ULFA Support for CAUT Emergency Resolution on Gaza

Dear Members,

ULFA has heard serious concerns from its Members about the conflict in Gaza, the immense scale of human suffering, and the attacks on schools and universities in particular. The ULFA Executive has previously issued statements about academic freedom and student freedom of expression with regard to Gaza. Being a member organization of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is one way in which our work is connected to matters of national and international concern. Following a review of the emergency resolution brought forward at the April 2024 CAUT Council the ULFA Executive is providing its support for this motion, and would like to bring it to the attention of our Members. Please see the entire motion below. Further, the ULFA Executive will be exploring ways to support the Scholars at Risk program, of which the University of Lethbridge has been an institutional Member following the efforts of the late Dr. Gülden Özcan. 


The ULFA Executive

Resolution from the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA)

MOVED: Mount Allison Faculty Association

SECONDED: University of Winnipeg Faculty Association



WHEREAS the imminent threat of an incursion into Rafah and the significant barriers that continue to exist for people trying to leave Gaza meet the criteria for a CAUT Council emergency resolution.

WHEREAS CAUT By-Law Number 1 identifies several core CAUT functions including the defence of academic freedom and the establishment and maintenance of international relations with Academic staff in other countries (s. 2.2).

WHEREAS CAUT identifies one of its core values as promoting civil liberties, recognizes that academic freedom rests upon a broader foundation of freedom of expressions and respect for civil liberties, and is committed to protecting and expanding human rights and civil liberties in Canada and beyond.

WHEREAS on November 2019, the CAUT Social Justice Policy Statement was approved by CAUT Council and reads:

CAUT is committed to social justice as a dynamic goal of all societies. Social justice includes, but is not limited to, respect for the human rights, democratic rights, Indigenous and treaty rights, civil liberties, and sexual and reproductive rights of all individuals, without discrimination. It includes climate justice, and equitable treatment under the law and equitable access to adequate essentials of daily living, health care, education, and other public services, as well as to meaningful work. All individuals, groups and institutions have an obligation to promote social justice.

The absence of social justice both in Canada and around the world undermines the ability of university and college academic staff to fulfil effectively their public obligation to teach, research and disseminate knowledge.

WHEREAS on November 22, 2023, CAUT issued a public statement on academic freedom in times of conflict which recognizes that “it is during times when political threats to academic freedom intensify, that the need for academic staff to contribute to public discourse becomes even more important” and that “if institutions fail to defend academics from illegal harassment or true threats, they violate their obligation to uphold academic freedom.”

WHEREAS the systematic destruction of the post-secondary education system in Gaza is not only a clear threat to academic freedom, it also undermines the ability of Palestinian academic staff to fulfill effectively their public obligation to teach, research, and disseminate knowledge.

WHEREAS on October 20, 2023, the General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) – the largest trade union federation in the world – called for a ceasefire by all parties and the return of all hostages and people held in Gaza and Israel without legitimate legal basis to their homes.

WHEREAS in November 2023, Education International (EI) – representing 32 million teachers in 178 countries who are part of 383 member organizations including the General Union of Palestinian Teachers (GUPT) and the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUPPE) – called on the international community to push for the implementation of a humanitarian ceasefire to stop the killing of students, teachers, and all civilians in Gaza.

WHEREAS in January 2024, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Executive Committee voted unanimously to support the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

WHEREAS on February 14, 2024 the American Association of University Teachers (AAUP) joined the labour movement’s call for an immediate ceasefire and end to the siege of Gaza. 


BE IT RESOLVED that CAUT calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

BE IT RESOLVED that CAUT calls on Canadian universities to support the Scholars at Risk and Palestinian Students and Scholars at Risk Programs.

BE IT RESOLVED that CAUT calls on the Canadian government to restructure and operationalize the temporary visa program for Palestinians.

BE IT RESOLVED that CAUT calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and detainees unlawfully held in Gaza and Israel and for both parties to adhere to standards of international law and Geneva Convention rules of warfare concerning the welfare and security of civilians.

BE IT RESOLVED that CAUT calls for access to adequate essentials of daily living, health care, education, and other public services to be immediately restored in Gaza and that foreign nationals and Palestinians requiring medical care be allowed to leave Gaza.

BE IT RESOLVED that the CAUT Executive Committee will take all reasonable steps to support academics and their families displaced by this conflict.