High human rights award goes to schooling chief

The previous Secretary Basic of the Alliance of Involved Academics (ACT) within the Philippines has been named as recipient of a prime worldwide prize for commerce union rights.


France Castro, a prime commerce union activist within the Philippines, has been named because the recipient of  the Arthur Svensson Worldwide Prize for Commerce Union Rights 2019. Castro, who’s the Secretary Basic of the Alliance of Involved Academics (ACT), is famend within the commerce union world for her tireless defence of human rights within the Philippines. Certainly, her advocacy for human rights has additionally led to harassment of her as a consequence.

Castro was named as we speak by Sharan Burrow, Basic Secretary of the Worldwide Commerce Union Confederation (ITUC).


The Philippines is among the many 10 worst nations on this planet for employees and commerce unionists, in line with the ITUC. Fundamental employees’ rights usually are not revered, together with the appropriate to organise and collectively discount and to be protected in opposition to youngster labour, discrimination and compelled labour. In opposition to a background of state violence and suppression of civil liberties, employees and commerce unionists face threats and intimidation from the regime when defending their rights.

Castro and a few of her colleagues on the ACT are amongst lively commerce unionists, specifically journalists and academics, who’ve been focused, harassed and prosecuted by the Duterte regime. Some activists have been killed or imprisoned and dying threats are widespread. Throughout a current keynote speech on the Government Board of Schooling Worldwide (EI), one in all Castro’s colleagues highlighted current unlawful profiling and vilification of unionised academics by the police. This has resulted in important disruption of union actions and the invasion of academics’ privateness.

Castro’s instance

Castro has turn into an emblem for democracy and employees’ rights in her nation. A professional instructor, she established an schooling union in Quezon Metropolis, simply north-east of the capital, Manila. Later, she was elected Secretary Basic of the ACT, which is a member of EI, and targeted on uniting academics inside one commerce union.

Beneath her management, the ACT has rapidly grown to turn into one of many largest commerce unions within the Philippines. In 2016, it negotiated the primary collective settlement for public college academics, which recognises the appropriate to strike.

As an elected Member of the Philippine Home of Representatives, Castro has fought in opposition to neoliberal reforms in schooling and filed payments for the rights and welfare of schooling employees. She has additionally fought in opposition to reducing the minimal age of felony duty, the necessary Reserve Officer Coaching Corps in senior highschool and focusing on of minors within the regime’s anti-drug conflict.

She and her union have lengthy been engaged within the defence of indigenous folks’s proper to schooling, activism that led to her being attacked by paramilitary forces and detained throughout a solidarity mission in Lumad colleges in Talaingod final November.

The Arthur Svensson prize is granted to an individual or an organisation that has labored predominantly to advertise commerce union rights and/or to strengthen commerce union organising around the globe. The prize is a global award established by the Norwegian commerce union, Industri Energi. It’s awarded yearly by the Committee for the Arthur Svensson Worldwide Prize for Commerce Union Rights.

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