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Benin News Alert

Benin: National teacher strike Jan. 23-25 /update 4

Education sector employees launch a nationwide 72-hour strike January 23

23 Jan 09:34 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 1/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/26/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Porto-Novo). COUNTRY/REGION Benin
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Event

Public-sector employees working in education launched a 72-hour strike on Tuesday, January 23, to protest the late December passage of a law prohibiting public-sector employees from striking. Despite the fact that the Constitutional Court upheld the right to strike in a decision released on January 19, the education unions have maintained their movement to also demand better working conditions, e.g. financial and administrative regulation for teachers.

Context

Beninese lawmakers passed the controversial piece of legislation on December 28, according to which public security forces, health officials, and judiciary officials would have been prohibited from organizing or participating in strikes. Public-sector employees working in education, health, administration, and transportation (ports) launched a first 72-hour strike on January 16 to protest the law.

There has been mounting discontent among the Beninese population in recent months over the perceived poor management of the country by President Patrice Talon. Benin is currently facing a severe economic crisis, with unemployment at record highs and purchasing power at its lowest in recent memory. As such, civil servant strikes and protests have become common in recent months.

Advice

Individuals in Benin are advised to monitor developments to the situation, to anticipate disruptions at schools, and to avoid any related protests due to the risk of violence. 

On a more general note, some Western governments advise against travel to the far north of the country - including areas along the Nigerien and Burkinabé borders - due to security concerns.

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