting critical thinking, freedom of speech, science, the truth,...

    Samuel Paty, one year later: “The teaching profession: the light that illuminates darkness”
  6. Statements 12 October 2021

    The attack on the CGIL in Italy is an assault on democracy

    Education International condemns the assault by neo-fascist groups on the CGIL union headquarters.

    David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International, the global federation of teachers and education workers, expressed his outrage after the headquarters of the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL), the largest union confederation in Italy, was ransacked by neo-fascists.

    The attack on the CGIL in Italy is an assault on democracy
  7. News 8 October 2021

    Educators of the world congratulate Maria Ressa on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

    The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded jointly to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace”. Ressa has been a friend and ally of Education International and the global teaching community, joining forces...

    Educators of the world congratulate Maria Ressa on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize
  8. News 8 October 2021

    Yemen: Education union takes the lead in ensuring freedom and quality education despite war

    Education International stands in solidarity with the Yemen Teachers Syndicate (YTS), which continues its struggle to ensure that teachers’ human and trade human rights are respected. The YTS is also campaigning for teachers’ salaries to be paid by public authorities, so teachers can focus on delivering quality public education to...

    Yemen: Education union takes the lead in ensuring freedom and quality education despite war
  9. News 6 October 2021

    World Teachers’ Day: Teaching profession is key to effective and equitable recovery – and must be supported through the COVID-19 crisis

    On World Teachers’ Day, 5 October, Education International’s President, Susan Hopgood, highlighted how too many educators paid the ultimate price during the pandemic to ensure quality education for their students.

    World Teachers’ Day: Teaching profession is key to effective and equitable recovery – and must be supported through the COVID-19 crisis
  10. News 20 September 2021

    Data-driven OECD report highlights lifelong impact of educational inequities

    Gender, race, and an immigrant background are key determinants in educational achievement and lifelong opportunities. That’s according to the latest report of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Education at a Glance (EAG) 2021 .

    Data-driven OECD report highlights lifelong impact of educational inequities
  11. News 15 September 2021

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government

    On the International Day of Democracy, Education International joins the Global Union Day of Action organised by the Council of Global Unions (CGU) to stop the military-led junta from gaining recognition at the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and recognise the National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate government of...

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government
  12. Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government

    On the International Day of Democracy, Education International joins the Global Union Day of Action organised by the Council of Global Unions (CGU) and global union federations to stop the military-led junta from gaining recognition at the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and recognise the National Unity Government (NUG) as...

    Myanmar: Global unions call on governments to recognise the National Unity Government
  13. News 14 September 2021

    Philippines: Call for global action as independent report catalogues government’s human rights violations

    Education International has called for an end to the violence and state-sponsored attacks on Filipino educators. Its comments follow an independent investigation which shows that the Duterte government is deliberately violating human rights, using violence and repression against those who are standing up for education, democracy, and peace.

    Philippines: Call for global action as independent report catalogues government’s human rights violations
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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