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Myanmar

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.

Save Silwan

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. Read the NEU statement about Silwan here. 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. Read the report, Hope Under the Rubble, here.

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.

Demolitions and evictions of families in Silwan, East Jerusalem

The National Education Union (NEU) condemns the evictions of Palestinian families and demolitions of their homes and properties in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, that begun on 29 June and the attacks on those defending their homes by heavily-armed Israeli state forces. We further condemn the continuing threat of eviction and home demolition facing other Palestinian families in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

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.

We call on the British Govt and international community to pressure the Israeli Government to halt these demolitions and for a positive move towards a just peace.

Write to your MP on the UK aid cuts

Boris Johnson's government is presiding over the most draconian cuts on record to UK aid - over £4bn. Education is being hit hard with cuts of over 40%. This will have a devastating impact on the education, health, and wellbeing of the world’s poorest children. Lives are at risk. 

MPs could get to vote on the aid cuts this week. Please write to your MP and ask them to urge the Government to reverse the cuts. 

Dominic Raab: don’t cut aid to Burmese people in their greatest hour of need

Burma Campaign UK is calling on the British government to reverse cuts in international aid, and to protect the aid budget for Burma in light of the military coup and growing humanitarian crisis in the country. Burma Campaign UK has launched a public campaign to lobby against the aid cuts.

Read more and take action.

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.

Israel/Palestine: NEU calls for de-escalation, protection for civilians and solidarity with Palestinian children and families

The NEU is deeply concerned for the safety and welfare of children in the Gaza Strip. Israeli air strikes have caused the death of 119 Palestinians, including 31 children, in recent days. With tanks massing on the Gaza border, the media is reporting that the Israeli military has confirmed it is preparing plans for a ground offensive.

The people of Gaza have few places to shelter from the bombardment. Children and families are reportedly sheltering in schools run by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). These must be treated as safe havens to ensure that there are no further civilian deaths or injuries.

We call on both sides to de-escalate this conflict and agree an immediate ceasefire. However, we recognise that the recent conflict was sparked by the unlawful evictions of Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah and the attacks by Israeli forces on the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The NEU calls on the Israeli Government to withdraw its tanks from the Gaza border and cease its shelling of the territory, desist from further unlawful evictions in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, and comply with its obligations under international law. Likewise Hamas must end its rocket launches which have caused the deaths of nine Israelis and continue to threaten Jewish civilians. All Palestinians and Israelis have the right to live in peace and security.

The international community must take immediate and urgent steps to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

We stand in solidarity with Palestinian children and their families.

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.”

NEU member’s lessons to boost worldwide vaccine take-up go global

A London science teacher whose pupils were worried about the safety of vaccines has developed a lesson plan to tackle misconceptions and vaccine hesitancy which has gone global. NEU member Ed Stubbs, a science teacher at Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets, developed a series of lessons after hearing students talk about vaccine conspiracy theories. His school serves the area of east London known as the “Covid triangle” which has seen some of the highest levels of coronavirus vaccine hesitancy in the country. Read the full article here.

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.

The Britain Palestine Friendship and Twinning Network

Would you like to show your solidarity for the people of Palestine in a genuine, personal and meaningful way - if so, why not think about joining or starting a friendship or twinning link with a group or community in Palestine? There are already over thirty of these groups and links across the UK - so you could join one that already exists or begin your own, with full support from The Britain Palestine Friendship & Twinning Network (BPFTN). For more information please get in touch by email or visit the website.

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.

Protect UK Aid to Yemen

Years of conflict in Yemen has led to failing systems and the added pressure of the pandemic has pushed the population to famine. The UK Government’s decision to drastically cut humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen last week could be the difference between life and death for millions of people. Please ask your members to Call on the Prime Minister to protect aid to Yemen. 

Sign the petition

Support Women's and Human Rights in Iran

CODIR (Committee for the Defence of Iranian People's Rights) are appealing to the trade union and labour movement in the UK to challenge the Iranian regime's "intensified crackdown against women's right defenders in Iran". View the story and how you can take action

The Joint General Secretaries have written to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran requesting they urge the government of Iran to protect women's rights by taking immediate steps to end gender-based oppression in Iran; end the violent suppression of women's rights activists; and release all political prisoners immediately. Read the letter here.

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.

Abolition of the Association of Iraqi Academics

The Iraqi Parliamentary Education Committee has arbitrarily and unlawfully abolished the Association of Iraqi Academics (AIA). The AIA is the trades union of university lectures and academics. It is perceived as a threat by the enemies of democracy in Iraq. Please find below a statement published by the Association of Iraqi Academics – UK. There is a fear that the abolition of the AIA is the precursor of a further attack on trades union and human rights in Iraq. Please write to the Iraqi Ambassador in London and call on them to urge the Iraqi Parliamentary Education Committee and the Iraqi Government to respect Human and Trades Union Rights in Iraq and to rescind the decision to abolish the Association of Iraqi Academics. A template email can be found below.

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.

  • Read the NEU's statement of solidarity

    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. Systematic persecution by the Chinese state means that Uyghur women are also facing incarceration in internment camps, physical and mental torture, and forced sterilisation.

    The NEU condemns these gross violations of women’s and human rights in the strongest possible terms. Attacks on women’s rights anywhere represent attacks on women’s rights everywhere. The international community must act and defend these most basic human rights.

    The barbaric treatment of Uyghur women is occurring amid the persecution of over one million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Clear evidence of human rights abuses includes mass internment, forced labour, political re-education, forcible separation of children from their families, and torture.

    As a trade union, we are dedicated to the advancement of human rights. The international community must act to end these heinous abuses and secure the full, unequivocal realisation of human rights for Uyghur Muslims in China.

    Mary Bousted & Kevin Courtney

    Joint General Secretaries

    NEU

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.

  • Read the NEU's statement of solidarity

    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.

    The decision in Poland represents a dark and dangerous roll back on women’s rights. Every woman has a right to complete autonomy over decisions that involve their body.

    In Poland, some 200,000 women are already forced into precarious illegal abortions or are made to travel abroad for the procedure. Rulings such as those by the Polish Constitutional Tribunal do not prevent abortion, they only serve to damage women’s health and rights by pushing abortions underground. This denies women their right to choose and to be provided with safe abortions.

    This ruling is the latest in a series of systematic and orchestrated attacks on women’s rights, with human rights abuses becoming all too frequent, both in Poland and across Europe, as outlined by the TUC’s recent report.

    The NEU stands in solidarity with those mobilising in Poland against this attack on women’s rights and is inspired by the tens of thousands who have poured onto the streets in protest. We share their indignation.

    It is a woman’s right to choose. The NEU stands united with women across Poland and will continue to fight for gender equality around the world.


    Mary Bousted & Kevin Courtney

    Joint General Secretaries

    NEU

Make any Covid-19 vaccine affordable for all

COVID-19 vaccines are a crucial tool in helping end this pandemic and they should be a global public good, patent-free, produced in mass quantities by as many manufacturers as possible and affordable to all countries. Call on the UK government to ensure that any vaccine developed with public money is made affordable and available to all. And urge them to work globally so that any vaccine reaches the most vulnerable everywhere.

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.

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney
Joint General Secretaries
NEU

The impact of Brexit on the Roma Community – Important Information

Within the UK and across Europe, Roma remain a vulnerable and marginalised group. Among eastern European Roma families there is a great deal of fear and confusion about the impact that Brexit could have on their right to remain in the UK. If you teach the children of Roma families or know of Roma children in your schools please take a look at our important information document. This document aims to support you in assisting your eastern European Roma families to take the necessary steps to remain lawfully resident in the UK. It also signposts the support agencies where they can receive further advice and support. Read the document here.