Roberto Baradel, CTERA, Argentina
Roberto Baradel, CTERA, Argentina

Education International delegation to defend teachers’ rights at the International Labour Conference

published 5 June 2024 updated 7 June 2024

From 3-14 June, an Education International (EI) delegation is attending the 112th session of the International Labour Conference. Sixty-nine teachers and education professionals from 35 countries are present at the annual conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Held under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, this global event brings together representatives of governments and of workers’ and employers’ organisations. It is the place where new policy priorities are discussed, where international labour standards are adopted, and their implementation supervised. This year, representatives from 45 EI affiliates stand ready to defend the labour rights of the profession in the various committees of the conference.

As every year, the Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS) will review the implementation of labour standards and examine specific cases of trade union rights violations. The 25 countries selected to be examined by the committee this year include Belarus, Cambodia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Georgia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Paraguay, and Turkey.

Education International and its affiliates will take part in the debates to ensure that the Committee adopts strong recommendations urging governments to act in favour of workers. The representatives of education unions will put the recently adopted recommendations of the UN High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession to good use in the interventions.

These 59 landmark recommendations call for urgent government action to end the global teacher shortage and ensure teachers are valued and respected. The recommendations emphasise the importance of coordinated and institutionalised social and policy dialogue. The Panel also reaffirms the need to fulfil existing rights that are the foundation for quality education and quality teaching. Finally, the Panel emphasises the importance of the right to strike as a last resort to ensure decent working conditions.

On 10 June, Haldis Holst, EI Deputy General Secretary, will deliver a speech on behalf of Education International, as part of the discussion on the report of the ILO Director General Gilbert Houngbo. The focus will be on the role of quality education in social justice and on the recommendations emerging from the United Nations High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession.

Another item on the agenda of the International Labour Conference will be a discussion on decent work and the care economy. This discussion pertains to EI's efforts to improve decent working conditions for paid care workers which include early childhood education teachers and educators.