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 5 February 2024

    President Lula receives Education International delegation to discuss public education

    A delegation made up of representatives from Education International (EI) and our affiliate in Brazil, the CNTE, was received on Monday 29 January by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The meeting took place on the second day of Brazil’s National Education Conference, held in Brasilia from 28 January to...

    President Lula receives Education International delegation to discuss public education
  2. Statements 31 January 2024

    Palestine: Global Unions Call for Unified Action Following ICJ Ruling on Gaza Genocide Case

    Statement by the Council of Global Unions

    The Global Unions signatory below note the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Order issued in the case filed by South Africa against Israel regarding the application of the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip, which demonstrates the vital importance of the international rule of law and effective enforcement.

    Palestine: Global Unions Call for Unified Action Following ICJ Ruling on Gaza Genocide Case
  3. News 26 January 2024

    Educators ready to play an active role in transforming education in North America and the Caribbean

    “Our activities here together these next few days are varied, but our purpose is fundamental – to reflect and learn from each other and to plan ways to encourage our members to play an active role in transforming education across this vast and varied region.” This was the call by...

    Educators ready to play an active role in transforming education in North America and the Caribbean
  4. Statements 15 January 2024

    Education International's Executive Board stands with teachers and unionists fighting for democracy in Argentina

    The Executive Board of Education International, meeting online on 11 January, expressed unwavering support and solidarity with the teachers, unionists, and the people of Argentina defending democracy in the face of repressive measures proposed by the new government.

    Education International's Executive Board stands with teachers and unionists fighting for democracy in Argentina
  5. News 15 January 2024

    Argentina: Education International stands with teachers and unionists fighting for democracy

    President Javier Milei’s Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) is an attack on democracy and labour rights in Argentina. Education International has been in close contact with its affiliates in Argentina, supporting the opposition to this attempt to undo the historical gains made by the Argentinean people.

    Argentina: Education International stands with teachers and unionists fighting for democracy
  6. News 22 December 2023

    2023, a year of mobilisation and solidarity

    A message from Education International General Secretary David Edwards to education unionists around the world and a renewed commitment to solidarity, peace, and democracy in 2024.

    2023, a year of mobilisation and solidarity
  7. News 21 December 2023

    International solidarity in the face of regressive actions by the government of Argentina

    The Education International Regional Committee for Latin America (IEAL) has expressed concern regarding the recent decision taken by the Government of the Republic of Argentina, under resolution 943/2023 of the Security Ministry. This measure restricts the right to social protest, freedom of speech, and restricts people’s ability to exercise their...

    International solidarity in the face of regressive actions by the government of Argentina
  8. Worlds of Education 18 December 2023

    Education Voices: The current situation in Argentina and a renewed commitment to Go Public! Fund Education

    Roberto Baradel is a teacher and deputy general secretary of the Confederation of Education Workers of Argentina (CTERA). He is also a member of the Confederation of Argentinian Educators (CEA). A tireless advocate for public education and union rights, Baradel is a prominent figure in the fight for education justice...

    Education Voices: The current situation in Argentina and a renewed commitment to Go Public! Fund Education
  9. Worlds of Education 10 December 2023

    Human Rights begin in small places – close to home

    Jim Baker

    International Human Rights Day celebrates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 – 75 years ago. The Declaration reflects the highest aspirations of humanity. The fact that rights are too often ignored does not invalidate the Declaration. It remains the standard for our evolution and progress...

    Human Rights begin in small places – close to home
  10. Statements 8 December 2023

    Our global solidarity is imperative to defend human rights

    Education International's statement on International Human Rights Day

    On International Human Rights Day, Education International reaffirms our collective commitment to defending human rights around the world.  We must remain firm and united around the principles of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and dignity for all. It is our shared responsibility to stand resolutely against all human rights violations and ...

    Our global solidarity is imperative to defend human rights
  11. News 22 November 2023

    South African President Ramaphosa: Investing in education builds resilience in times of crises

    “It is a real privilege to address this 10th Africa Regional Conference of Education International, particularly with its focus on shaping the future of education on our continent, as well as beyond. And the theme of your conference, 'Standing together for resilient education systems in times of crises', resonates very...

    South African President Ramaphosa: Investing in education builds resilience in times of crises
  12. News 20 November 2023

    We stand with France Castro. Education International firmly condemns the death threats against the Filipino congresswoman

    France Castro has received repeated death threats from Rodrigo Duterte, former President of the Philippines. The lawmaker has filed a formal complaint against Duterte, making this the first criminal case against Duterte after the end of his mandate.

    We stand with France Castro. Education International firmly condemns the death threats against the Filipino congresswoman
  13. News 7 November 2023

    Education International calls for urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Education International (EI) calls on the international community to urgently implement a humanitarian ceasefire to stop the killing of students, teachers, and all civilians in Gaza. EI also calls for an end to the Israeli bombardments and military actions which have caused the death of thousands of civilians, including over...

    Education International calls for urgent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza
  14. News 19 October 2023

    Top Asia-Pacific education unionists advocate for increased investment in public education systems and educators, and call for gender equity, and sustainable, democratic and peaceful societies

    The Education International Asia-Pacific (EIAP) Regional Committee called for a greater investment in public education and educators, more for gender equity within unions, urgent action on climate change and expressed solidarity with colleagues across the region and the world who are facing violations of their human and trade union rights.

    Top Asia-Pacific education unionists advocate for increased investment in public education systems and educators, and call for gender equity, and sustainable, democratic and peaceful societies
  15. News 17 October 2023

    France: Education International stands in solidarity with the education community following the murder of a teacher

    Following the murder of a teacher in the town of Arras on 13 October 2023, Education International (EI) and the ETUCE have expressed their profound consternation and sent messages of solidarity to their affiliated organisations in France. This tragedy comes almost 3 years to the day after the death of...

    France: Education International stands in solidarity with the education community following the murder of a teacher