Education International statement on human rights violations and anti-union attacks in the education sector in the Philippines

published 16 March 2023 updated 20 March 2024

Education International (EI) strongly condemns the ongoing human rights violations and anti-union attacks against teachers and education union activists in the Philippines.

Despite the International Labour Organization's (ILO) recommendations to the Filipino government, attacks on teachers and union activists continue, including extra-judicial killings, red-tagging, harassment, and forced disappearance.

EI supports its national member organisations, including the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the Federation of Free Workers-Trade Federation VIII (FFW), the National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW), and the Teachers' Organisation of the Philippine Public Sector (TOPPS), in their calls for the authorities to stop interfering in union processes such as certification, elections, negotiation of collective agreements, union organising, and other legal union activities.

EI urges the Government of the Philippines to adopt legislation to ensure the realisation of public sector teachers and workers' rights to collective bargaining and union activities, including the right to strike. EI also demands the establishment of a single presidentially mandated body to comprehensively address all outstanding cases of alleged labour-related, extra-judicial killings and abductions.

EI will monitor the follow up to the ILO Mission in the Philippines during the International Labour Conference in June 2023.