Strike action in higher education

International solidarity

Through our contacts with the TUC, EI and other education unions UCU is able to join in campaigning work at international level on issues affecting human and trade union rights.

We are involved in campaigns concerned with Burma, Colombia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and the Middle East.

Contents:

Academic freedom

International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)

Bahrain

Brazil

Burma

Cuba

Colombia

Greece

Palestine

Venezuela


Academic freedom

UCU believes that academic freedom should be the cornerstone of university and college teaching and research. As well as watching over this issue at national level UCU works with other higher education unions and organisations campaigning for education worldwide to monitor and resist attempts to erode academic freedom.


International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)

UCU also supports the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), an organising and campaigning body with the fundamental purpose of defending and improving the rights of trade unions and trade unionists throughout the world. It aims are:

  • to defend and extend the rights of trade unions and trade unionists throughout the world
  • to collect information and increase awareness of trade union rights and their violations
  • to carry out its activities in the spirit of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation Conventions and appropriate international treaties.

Links:

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Bahrain

Since 2011 UCU has been campaigning with Education International, MENA Solidarity, TUC and Amnesty International for the release of teacher trade unionists in Bahrain, including the president of the Bahraini Teachers' Association, Mahdi Abu Dheeb.

See our international dispatches about Bahrain

Useful links:

Brazil

Scholars for Academic Freedom in Brazil works to support Brazilian academics under threat following Bolsonaro's 2019 election as president, the Escola sem partido 'gagging' agenda and concrete attacks on academics and academic freedom. It's broad-based and inclusive, without a specific political orientation or affiliation to any political party, but united instead around a shared democratic commitment to academic freedom, and working towards the following main aims:

  • increase international visibility for cases of persecution of Brazilian academics and for state and institutional initiatives threatening academic freedom
  • organise material support and solidarity for academics suffering persecution in Brazil
  • fundraise and prepare support in our own institutions for academics who may be forced to leave Brazil
  • articulate this campaign with other international solidarity initiatives and build support beyond the academic community itself
  • organise institutional initiatives to add to international pressure in defence of academic freedom in Brazil.

Download the Scholars for Academic Freedom in Brazil factsheet [131kb]

Draft branch motion in support of academics in Brazil [103kb]

To join, write to academicfreedominbrazil@gmail.com and/or request to join the closed Facebook group.


Burma

See our international dispatches about Burma

Academic Freedom International Study: Burma chapter [400kb]

The Burma Campaign

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Cuba

Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) are a British organisation that campaigns against the inhumane and illegal 50 year old blockade of Cuba, for an end to the US occupation of Cuban land at Guantanamo Bay, and to defend the Cuban people's right to be free from foreign intervention.

See our international dispatches about Cuba

Useful links:

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Colombia

Colombia is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a trade unionist. Thousands of trade unionists have been murdered there since 1989, mostly by right-wing paramilitaries in collusion with the security forces. Other violations of workers' human rights include threats, displacement, declaration of strikes as illegal and arbitrary detention of trade unionists.

UCU works closely with Justice for Colombia to support our Colombian colleagues and solidarity with academics, teachers and education workers who are under threat remains one of our priorities. Below is a list of our recent activity in this area.  

Justice for Colombia Peace Monitor - Report #02

Humanitarian visit to Colombia - report [1mb]

Academic Freedom International Study: Colombia chapter [395kb]

See our international dispatches about Colombia

Find the latest information on the JFC website.

General secretary visits Colombia

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt visited Colombia in 2009. A short video, shown as part as the keynote speech to Congress, looks at the threat to trade unionists in the country.

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Greece

Over recent years UCU has been involved in the campaign to support our Greek colleagues in their struggles to defend jobs, working conditions and quality public services, including education.

Education International (EI) and its European organisation, the ETUCE, expressed solidarity with Greek teachers and their union in their call to maintain their right to strike.

See our international dispatches about Greece

Useful links:


Palestine

UCU supports the Friends of Bir Zeit University and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Academic Freedom International Study: Israel chapter [458kb]
Academic Freedom International Study: Palestine chapter [505kb] 

Report of visit to Palestine

A report by UCU President-Elect (Douglas Chalmers) of an education union delegation to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in late 2018: Palestinian Diary: report of a UCU trip to Palestine, Douglas Chalmers [6mb]

See our international dispatches about Palestine

Useful links:

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Venezuela

UCU is affiliated to the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

See our international dispatches about Venezuela

Useful links:

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Last updated: 11 November 2019