Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis, with people across the country living in increasingly harsh and dangerous conditions and millions of refugees moving across Europe.

At the recent meeting of EIS Council, the President opened the meeting by condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and re-affirming the Institute’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Council also approved a decision to donate £50,000 from EIS funds to support the Education International Ukraine solidarity fund, which is aimed at supporting child refugees arriving in neighbouring countries.

Educators around the world stand with the people of Ukraine and condemn Russia’s act of war.

Joint EI-ETUCE statement on Ukraine

Ignoring global pleas for peace and diplomacy, Russia has launched an unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Education International stands in solidarity with the teachers, students, and people of Ukraine and calls on the international community to stop the bloodshed and do their utmost to avoid a catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Educators around the world stand with the people of Ukraine and condemn Russia’s act of war.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is unacceptable. Educators across the world stand with our colleagues, students, and communities in Ukraine and denounce the invasion. The conflict has already cost 14,000 lives since 2014, wounding thousands and displacing 1.5 million people. The violence must stop. The international community must stand united in the face of this aggression and support Ukraine’s right to choose its future,” stated David Edwards, Education International General Secretary.

Susan Flocken, Director of ETUCE, the European Region of Education International said, “Teachers, academics and their unions in Europe are shocked by the military intervention of the Russian Federation in the sovereign state of the Ukraine. ETUCE condemns the attack of Russia on the Ukraine and expresses its strong support and profound solidarity with colleagues, teachers, academics and students and all people of Ukraine. The lives of millions of people are at stake. War and invasion should never happen in contemporary societies where people employ words and not arms to reach a settlement. The invasion must cease.”

We have engaged with member organisations in Russia and Ukraine to stress the importance of dialogue and of preserving the values of education and peace.

We affirm our unwavering commitment to our member organisations in Ukraine – the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (TUESWU) and the Free Trade Union of Education and Science of Ukraine (VPONU).

In their statement, TUESWU which represents 1.4 million education workers in Ukraine, emphasised “That this aggressive scenario will have catastrophic humanitarian consequences, but would also significantly undermine the country’s economy. Millions of jobs could be destroyed, and the destruction of educational institutions, social services, and the economy would lead to poverty and destitution. Social welfare and respect for workers’ rights would no longer be on the agenda.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian sovereign territory is a flagrant violation of international law that will result in the tragic loss of human life and threatens not only the security of Ukraine, but of the entire region. The far-reaching consequences of this act of war cannot be understated.

The people of Ukraine have a right to a future free of violence and war. They have the sovereign right to democratically decide their future as a nation. The world must stand with them and redouble efforts to ensure peace in the country and on the continent.

It is a time to address the serious problems of the region based on building peace rather than waging war and destruction.

EI URGENT ACTION APPEAL: Support for our colleagues from Ukraine

In the early hours of 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops that has already accounted for many deaths among the civilian population, including children, and massive destruction of the country’s infrastructure. As Ukrainian people are resisting the invasion, we stand in solidarity with them and condemn this attack as an act of barbarism and a breach of international law.

The brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine is not just a local or regional conflict and a violation of the UN Charter. It is also a struggle between dictatorship and democracy. Its ultimate resolution will affect all of us and shape the world for generations to come.

We as Education International have to stand up in such times, not only for our members, but for the general principles of the global community, such as the right to self-determination, freedom of association and above all – the right to quality education, free of oppression, discrimination, and indoctrination. These rights, in addition to the right to live, are under attack right now.

How you can help

Education International is calling on member organisations to support colleagues from Ukraine by doing the following:

Lobby your national governments to offer support to Ukraine and work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Contribute solidarity financial assistance to help TUESWU and VPONU members who are in still in Ukraine or were forced to flee the country and are now refugees. Please send your contributions to the TUESWU and VPONU Solidarity Fund to the following account:

Education International ING Bank
24, Avenue Marnix
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Account number: 310-1006170-75
IBAN code: BE05 3101 0061 7075
Swift code: BBRUBEBB

With the following label: TUESWU and VPONU

Promote our Declaration Schools Shall be Safe Sanctuaries and the right for students, teachers and education support personnel, as well as schools and education institutions to be protected from violent political and military attack.

Mobilise and support your members to actively fight disinformation, address concerns about the conflict among students, and teach the truth about Ukrainian and European history, as well as the importance of democracy, freedom, and solidarity.