The Mission and Scope of the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee
As an international organisation the IASSW strives to pursue a more just and equitable world through excellence in social work education, research and scholarship across the globe.
The focus of the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee is on advocating for and supporting education and learning in all aspects of human rights and social justice. Recognising and upholding human rights and social justice has long been accepted as a central tenant for social work and social work education reflected in the IASSW/International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) definition of social work, which acknowledges the struggle for dignity and fundamental freedoms which allow the full development of human potential. It also recognises that civil and political rights have to be accompanied by economic, social and cultural rights.
Striving to advance human rights and social justice through learning, teaching, research and scholarship to enhance the social work community to promote the critical importance of social workers and social work at the forefront of transformational practice for social development and social change. As social workers educators and researchers we acknowledge the multiple dimensions to advancing human rights and social justice. This includes strengths and rights-based approach to social work practice, within with individuals and, communities and citizens to advance their rights, to act and build networks that advance a shared, peaceful and secure future.
As social workers we recognise the multidimensional nature of ensuring and promoting human rights and social justice with people and communities where there are fragmented and alternative political and social discourses on right, responsibilities and justice. This is seen, for example, in divisions expressed in the name of religion which have led to acts of gross violation of individual, citizen and community rights through acts of terrorism and war. We need to promote human rights and social justice to ensure the equal dignity and worth of every person and to build social solidarity in the reduction of conflict, promote dialogue and work towards sustainable solutions.
The training, value system and experience of social workers requires that they take professional responsibility for promoting human rights and social justice and in working with other professions and non-governmental organisations in actions on human rights and social justice issues. It also recognises the importance of social work, social workers and social work educators as knowledge builders, brokers and convenors to highlight and progress the human rights of all citizens. The mission of social work and social work education to promote human rights and social justice is inextricably linked as universal and politically relevant approaches where there is a concern for structural, economic, political and social impacts on citizens. the interrelationship for social work for these concepts and actions that are required to promote rights, responsibilities and justice for citizens, communities and countries.
The Human Rights and Social Justice Committee is the prompting and development approaches to human rights and social justice in and across the social work curricula and in social work research.
- We encourage, promote and facilitate opportunities for Human Rights and Social Justice informed curricula.
We aim to encourage and promote:
- examples and ideas of learning and teaching materials on human rights and social justice from educators and universities that could be shared across the social work academic community.
- opportunities to encourage, promote and facilitate opportunities for Human Rights (and Social Justice) curriculum consultancy on design and delivery through the expertise of the Committee and others; and
- attendance at meetings/Conferences to promote and support human rights and social justice) social work education and learning.
- We encourage social work educators and researchers to raise global and local human right and social justice example of promotion and violations affecting social work educators, practitioners and students.
This should be achieved through the Regional Groups of School of Social Work addressing regional concerns for violation and where there is a (potential) global impact this will be highlighted within the IASSW Committee for discussion and action. Details of the contacts for regional groups can be found on this website.
- We aim to co-ordinate broader campaigns, petitions, coalitions promoting human rights and social justice.
We aim to strengthen the profile of members and the IASSW as being a key partner in the promotion of relevant international/national agendas for human rights and social justice and in working with other global relevant associations. The presence of the IASSW at the United Nations is an acknowledgment of this.
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