ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality 2024: Education for inclusion and bringing together against separation and hate


Unity in Action: The ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality gathers in Brussels to tackle education's role in bridging divides and fostering inclusive societies across Europe. Discover the groundbreaking strategies from over 40 experts striving to enhance diversity, support teachers, and uphold democratic values in our schools 

An increasing number of people in Europe experience the sense of isolation and disconnection, especially in education institutions where they should be learning about actively participating and contributing to society. How to ensure that governments and politicians do not use the classroom as a battlefield for their political ideas and education for separating people and inciting hatred among them? In the framework of the upcoming ETUCE Conference 2024 and leading up to European elections, the ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality discussed the role of education in creating inclusive and peaceful societies to prevent education from being exploited for sowing discord and undermining democratic values.  

More than 40 education trade union experts from across Europe convened in Brussels for the Standing Committee for Equality to discuss and collaborate on advancing equality and inclusion in education. The key point of this Committee was to share good practices on implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 2021-2024 to conclude on how to continue to support teachers and to help improve the education system to strengthen values of democracy and equality. The members presented their good practices on enhancing diversity in the teaching profession, how to protect the right to education of indigenous people, on women in education addressing violence, and on supporting refugee children from Ukraine in education. Many of the ETUCE member organisations initiatives are available on ETUCE’s Online Database of Good Practices

In the lead up to the ETUCE Conference 2024, the members provided input to the new ETUCE Work Programme 2025 – 2028 on the topics of equality, inclusion, human rights and democracy and made suggestions regarding the organisation of the future Standing Committee for Equality meetings.  

The panel discussion on the “right to teaching and learning in a safe environment” brought together the perspectives of education trade unions, parents, and students to discuss the issue of hate speech and increasing violence in education institutions across Europe. Emphasising the importance of teachers’ well-being as a pre-requisite for the well-being of students, the members of the Committee highlighted the need for further public funding and resources in order to build inclusive and safe learning and teaching environments that nourish an education for building peaceful and inclusive societies. Furthermore, the Standing Committee members were inspired by presentations from equality experts from the Education International Latin America region (Gabriela Bonilla) and from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Dr Mira Fey) speaking about trade unions defending rights of LGBTI workers.