On the occasion of the International Migrant Day (18 December), the European Commission released a  joint statement  together with the United Nations

The 2016 ETUCE resolution on ‘Education Trade Unions on the Refugee Situation in Europe: Promoting Education as the Key to  Integration and Inclusion’, affirms education as a fundamental human right. States ought to take the necessary measures to ensure the accessibility of primary, secondary and tertiary education, which comprises colleges and universities to ensure that migrants and refugees are integrated into mainstream education facilities and have access to all ordinary education schemes.

ETUCE European Director, Ms. Susan Flocken said: “Words have to be put into action. The right to education is one of the most fundamental values of democratic societies and a right enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention. The EU and national institutions have a legal and moral obligation to guarantee full access and provision of all levels of education to migrants and refugees”. She continued “A clear EU agenda for migrant education is needed where quality and inclusive education for migrants must be the core”.

She emphasised the role of education trade unions as “key to defending and promoting the rights of teachers and education personnel among migrants and refugees, in particular, for a more diverse teaching force”.

ETUCE and its member organisations engage for teachers to receive the relevant training, support and resources to effectively teach students with a migrant or refugee background. Special emphasis lies on appropriate initial training and continuous professional development related to migrant education and pedagogical and linguistic support, psychosocial counselling and other didactic complementary actions necessary to facilitate the educational integration and development of migrant and refugee students as their native peers.

ETUCE’s commitment to migrants and refugees’ inclusion at all levels of education is one of the top priorities of the annual Standing Committee for Equality accompanied by advocacy in ETUCE position papers and statements.