The Association of Iraqi Academics (AIA) has issued a warning against the repeal of the law that allows Iraqi academics to conduct union activities. She has also called for solidarity with them and support for their rights of association and organization.
The Iraqi Parliamentary Education Committee decided to repeal Law 60 of 2017, which lays down the legal grounds for Iraqi scholars to organize and conduct union activities.
Legal challenge instead of abolition
AIA reiterated that it broke no law. And it has highlighted that a Federal Supreme Court case is the legal avenue for the parliamentary education committee to challenge this particular law – rather than arbitrarily and undemocratically abolishing the academics union.
The Parliamentary Education Committee claims that Law 60 overlaps with other education laws used to organize the work and activities of other education unions. However, the AIA has determined that there is no other educational union other than the Iraqi Teachers Union (ITU) open to primary and secondary school / college teachers. Since the AIA's membership is aimed at university lecturers and academics, its goals and responsibilities are very different from those of the ITU.
Right to organize recognized
The Education Union also affirms that open and democratic societies require workers to organize themselves openly and free from state interference, and that the Iraqi Constitution guarantees these rights, which are also recognized internationally.
It calls on the Iraqi authorities to respect and comply with the country's constitution. She also calls for the immediate repeal of the decision to abolish the Union and for solidarity with Iraqi academics.
The UK-based AIA is independent and committed to promoting human rights and democracy in Iraq. It was established to protect the interests of Iraqi academics abroad and in Iraq after the national context forced academics to flee the country and support their counterparts who had stayed in their homeland. It is supported by the member organizations of Education International in Iraq, the ITU and the Kurdistan Teachers 'Union (KTU), as well as NASUWT-The Teachers'. Union, a subsidiary of Education International in the UK.
Sectarian Divisions in Higher Education
In addition, Education International was informed that sectarian struggles put the Iraqi education system in general under severe pressure, with the higher education sector particularly at risk.
In addition to direct violence against educational institutions and targeted murders of students and academics, sectarian divisions affected the university sector and put pressure on students and university employees of opposing groups.
These groups interfered in many aspects of university life such as admissions, recruitment, course content, and physical security on campus.
Hundreds of academics were murdered and the Department of Education recorded thousands of attacks against universities.