Education International

ATROAfghan Teachers' Rights Observatory

Education International

Who we are and what we stand for – our values

Education International (EI) is the Global Union Federation that brings together organisations of teachers and other education employees from across the world. Through our 383 member organisations, we represent more than 32 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries and territories.

As the global voice of teachers and education support personnel EI:

All EI policies, programmes and advocacy efforts aim to advance social justice and challenge all forms of discrimination. This places EI in a unique position with members on the ground and a mandate to represent the world’s teachers in the global education architecture.

EI and its affiliates’ actions in Afghanistan

EI has two member organisations in Afghanistan, the National Teachers Elected Council (NTEC) and the Afghanistan Teacher Support Association (ATSA). The larger of the two, NTEC is active and has councils in 31 provinces (out of 34) with around 27,500 members. EI and its member organizations in Sweden and Canada have been actively supporting, its affiliates in Afghanistan since before the Taliban takeover in August 2021. Activities have shifted from union capacity building and technical assistance to humanitarian and emergency support. Specifically, this has included organizing evacuation efforts for those particularly at risk, ongoing personal contact with the leaders, and closely monitoring the escalating situation on the ground through , particularly through EI’s Asia Pacific Regional Office.

The EI Executive Board meeting on 2nd December 2021, adopted a resolution reiterating that “schools should never be targets of terrorism or violence” and “education is a fundamental human right and adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is fundamental to promoting inclusive, non-discriminatory, and peaceful societies”. The Executive Board pledged its full support to the people, educators and member organisations in Afghanistan, and called on member organisations to lobby national governments to pressurise the Taliban to uphold human rights and the right to education of girls and women in Afghanistan.

Subsequently, EI has established a Solidarity Fund which is seeking contributions from member organisations. The Solidarity Fund has been established - Afghan Teacher Union Assistance - for supporting efforts to rescue and resettle Afghan refugee teacher unionists and their families as well as supporting the ongoing assistance to member organisations within Afghanistan and monitoring the human and teacher and trade union rights situation.

In addition, EI has also established a ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ group consisting of member organisations, interested in and willing, to join global advocacy efforts to support Afghan education.