What is IFWEA?
To promote and advance the education of the democratic labour movement. To further free and voluntary education work according to the principles of solidarity and co-operation, justice and equality, democracy and freedom.
Who is IFWEA?
We are worker educators, providing education to trade unions (on a national, regional and global level) and member-based associations in worker communities. These associations include labour support NGOs; workers’ colleges; adult education units at universities which provide adult education on work/social issues; and community-based organisations dealing with class and work-related social issues. We have affiliates in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nepal, New Zealand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, India, Cambodia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Belgium, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela and the United States of America.
IFWEA during the Covid-19 pandemic
IFWEA has been developing experience and expertise in interactive online education methods for over a decade. This enabled us to take a leading role in assisting our global knowledge community cope with the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Why is IFWEA important?
For more than 70 years IFWEA has provided a global space for workers to share resources and deepen their understanding of the transformative role of trade union and community struggles. Workers’ education is based on the rights of adults to lifelong learning as a cornerstone of democracy. Working people need to stay abreast of current political trends, they need to use their political participation to maximum effect, they need to develop democratic worker organisations, and they need access to tools for education. We play a major role in promoting global solidarity through worker education.
Sharing digital skills
IFWEA and affiliates share democratic, participatory online communication and education skills that worker educators can practically use to connect with workers and communities. Digital learning offers the advantages of low costs and a wider audience.
How We Work
IFWEA’s highest decision making body is the International General Conference, which meets every four years and elects the General Secretary, President and Executive Committee. IFWEA held its 23rd General Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019. IFWEA has a current membership of 34 drawn from 25 countries in Europe, Asia/Pacific, Africa and North and South America. The IFWEA Secretariat is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and acts as a global hub. IFWEA’s website and Online Labour Academy (OLA) enable resources to be shared globally, while video conferencing facilities, internships and exchange visits promote universal democratic rights.
IFWEA has observer status with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and shares mutual membership with SOLIDAR in Brussels, Belgium.