The Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe has been recognised for its fight for the welfare of civil servants by the Front Line Defenders (FLD), also knowns as The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
ARTUZ was on Thursday recognised among other four rights defenders from Afghanistan, Belarus, Sudan and Mexico by the Irish-based human rights organisation. FLD said in a statement:
In 2015, ARTUZ launched the safe schools campaign to prevent schools from being used as political means.
In 2018, the union sued the electoral commission for denying teachers the right to vote during elections.
In the past 12 months, the union handled 132 cases of teachers who were forcibly transferred for being members of the union. 220 members have been arrested, detained and beaten by state security forces.
In January 2022, 16 teachers who were part of a group of peaceful protestors protesting for a living wage were beaten, arrested and incarcerated. They were released on bail on January 17, 2022.
FLD also commended ARTUZ for pushing for the adoption of the Education Equalisation Fund, which would support young girls and pregnant girls in receiving an education.