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 11 September 2023

    Iran: Education International calls for urgent medical leave and release for imprisoned teacher trade union leader Jafar Ebrahimi

    The health of Jafar Ebrahimi, a Board Member of the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teacher Trade Associations (CCITTA), has deteriorated considerably during his unjust imprisonment in Iran. Education International has appealed to Iranian authorities to grant an urgent medical leave for the teacher trade unionist.

    Iran: Education International calls for urgent medical leave and release for imprisoned teacher trade union leader Jafar Ebrahimi
  2. News 5 September 2023

    Unions advance peace education for a brighter future in East Asia

    The Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), the Japan Teachers’ Union (JTU), and China’s National Committee of the Educational, Scientific, Cultural, Health and Sports Workers’ Union (ACFTU) came together on August 8th and 9th 2023, in Seoul, Korea, for their 11th biennial assembly for practical exchange on peace education.

    Unions advance peace education for a brighter future in East Asia
  3. News 31 August 2023

    Destroyed schools, bomb shelters, air-raid sirens: Ukraine’s children begin another school year in wartime

    UNICEF reports that over 1,300 schools in Ukraine have been completely destroyed since the start of the full-scale invasion launched by Russia in February 2022. Most Ukrainian students are forced to continue their studies online, far from teachers and friends. As a new school year begins in September, students and...

    Destroyed schools, bomb shelters, air-raid sirens: Ukraine’s children begin another school year in wartime
  4. News 4 July 2023

    Your guide to connect with colleagues at the 9th EI World Congress

    The 9th Education International World Congress is taking place online from July 11 to 13. This edition of our World Congress will focus on “Growing our unions, elevating our professions, defending democracy." Read on to see how you can connect with colleagues from across the world!

    Your guide to connect with colleagues at the 9th EI World Congress
  5. News 21 June 2023

    The government of the Jujuy province in Argentina must immediately stop attacking its people

    For months, education workers in the province of Jujuy, Argentina, have been mobilising for decent wages and to defend public education amidst the regressive reforms of the provincial government. Peaceful demonstrations held by education workers and civil society groups supporting them are being violently repressed by security forces.

    The government of the Jujuy province in Argentina must immediately stop attacking its people
  6. News 19 June 2023

    Uganda: Education International condemns the horrific attack on Lhubiriha Secondary school

    Education International, the global federation of educators, strongly condemns the horrific attack on Lhubiriha secondary school in Mpondwe, Uganda and mourns in solidarity with the families and communities impacted by this devastating act of violence.

    Uganda: Education International condemns the horrific attack on Lhubiriha Secondary school
  7. Worlds of Education 25 April 2023

    Teachers as democracy workers

    Keith Heggart

    The work of teachers is something of a contradiction. Governments, policy-makers, educators and parents are often quick to point out the importance of education for young people – and that necessarily highlights the value of teachers. Yet at the same time, in many countries around the world, the profession of...

    Teachers as democracy workers
  8. News 11 April 2023

    Eswatini: Education International fully supports education unionists

    Education International (EI) sent a High-Level Mission to Eswatini to reiterate on-site the support of the education union community to colleagues in the country, and to urge the national governmental authorities to put an immediate halt to the persecution of Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) leaders, introduce democratic governance...

    Eswatini: Education International fully supports education unionists
  9. Statements 17 March 2023

    Executive Board Resolution on Eswatini

    The Education International (EI) Executive Board has reaffirmed EI’s unwavering solidarity and support for the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), its leadership and members.

    Executive Board Resolution on Eswatini
  10. News 24 February 2023

    One year of solidarity with our colleagues, students, and all people of Ukraine

    Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Education International launched an urgent action appeal calling on all member organisations to stand with and support our colleagues in Ukraine. Education unions from across the world responded. One year on, our solidarity is unwavering.

    One year of solidarity with our colleagues, students, and all people of Ukraine
  11. News 17 February 2023

    Eswatini: Murders and harassment of trade union leaders must cease immediately!

    Education International denounces the continuous attacks on trade union leaders in Eswatini and condemns the targeting of Mbongwa Dlamini, President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), a member organisation of Education International.

    Eswatini: Murders and harassment of trade union leaders must cease immediately!
  12. News 17 February 2023

    Development cooperation backs up Arab education unions’ actions for democracy, gender equality and quality education

    Many development cooperation (DC) partners participated in the Education International (EI) Café at the EI Arab Countries Cross-Regional Structure (ACCRS). They received information on recent challenges and progress of education unions in the region.

    Development cooperation backs up Arab education unions’ actions for democracy, gender equality and quality education
  13. News 16 February 2023

    Philippines: Educators submit recommendations to ILO to ensure the protection of trade union rights

    Education International (EI) has welcomed the recent International Labour Organization High Level Tripartite Mission (ILO HLTM) to the Philippines. This mission is the result of longstanding advocacy by human and trade union activists in this country, and EI national member organisations – the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the Federation...

    Philippines: Educators submit recommendations to ILO to ensure the protection of trade union rights
  14. Take action! 8 February 2023

    Global Action Day in support of teachers and workers in Iran

    On 8 February, Education International joins trade unions all over the world for a Global Action Day in support of Iranian teachers and workers in their struggle for decent working conditions, union rights, democracy and freedom. Education International calls on its member organisations to show solidarity with the labour and...

    Global Action Day in support of teachers and workers in Iran