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 9 July 2021

    Arab educators and their unions ready to rebuild education and shape the future of their work

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the education sector, the future of work, climate change action, the protection of human and trade union rights, and safeguarding democracy were at the heart of discussions during the 5th Conference of Education International's Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (ACCRS).

    Arab educators and their unions ready to rebuild education and shape the future of their work
  2. Statements 7 July 2021

    Eswatini: Education International calls for democracy, freedom of association and respect for human rights

    Education International, the global federation representing 32.5 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries, including Eswatini, is seriously concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, which has resulted in hundreds of deaths, abductions, and disappearances.

    Eswatini: Education International calls for democracy, freedom of association and respect for human rights
  3. Opinion 23 June 2021

    "Celebrating the value and virtue of public service."

    David Edwards

    United Nations Public Service Day was established by the General Assembly in 2002. It “celebrates the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlights the contribution of public service in the development process; recognizes the work of public servants and encourages young people to pursue careers in the...

    "Celebrating the value and virtue of public service."
  4. News 27 May 2021

    Germany’s Order of Merit awarded to Israeli teacher unionist Avraham Rocheli

    On May 26th, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was presented to Dr Avraham Rocheli, one of the leading figures of the long-standing partnership between Germany’s GEW and the Israel Teachers Union, both Education International member organisations. GEW and the German Federation of Trade Unions nominated...

    Germany’s Order of Merit awarded to Israeli teacher unionist Avraham Rocheli
  5. Statements 26 May 2021

    Israel and Palestine: Education International calls for immediate action to ensure lasting peace

    Education International Executive Board Statement

    While a ceasefire is critical to end this month’s violence between Israel and Hamas, it cannot lead to a lasting and permanent peace if the underlying causes of the violence remain unresolved. This is the moment for ending both the occupation and the blockade. It is critically important for rebuilding...

    Israel and Palestine: Education International calls for immediate action to ensure lasting peace
  6. News 6 May 2021

    Colombia: Global education movement condemns abuses of basic human rights

    Education International and its affiliates around the globe are deeply concerned about the brutal repression of protests in Colombia. The global trade union federation demands democratic governance of the country and urges public authorities to put a halt to human rights abuses.

    Colombia: Global education movement condemns abuses of basic human rights
  7. News 5 May 2021

    Korea: EI Denounces discriminatory property registration system for teachers

    The Korean Federation of Teachers Association (KFTA), a member organisation of Education International, reported that the Korean government is trying to impose new measures that would force teachers and other public servants to register their properties as well as those of their spouses, parents, children, and grandchildren with the authorities.

    Korea: EI Denounces discriminatory property registration system for teachers
  8. Take action! 29 April 2021

    Democracy in danger in Haiti: education unions mobilise

    Despite the massive mobilisation of civil society, with the education unions in the front line, President Jovenel Moïse is eroding Haitian democracy a little more every day. The right to organise and the right to education are no longer respected. The country is sinking into violence, under the indifferent gaze...

    Democracy in danger in Haiti: education unions mobilise
  9. Take action! 23 April 2021

    Education International Condemns the Coup and Repression in Myanmar

    UPDATE - 23 April 2021 | In a resolution adopted at its 57th meeting, held virtually, the Education International Executive Board condemned the coup d’état in Myanmar, the refusal to accept the results of the election, the violence against protesters and strikers and the arrest of elected leaders, trade unionists...

    Education International Condemns the Coup and Repression in Myanmar
  10. News 14 April 2021

    Global index finds most countries do not respect academic freedom and shows signs of decline

    The second edition of the Academic Freedom Index (AFi) shows that only 20 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries where academic freedom is well protected. There are signs of decline in many countries. The pandemic, with the wide use of distance learning, produced additional threats. Academic autonomy...

    Global index finds most countries do not respect academic freedom and shows signs of decline
  11. Opinion 12 April 2021

    “On Edtech, the public good, and democracy”

    David Edwards

    The COVID-19 pandemic has brought death and despair. However, it has also sharpened our vision. We have seen dangers more clearly and trends that were threatening the health of our societies. In some areas, like inequality, it is apparent to everybody. In others, however, risky developments are partially hidden. These...

    “On Edtech, the public good, and democracy”
  12. Opinion 8 April 2021

    “Brazilian government makes racism a state policy”, by Iêda Leal.

    Iêda Leal

    Since the coup against President Dilma Rousseff in 2016, the black population has seen an upsurge in violence. With the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, racism, in effect, became state policy. Racism has always existed in the country, but racists are more visible, showing themselves in broad daylight and...

    “Brazilian government makes racism a state policy”, by Iêda Leal.
  13. Opinion 30 March 2021

    "Today, solidarity with women is a fight for democracy”, by Sławomir Broniarz.

    Slawomir Broniarz

    Currently, women and LGBTI people in Poland face a very difficult situation. However, it would be wrong and short-sighted to see attacks on women or LGBTI people as the problem of a single country or of one radically conservative government that seeks to establish an authoritarian regime. Poland is not...

    "Today, solidarity with women is a fight for democracy”, by Sławomir Broniarz.
  14. News 22 February 2021

    General strike shuts down Myanmar

    Update 9 March 2021 | As the military junta has escalated its use of undue force against peaceful protesters, Myanmar workers won’t let fear and violence silence them. They are determined to continue the peaceful civil disobedience movement against the illegal military junta. In a joint statement, Myanmar labour organisations...

    General strike shuts down Myanmar