Friday, July 8, 2011

Feedback from the 4th Annual Meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform

Feedback from the 4th Annual Meeting of the Fundamental Rights Platform

IFSW (Europe) was admitted to the EU Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) in February 2010 and has been present at the past two annual meetings of platform members which take place in Vienna in April.

The platform is a network of NGO’s committed to challenging human rights abuse and injustice established by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

IFSW (Europe) is a member of the EU Social Platform and is also represented on the Social Platform’s Fundamental Rights and Non-Discrimination Working Group.

Fighting for the rights of disadvantaged individuals and groups and tackling the abuse of human rights is at the heart of social work and there is much to be gained by actively engaging with these networks and forming alliances with other member organisations which share our concerns.

An IFSW workshop at this year’s FRP meeting aimed to promote greater awareness of the responsibility that social workers carry on behalf of the rest of society to identify and challenge the abuse of human rights. It also highlighted our role in assisting people to resolve the conflicting rights of different parties such as those that arise when a parent is imprisoned or detained in an environment which is unsuitable for a child.

Participants in the workshop were asked to consider the stance that should be taken by professionals who are committed to upholding people’s rights when faced with arrangements that clearly compromise these.

FRA was also asked to consider how social workers themselves can be protected from detrimental treatment when they challenge injustice and blow the whistle about the abuse of people’s rights, particularly where this concerns their own employer.

FRA’s annual report Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2010 was presented to the European Parliament on 15th June 2011. The main report is accompanied by a summary of key legal and policy developments in 2010 which is available in French, German, Polish and Hungarian and can be accessed through the following link:

Ian Johnston

IFSW (Europe) Executive Committee

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