Education International, along with other global trade union federations and the International Trade Union Confederation, welcomes the release of Hong Kong's leading trade union leader from prison and condemns the continued harassment of trade unionists, including in the education sector, by the public.
Carol Ng, President of the Hong Kong Trade Union Confederation (HKCTU), was released on January 8, the day after her arrest, following rapid international mobilization. She said, “As a union fighter, I have known for many years why I have committed myself to my trade union role and why Union struggle. I will continue doing what I should be doing as a union leader and as a Hong Kong resident. "
Ng was arrested by local police along with 52 other activists for allegedly violating national security law and attempting to "overthrow" the government by holding primary elections for pro-democracy candidates in the 2020 election.
Serious violation of basic human rights
"These arrests represent a grave violation of fundamental human rights, particularly freedom of expression and association, and a clear rejection of democratic values," said David Edwards, general secretary of Education International. "We urge the Hong Kong authorities to act immediately to release all detained activists and the Hong Kong and China governments to repeal this horrific law."
In the education sector, Education International particularly condemns the decertification of two teachers and attempts by the authorities to suppress critical thinking by restricting curricula in subjects for liberal studies at upper secondary level.
Ongoing harassment of unionized workers
In July 2020, Education International signed the Global Union Council's Joint Declaration of Solidarity calling for justice for Lee Cheuk Yan – arrested HKCTU general secretary – and calling on the Hong Kong authorities to protect the fundamental rights of their citizens.
The global trade union community will continue to closely monitor the human and trade union rights situation in this country.