ETUCE is increasingly concerned about reports from Northern Syria. Recent incursions by Turkish forces are a disaster for students, schools, education workers. The closure or destruction of schools creates chaos in children’s education, and the displacement or flight of Kurdish families will have a negative impact on schools and teachers across the region. The consequences of the current situation could last for years.

We strongly condemn the use of military force against civilian targets like schools and call for an immediate end to the violence.

The trade union movement is built on solidarity between workers around the world, anchored in human rights and democratic values. Education trade unions support teachers and other education workers who follow and promote those principles in their daily work, especially the fundamental right of every child to access a quality education in safety.

ETUCE’s European Director Susan Flocken called for peace: “War and displacement provoke huge suffering and destruction, as seen in Northern Syria following the Turkish army’s incursions. Military actions totally shatter the values we stand for and disrupt children’s education, both inside the zone under attack and in nearby areas thrown into chaos by preparations for war. ETUCE condemns the Turkish attacks in Northern Syria, especially those which hit public service institutions like schools and hospitals. We call for an immediate end to hostilities, and demand that regional and global leaders address the situation and its consequences. Peace is the only way to let pupils and teachers across the region get back to school in safety, so that every child can access the quality education that is their right.”