In its meeting on 18 September 2015, the ETUCE Bureau adopted the statement “Refugees & Education: Human rights for all,” demanding European governments to urgently provide access to education to all refugee children, young people and adults. The statement also encourages the teacher unions to play an active role in ensuring the provision of quality education for all.

In the midst of conflict, education is often seen as a luxury for refugees. However, the ETUCE Bureau points out, education is a fundamental human right, one that is vital in restoring hope and dignity to people driven from their homes. Among the refugees are also families and unaccompanied children who disembark in Europe after losing everything. They need to be welcomed into a safe and caring environment. Education helps marginalised children, young people and adults to get back on their feet, lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully in communities and society with a view of building a better future.

ETUCE points to the major role that educational institutions, school communities, teachers and teacher unions play in helping refugees see their human rights and dignity fully respected, independently of their legal status and in accordance with international law.

‘It is the responsibility of governments and education authorities in Europe to support teachers especially in this situation and to ensure that teachers are not left on their own with this huge task, affirmed Martin Rømer, the European Director of ETUCE. “ETUCE and its member organisations strongly appeal to governments in Europe to do everything in their power to respect, protect and fulfil the right to education for refugee children.”

To read the statement, please click here.

More information on activities carried out by ETUCE member organisations in this field, can be found at:

http://www.gew.de/flucht-und-asyl/

http://www.vbe-nds.de/de/presse/2015/08/VBE-zur-Beschulung-von-Fluechtlingskindern-70908.php

http://www.educationpourtous.com/2015/09/mettre-l-education-au-coeur-des-programmes-d-accueil-des-refugies.html

http://snuipp.fr/IMG/pdf/FSC_415_OK.pdf