11.05.2012
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ESU finds worldwide support for Chilean students

BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) has successfully rallied for international support to their statement on the repression of Chilean students who are fighting for educational reforms in their country. National and regional blocks of student unions from Asia, the Pacific, Africa, Latin-America, Russia, the United States and Turkey (*) are now backing ESU in their solidarity actions.

ESU, the umbrella organisation for 47 national unions, adopted a Statement on the Chilean student repression at its Board Meeting in Bucharest on 23 April, which has now been signed by the international student movement community as well. Camila Vallejo, spokesperson of the Chilean student movement Confech showed herself very happy with this:  “It is so important to receive European student support. We are really thankful for this.”

The solidarity statement sets out that in the past few months Chilean students have protested to achieve what rightfully should be theirs but have faced threats, intimidation and violence in their quest for reforms in higher education. The statement condemns the methods used by the Chilean police during the demonstrations of students and states that there is ‘clear evidence of students` rights being violated’.

Background

In August 2011, many Chilean students protested against the current situation in Chile. Public funding of higher education in Chile is below the OECD average and the full costs of studying, including tuition fees and living expenses, falls on students and their families who often cannot afford this. (see: http://esu-online.org/news/article/6001/524/ ). The demonstrations have been ongoing throughout the year with around 50.000 Chilean students taking the streets of Santiago on 25 April, during which violence was again reported by the BBC.

The international support statement concludes: “As representatives of the students from all over the world we give our strongest support and our solidarity to the Chilean students”.

— END —

For more information, please contact:

Allan Päll, ESU Chairperson: +32 479591499 // allan@esu-online.org

Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 // marianne@esu-online.org

 

(*) Asian Pacific Students and Youth Association, All-African Student Union, Organizacion Continental Latinoamericana y Caribena de Estudiantes, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Russian Students Union, United States Students Association, National Student Union in Brazil, Turkish Student Council

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