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Reflection - Essay Example

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The profession, at the time of adoption of the UDHR, was interested and involved in international developments, although, this attention…
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Social Work Reflection SOCIAL WORK REFLECTION Social workers, it can be said, have always seemed to give minimum attention to human rights while giving maximum attention to human needs. The profession, at the time of adoption of the UDHR, was interested and involved in international developments, although, this attention focused mainly on child welfare program initiation under what at the time was an emerging UNICEF, as well as relief programs underway at the time in China and Europe (Healy, 2008). This is just one instance in which the profession laid emphasis on action oriented and emergency efforts to human needs. They seemed to leave human rights under the jurisdiction of others. In 1947, another example arose in the USA when the AASW adopted, during its delegates’ conference, a platform statement that foreshadowed the UDHR’s Article 25, whose adoption was to come more than one and a half years later. This statement, however, was found to use the word “need” instead of the word “right”. It stated that everyone everywhere was in the need for provisions, which were organized provisions that ensured; employment opportunities and stable streams of income, physical and mental health promotion, safeguarding of homes, adequate education, and religious expression opportunities (Healy, 2008).
There is a juxtaposition of rights and needs, which seem as if it stresses that one is less important or incompatible to the other. Instead, it was found that social work might reframe the interpretation in various ways. It has been found that the Articles twenty-two and twenty-five have their basis on human needs for development and survival (Healy, 2008). It was also found that social work could do more to capitalize on its identity as a profession based on action. Social workers, except maybe for professors, do not spend time expounding philosophy; instead engage in meeting needs and solving problems. Social workers, it can be argued, are, in article 25’s implementation, the front line in implementation of human workers’ rights with key ICESCR provisions, as well as others laid out in CEDAW and CRC (Healy, 2008).
The profession, as it looks, possesses an opportunity to re-assert its focus on human rights more clearly (Healy, 2008). It has been found that the strong compatibility of its values and mission with human rights is suggestive of a natural linkage. The profession, using human rights, is provided with a clear direction at international level, which also bridges national and international concerns. In the field of human rights, this profession possesses vital strengths that can be used to contribute significantly towards the movement on human rights. Social workers, I have found, truly understand that rights are indivisible and see that civil rights do very little in the enhancement of human wellbeing in the absence of health care, shelter, and food (Healy, 2008). It is also possible that they realize that political and civil rights suppression harms even those that are well fed.
As observed by Salomon and Alice, war annihilates most of what social work attempts to uphold (Healy, 2008). Given the profession’s dual commitment to respect for individual rights and cultural diversity, social work could also offer wisdom on the debate between cultural individualism and universalism in human rights. Action orientation, finally, is, maybe, the greatest strength that I have found, and it can make vital human contributions to human rights. By engaging in securing community and individual human rights, social workers, I have found, do take action (Healy, 2008). What I have found to be missing and needs more emphasis is, perhaps, consciousness of social work activities as a practice of human rights, in addition to influencing policy change, by building on solutions to individual cases.
Reference
Healy, Lynne. (2008). Exploring the history of social work as a human rights profession. International Social Work , 735–748. Read More
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