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On the global stage

This annual publication details the international work of the NEU over the past year.



This annual publication details the international work of the NEU over the past year. The global challenges that our sister unions and their members have experienced in this period are immeasurable: humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza; devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria; and a rise in attacks on schools and staff in many countries. 

In response, our union has acted on the urgent calls of our sister unions, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to support relief efforts, and worked with allies to uphold human rights. 

Responding to the uncertain and fragile future that our colleagues face, the international strategy for the period 2023– 2027 is organised around four thematic priorities and three priority countries. It will allow the union to continue to work in partnership with our sister unions and other allies to campaign for progress so that all children can realise their right to education and educators are better valued. 

A rights-based approach is at the heart of this work, and the NEU will champion human rights, children’s rights, and trade union rights. We will also seek to improve the understanding of human rights among educators at home and abroad. 

A key priority will be accelerating progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) so that every child receives an inclusive, quality, public education. This includes working with allies, including Education International, to advance education financing, resist privatisation, and shape the policies that affect our profession around the world. 

Equality—including gender, race, disability, and LGBT+ equality—will be central across all our international work. Recent years have seen a rowing back on women’s rights across the world, particularly in Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. The NEU will support sister unions in countries where these rights are under attack and work with partners to ensure that women’s rights and gender equality are respected and advanced. 

Our fourth thematic priority covers how we work with our sister unions to ensure that they are strong, independent, sustainable, and operate free from repression. This includes providing financial solidarity and supporting advocacy when they experience humanitarian crises and other threats, including violence and persecution. 

None of this would be achievable without members’ commitment to international solidarity. Our strong network of international solidarity officers is growing in every region and nation of the union. These fantastic and inspiring members are building the resources and skills to lead organising, campaigning, and advocacy on so many international issues. 

Together we are stronger in this collective struggle. Human rights really matter, and this is such vital trade union work. 

Globe drawing with child's hands


Internationalism sits at the heart of the National Education Union’s values. As an education trade union, we believe that defending human rights, including trade union rights and the right to education, must be a global endeavour.

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