Solidarity is at the heart of the NEU, be that domestically or internationally, internally or externally. We work in partnership with a variety of international campaigns and organisations to deliver our goals and theirs.
Solidarity with Palestinian teacher Murad Attieh and the Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah
The NEU extends solidarity to Palestinian teacher Murad Attieh, his family and his neighbours in the community of Sheikh Jarrah in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of East Jerusalem.
Murad Attieh has been held in prison since August 2021 following his arrest for protesting against the evictions of families in Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli human rights group estimate that over 1,000 Palestinian families are at risk of eviction in East Jerusalem. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), if they went ahead, such evictions would violate Israel's responsibilities under international law which prohibit the transfer of civilians in to or out of occupied territory by the occupying power. The OHCHR has said that such transfers may constitute a ‘war crime’.
The NEU believes that both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in peace, free from the threat of war, displacement from their homes and communities, racism or discrimination. We call for an end to these unlawful evictions and for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.
Help Education Unions Raise the Alarm as Sudan Military Beats and Detains Protesting Teachers
The NEU and other sister unions have joined the call for action in solidarity with the Sudanese people against the military coup. Protests are currently taking place across the country and at a recent demonstration scores of teachers were attacked with almost 100 being arrested. Trade unions, including the NEU, have condemned the coup and called for immediate action by the UK government.
Find out how you can take action today.
No to the Coup - Cut Links with Sudan's Military
Climate Change and Children's Rights
Votes for Schools (VfS) and UNICEF UK have partnered on the ambition of ensuring 100,000 children and young people in the UK and around the world have their voices heard on climate change ahead of COP26. By providing weekly resources for teachers in the UK, VfS prompts discussion on a challenging current issue – this time, focussing on climate change. Students vote and discuss the issue afterwards and VfS ensure that their voices are heard and have an impact. More details and access to the free teacher resources are available here.
Solidarity with Sister Unions in Greece as they take Strike Action
The joint general secretaries of the NEU sent solidarity greetings to the general secretaries of Greek Teachers’ Unions DOE, OLME, OIELE, POSEEPEA as they took coordinated national strike action across Greece. Read the letter here.
Give Rohingya refugees a voice in the decisions that affect them.
Nearly one million Rohingya refugees are living in threadbare camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after they fled their homes in Myanmar due to the military’s crimes against humanity. For decades, the Rohingyas in Myanmar have been denied their rights to nationality, freedom of movement and access to services including education, employment and healthcare. Sign the Amnesty International petition to urge the Bangladesh government and the international community to ensure the participation of Rohingya refugees in the decisions that affect them in order to protect their human rights.
Don't let debt stop climate action
The banks and lenders who are profiting from climate debt are from the same countries that caused the climate emergency. For countries in the global South, the situation is extreme. Not only are they least responsible for the emissions causing the crisis, they’re also the worst affected. Meeting with your MP is one of the most effective ways to raise this issue and help make sure the voices of those most affected by the climate crisis are heard. Click here for more information on how to get involved.
Haiti - Urgent Action Appeal
On 14 August, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in the Nippes region, 150 km east of the capital Port-au-Prince. The official death toll is currently over 2,200; 12,000 have been injured and with over 800,000 affected. In an update to its members, one union affiliate of Education International (EI) reported 1 teacher dead, 143 injured, 204 houses destroyed, and 1,461 houses damaged.
Please help by contributing to the EI Solidarity Fund: Education International ING Bank 24, Avenue Marnix 1000 Brussels IBAN : BE05 3101 0061 7075 Swift : BBRUBEBB with the following label - Haiti.
Bangladesh: Allow Rohingya Refugee Children Decent Homes and Education
In 2017 around 800,000 Rohingya refugees fled genocidal attacks by the Burmese military. Most of those refugees were children. For almost four years these children have been living in squalid conditions, cramped in unsafe temporary shelters and surrounded by barbed wire. Most have had no formal education and access to healthcare is limited. No child should be growing up in these conditions. Email the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and urge her to ensure that Rohingya refugees no longer have to live in these appalling conditions.
End the blockade on Cuba
In June, 184 countries voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution demanding an end to the US blockade on Cuba – the 29th year in a row that the resolution received unanimous backing. The economic, commercial, and financial embargo on Cuba has severe adverse effects on the lives of the Cuban people. This has been starkly evident during recent weeks.
Despite being internationally recognised for its high-quality healthcare system, a lack of medical supplies has left Cuba struggling to respond to an overwhelming Covid surge, once again demonstrating the lethal consequences of the blockade. For six decades, Cubans have been forced to reckon with the incalculable damage of the embargo – now they are being forced to face a global pandemic without critical medical supplies. President Biden must heed the calls of the UN General Assembly and bring an end to the punitive suffering that has long been imposed on the Cuban people by the US Government.
The NEU reaffirms its solidarity and reasserts its demand for an immediate end to the blockade.
CSC has been asked to assist in fundraising for urgently needed medical goods including:
- Specialised raw materials used in the manufacture of vaccines
- Compounds to produce medicines to treat patients infected with the virus
- Syringes and vials to administer the vaccines to the Cuban population.
Haiti Earthquake Appeal
The recent earthquake in Haiti has caused terrible devastation and the heavy rains, due to tropical Storm Grace, have made the situation worse, leaving thousands of people without shelter and basic necessities. The Steve Sinnott Foundation, to which the NEU is affiliated, has colleagues on the ground who have reported that they are in urgent need of solar radios to enable families to keep updated with local and national news. These radios also have a phone charge facility and a light. Please click here for more information and to donate towards the purchase of solar radios.
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) - Support Palestinian Refugees Living in Lebanon
MAP has been working to support the needs of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon for more than 35 years, responding to immediate health needs while working towards sustainable long-term health development. They are upscaling their emergency response to address the health and healthcare needs arising from the current crisis in Lebanon. The emergency fund aims to support Palestinian refugees by procuring additional essential equipment for vulnerable pregnant women, providing more front-line workers, among other services. Please ask your division to consider donating to the fund and spread the word amongst your networks.
NEU statement on the harrowing situation in Afghanistan
The NEU is deeply concerned by the harrowing situation in Afghanistan.
Many Afghans are at serious risk of reprisals from the Taliban, including human rights defenders and civil society activists. Reports of severe human rights violations are mounting, and particular concern exists for the rights of women and girls.
As called for by the United Nations, the immediate priority must be an end to the violence, a coordinated humanitarian response, and the preservation of international humanitarian law and human rights. Hard-won gains on the rights of women and girls must be protected. This includes preserving girls’ right to education. The UK government is duty-bound to take a leading role in these efforts and must urgently step up its support.
As per the call of the UN Secretary General, “all countries must be willing to receive Afghan refugees and refrain from any deportations”. Safe, specific, and legal routes to safety for those facing serious risk in Afghanistan must urgently be prepared and expanded, including clear and expedited routes to asylum in the UK. Further, the UK government must rapidly deepen the flow of aid to Afghanistan, providing urgent assistance to the 18 million people affected by the humanitarian emergency.
The coming days and weeks will be pivotal. The UK government must help the Afghan people and, alongside the international community, take urgent and life-saving action to uphold the inviolability of their human rights. The NEU stands with the people of Afghanistan, including teachers, education staff, and children, during their hour of need.
The courageous people fighting for democracy in Myanmar need your help. Within days of the military coup, workers were on strike all over the country. You can help by donating to the strike fund. Contributions to the fund will be distributed among workers and families who have lost their livelihoods due to strike or other protest actions and will cover emergency needs, such as food, shelter, and medical care. For more information and to donate click here.
Like Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan is an area in occupied East Jerusalem where Palestinian families face imminent and ongoing threats of dispossession of their homes and businesses. 1,500 Palestinians are under threat of having their homes demolished as Israel attempts to replace them with settlers, an act unlawful under international law. Take action today by writing to the Foreign Office. Save the Children consulted 217 families across the West Bank to get a clearer understanding of the immediate and longer-term impact that demolitions have on their lives, and the lives of children in particular. The findings of the research show that beyond the initial trauma of losing their homes, the resulting dispossession and displacement cripple children’s sense of safety, lead to severe emotional distress, and leave them cut off from their friends and communities. Most children (70%) reported feeling socially isolated and no connection with their communities and land after losing their home. A majority of children (60%) felt that their education had been jeopardised or interrupted following the demolition.
Statement of solidarity with the 28,000 striking workers in the oilfields of Iran
The NEU stands in solidarity with striking Iranian oil workers in South Pars, in the oilfields of the southern provinces and across Iran as part of coordinated strike action. The strikers are demanding higher wages, adequate social security and better onsite living conditions. The strikers’ committees have issued a clear set of wage demands for each employment category, and have said that work will resume if employers meet their demands. The strike mirrors a month-long wave of strike action by more than 10,000 workers that took place in the South Pars oil and gas fields in August last year, where workers won improvements to wages and living conditions. Iran is ranked among the worst countries in the world for workers, with no guarantee of rights. The NEU conveys heartfelt solidarity and support as the strikers work to secure the rights of the workers and calls on the Iranian authorities and employers to respect the rights of the workers on strike and meet their demands.
NEU comment on Israeli/Palestine ceasefire
The NEU welcomes the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire after the 11-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza which has resulted in the deaths of at least 233 Palestinians, including 65 children, and seen 12 Israelis killed as a result of Hamas rocket fire.
Over 60,000 Palestinians are now displaced in Gaza with homes, schools, roads, medical facilities and other vital services destroyed or disrupted.
The International Community must now support the reconstruction of Gaza. Crucially it must pursue all means to secure an end to the ongoing conflict. All children deserve a future in which they can live, learn and flourish in peace, safety and security.
NEU statement on school shooting in Kazan, Russia
On Tuesday 11th May seven children and two educators were killed in a school shooting in Kazan, Russia. The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have issued the following statement:
The NEU is shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific killing of seven children and two educators at School No 175 in Kazan, Russia. The families and community of School No 175 are at the forefront of our thoughts during this traumatic time.
The NEU reiterates its staunch support for safe schools: every educator and pupil has the right to teach and learn free from violence. Recent global events, including in Russia, are a stark reminder of the deadly gap between this right and the reality for many schools around the world. Governments must improve measures, including gun control, that protect pupils and teachers.
The NEU stands in solidarity with all education staff and pupils in Russia during this time of profound loss.
NEU statement on school bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan
On Saturday 8th May a bomb attack targeted Sayed Al-Shuhada school in Kabul, Afghanistan. 85 people, mostly girls, are known to have died and another 147 have been wounded. The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have issued the following statement:
The NEU condemns this heinous attack. Targeting a girls’ school is wicked and morally depraved – it is a chilling demonstration of the misogynist violence and terror perpetrated around the world every day.
No child should go to school – excited by the thought of learning and seeing friends – to never return home. We offer our deepest condolences and solidarity to the community of Sayed Al-Shuhada school.
Schools must be protected from terrorism and violence: it is a fundamental right of children and teachers to be free from harm. The NEU has long campaigned for safe schools and girls’ right to equitable education; this attack demonstrates the urgency of our demands. World leaders must act.
NEU statement on Sheikh Jarrah
“The National Education Union stands in solidarity with Palestinian families and their supporters in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. “The NEU condemns the brutal attacks by heavily-armed Israeli forces on those resisting the forced evictions of Palestinians from homes that many have lawfully lived in for generations. These evictions would result in the forcible displacement of 58 Palestinians, including 17 children, to make way for Israeli Jewish settlers. Sheik Jarrah has been home to Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Nakba who have lived in Sheik Jarrah since 1956 under an agreement between Jordan and the UN refugee agency. These evictions stand in violation of international law. “The NEU calls on the Israeli Government to withdraw its forces, halt these unlawful evictions and comply with its obligations under international law. We pledge our continued solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Trade Unions condemn state violence in Colombia
The NEU, along with trade unions in Britain and Ireland, have signed a letter which has been sent to the British Foreign Office and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs condemning the terrible violence currently taking place in Colombia. Read the letter here.
Respect the right to education and freedom of association in Haiti
The Joint General Secretaries of the National Education Union have written to Mr. Jovenel Moïse, Republic of Haiti to express their deep concern at the current security and political situation in Haiti. Read the letter here.
Stand in Solidarity with the Syrian People
Ten years ago protests erupted across Syria against the security forces' brutality and escalated into a nation-wide uprising with hundreds of thousands of people demanding a more democratic, equal and just Syria. However, with the help of external powers such as Iran and Russia the Assad regime has survived, at the cost of at least 400,000 dead and millions of refugees. Click here for more information and to add your name to the MENA Solidarity Network statement and stand with Syrian refugees against the racism and discrimination they face.
Send My Friend to School
Sign up to Send My Friend to School's 2021 campaign! Each year, thousands of NEU members, with their pupils, join the campaign to demand quality education for the world's poorest children. The campaign resources are free, designed by teachers, and built to be flexible around in-person and remote teaching. Members always provide such positive feedback on the teaching resources, including how it is a great opportunity to support young people's global citizenship education. Download the teaching resources today.
Statement of solidarity with Uyghur Women and Uyghur Muslims
The NEU has been sickened and horrified by the latest reports on the treatment of Uyghur women in “re-education” camps in China’s Xinjiang region. Systematic rape, sexual abuse, and torture have been documented in new accounts obtained by the BBC. The NEU condemns these gross violations of women’s and human rights in the strongest possible terms.
Statement of solidarity with women in Poland
Following the enforcement of a near total ban on abortion in Poland, the NEU reaffirms its commitment to women’s rights in Poland, across Europe, and around the world.
Statement of Solidarity with Indian Farmers from the National Education Union, UK
The National Education Union stands in solidarity with Indian Farmers who are fighting privatisation of the agricultural sector under new laws passed by the Indian BJP Government. This legislation threatens to roll back labour protections and bring about the deregulation of crop pricing which will leave Indian farmers at the mercy of large corporations, depressing their incomes and livelihoods. With more than 40% of the population working in agriculture, this will have a devastating impact on some of the poorest people in India.
The NEU deplores the state violence and repression meted out to farmers exercising their democratic right to protest against these new laws. There can be no justification for the use of water cannon, tear gas or beatings against peaceful protestors.
NEU members stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of farmers in India and the wider labour movement in India fighting for a just future.