Resolution on issues in the North America and Caribbean Region

published 25 July 2015 updated 31 March 2017


The 7th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Ottawa, Canada, from 21nd to 26th July 2015:

1. Recognizing, that human trafficking is a serious problem in the region and a global phenomenon that traps millions in a cycle of exploitation; it is an affront to individual human rights and jeopardizes the security of our communities; worldwide, human trafficking generates more than $36 billion each year, making it one of the largest illegal enterprises in the world;

2. Considering, that hundreds of thousands of children -- girls and boys in early adolescence -- are at risk of being trafficked for exploitative sex and forced child labor, and they frequently face physical and mental abuse, social isolation, lost education, and critical health concerns; they come from vulnerable or marginalized groups, including undocumented migrants, runaways, and the poor; and victims may face long recoveries marred by stigmatization, post-traumatic stress, and criminal records;

3. Knowing, that as educators the fight against human trafficking is our fight; these are at-risk children who live in our communities and attend our schools; teachers, education support workers, counselors, and school nurses often are the first line in detecting the exploitation of our most vulnerable youth;

4. Given that as trade unionists the fight against human trafficking is also our fight; we need to train our members to be able to address this issue in the workplace; unions can negotiate to see that our members are qualified to have the skills to do intervention and mitigation;

5. The 7th World Congress:

a. Commits Education International (EI) to actively engage in the fight to end human trafficking in association with other stakeholders, such as INTERPOL, the ILO, the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, and Save the Children.

b. Calls for EI, drawing on the knowledge and experience of its affiliates, to create and distribute resources to inform and educate members of affiliates, and assist in identifying and mitigating trafficking; and

c. Requires EI to develop or identify existing classroom tools developed by EI affiliates, NGOs and partners, for dissemination to affiliates. These are for educators to alert youth about what to do when they suspect or observe trafficking, and to recognize and protect themselves and their peers from becoming victims of human trafficking.