News Update from the UN Team:

IASSW UN Team Presents on Social Protection


Social protection is on the United Nations agenda for 2018-2019. It will be featured as a theme for both the Commission on Social Development in February 2019 and the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2019. This topic has always been important to social workers around the world who have consistently advocated for ways to ensure security for people across the lifespan.

Five members of the IASSW Team of Representatives at UN headquarters presented a session on social protection at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education in November 2018. Martha Bragin of Hunter College organized and chaired the session and pointed out the enduring importance of the topic. Lynne Healy noted the passage of Resolution 202 by the International Labour Organization in 2012 that called for universal adoption of social protection floors. She also emphasized the inclusion of social protection in 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, an indication of avenues for work at the national and global levels. M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad called attention to 2018 as the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He spoke about articles 22 and 25 of the UDHR as setting forth a human rights-based demand for social protection. Rebecca Davis presented on UNICEF’s focus on integrated social services and social protection. She drew examples from Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. Rebecca Thomas, our representative to the NGO Committee on Migration, spoke of the special challenges of migrants and social protection. Migrants are often completely left out of coverage for social protection, even when they move legally from one country to another.  This will be an important challenge for the expansion of social protection coverage. Dr. Bragin concluded the session by tying social protection into social work practice, education and research with suggestions for ways forward.

A meeting of the full New York team was also held during the Orlando, Florida conference. Pictured below left to right are: Sharon Milligan (Case Western Reserve University), Martha Bragin (Hunter College), M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad (Case Western Reserve University), Rebecca Davis (Rutgers University), Lynne Healy (University of Connecticut), Rebecca Thomas (University of Connecticut), Shirley Gatenio-Gabel (University of Connecticut)