News & Events


"Refreshing, enlightening and extremely interesting"

Issued on March 01, 2011 at 03:08 PM

GSC 5.14 - The new Global Solidarity Champions in Dublin on the 19th of February 2011.
The new Global Solidarity Champions in Dublin on the 19th of February 2011.

Succesful Global Solidarity Champions course

- This course is refreshing, enlightening and extremely interesting, said Barbara Oskoz, CPSU, after attending the Global Solidarity Champions course. And her colleague Brian Sheridan added;
- The course has definitely broadened my horizon to such an extent that I would feel guilty if I didn't bring the information back to the union members to encourage them to become more aware and proactive on the issues of Global Solidarity.

The 5th Global Solidarity Champions courses ended on the 19th of February in Dublin. Ten new Global Solidarity Champions received their certificates. So far 50 trade unionists in the Republic have taken part in the course. The course is the main tool in Congress' development education programme, which also includes the Global Solidarity summer schools.

The development education component in the Global Solidarity programme is funded by Irish Aid.
- Without the funding from Irish Aid it would impossible for Congress to keep both the quality and the quantity of the development education programme, comments Stellan Hermansson who, as Global Solidarity Officer in ICTU, developed and runs the programme.

Interlinked programme

Each training course has been evaluated by the participants and contributes to developing a more comprehensive and interlinked programme. Today the course covers many different issues but the structure of each day tries to logically link things together.

The first day, of the latest three day intensive course, is a concrete example. It started with a discussion about what global solidarity and equality means to each of the participants and if there is a difference between charity and solidarity. These questions lead to a fruitful ideological debate.

In the afternoon the participants listened to a vivid presentation of the International Labour Organisation by Nick Grisewood, who is the Executive Director of the Global March against Child Labour. Nick Grisewood's interactive teaching engaged the participants in a dynamic debate. The role and importance of ILO was clarified as well as the problems that ILO has to make the important conventions a reality in the globalised labour market. He was followed by the Colombian trade union lawyer Miguel Puerto of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights, who spoke about the very difficult social and political situation in Colombia and the importance of international solidarity to change things to the better.


The programme of the latest course included the following themes and speakers:

- Irish Aid, policy and the support to ILO projects, Maire Matthews, Irish Aid.

- ILO and Core Labour Standards, Nick Grisewood Executive Director of the Global March against Child Labour

- The example Colombia, Miguel Puerto, The International Centre for Trade Union Rights

- World Trade/WTO and the international trade union movement, Michael O'Brien, Trocaire and John O'Brien, INTO

- Globalisation and exploitation, Clean Clothes Campaign representatives.

- Fair Trade, John Daly Fair Trade Mark Ireland

- Trafficking and Forced Labour, Nusha Yonkova, Immigrants Council Ireland, Sandra Dzumbira Domestic Workers Action Group, Helen Lowry Migrants Rights Centre Ireland

- Climate Change and the trade union movement, Gavin Hart, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

Would you like to join the next course?

We hope to organise two more Global Solidarity courses in October and December 2011.
Please contact the Global Solidarity Officer if you are interested to participate.