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 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. News 13 October 2023

    Iran: Education International denounces harassment of teachers at United Nations Human Rights Committee

    Education International (EI) denounced the arbitrary detention and torture of teachers and students, particularly girls, in Iran, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on October 9 in Geneva. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is obligated to uphold rights related to...

    Iran: Education International denounces harassment of teachers at United Nations Human Rights Committee
  12. Statements 9 October 2023

    Joint EI-ETUCE Statement on Israel and Palestine

    Education International and the European Trade Union Committee for Education condemn the severe attack Hamas launched against Israel. Education International stands in solidarity with the teachers, students, and communities in the region and calls on the international community to do their utmost to stop the bloodshed and avoid a catastrophic...

    Joint EI-ETUCE Statement on Israel and Palestine
  13. News 27 September 2023

    African educators demand increased funding for education and express solidarity with colleagues in crisis

    Education unions in Africa demand increased funding for public education systems and teachers, as they prepare the upcoming regional conference, and show full solidarity with teachers and education support personnel across the continent. These are the key messages conveyed by the Education International Africa Regional Committee (EIARC) during its 20...

    African educators demand increased funding for education and express solidarity with colleagues in crisis
  14. News 14 September 2023

    Iran: Education International demands an end to all violations of human and trade union rights!

    This September 16th, 2023 marks one year since the murder of Jina Mahsa Amini at the hands of police in Iran. Her death sparked widespread protests across Iran and gave rise to the Woman Life Freedom movement. Since then, the repressive state apparatus has worked to silence all dissent, increasing...

    Iran: Education International demands an end to all violations of human and trade union rights!
  15. Take action! 13 September 2023

    Iran: Release teacher union leaders voicing legitimate workers’ demands!

    Education International (EI) calls on its member organisations to urge the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release jailed Iranian teacher unionists and to respect trade union rights.

    Iran: Release teacher union leaders voicing legitimate workers’ demands!
  16. Statements 13 September 2023

    Global Unions condemn the escalating violations of human and labour rights and civil liberties in Iran

    Statement by the Council of Global Unions

    The Council of Global Unions (CGU), representing over 200 million workers through the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the Global Union Federations (GUFs), and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), condemns the escalating violations of trade union leaders' and activists' human and labour rights and civil liberties...

    Global Unions condemn the escalating violations of human and labour rights and civil liberties in Iran