The text is in Armenian.
The text is in Armenian.
This week has been a shock to our world, as terrorist attacks left hundreds dead, even more wounded, and entire nations in mourning. On Thursday, November 12th, Lebanon’s capital Beirut was hit by a tragic double-suicide bombing. The next day, France’s capital Paris was targeted. Both attacks resulted in carnage and agony.
Armenian Association of Social workers expresses its solidarity with the people of Lebanon and France, and thinks especially of those who have lost and those who worked and continue to work to provide much needed support. AASW believes in the power of social work to uphold values of democracy, solidarity, and compassion at times like this.
We hope for the nations of our world to look towards a peaceful future, even in these darkest of days.
The International Federation of Social Workers, European Region sincerely regrets the brutal attack that occurred in Ankara, Turkey on the 10th October, during the demonstration of peace and expresses solidarity to people in Turkey in this moment of great pain and grief.
This terrifying and senseless bomb attack left more than 100 people dead and hundreds injured and we wish to express sympathy to all those who are now recovering from the trauma of having witnessed friends and colleagues being killed whilst engaging in a peaceful demonstration for a better world.
As Social Workers we condemn all types of violence and stand shoulder to shoulder with people struggling for a better life and peaceful future where everybody’s rights are respected and policies are inclusive.
We send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who have fallen victim to this terrible tragedy for the Turkish nation.
Our thoughts are also with our social work colleagues in Turkey who are making every effort to support people in grief during this very difficult time of instability and post trauma.
IFSW Europe Executive Committee
14th October 2015
The Armenian Association of Social Workers (AASW) supports the recent protests against increasing electricity prices by 17-22% throughout the country. The price rise will affect all members of Armenian society and above all impact the poorest in our country. For over 30% of the citizens already living in poverty, the price increase will be unbearable, with estimates stating this increase will lead to an extra 40,000 dram (85 USD) being added to the average family’s electric costs per year. In addition, such a price-hike could justify other, similar actions against the people in Armenia in the future. For proof, one must not look far – the current price-hike is the fourth in a series of consecutive price-hikes over the last three years.
Therefore, AASW supports its members, other activists, and all those who have chosen to peacefully join this social movement. We strongly urge for negotiation channels to open between the government and representatives of the social movement, including open access to journalists. Open dialogue will be a monumental step forward towards democratic process between our government and our people.
The Association also condemns the actions taken by the Republic of Armenia’s Police which went above and beyond what was necessary in the case of a peaceful movement. The Association also urges all medical personnel to do what is right and provide timely and appropriate care without discrimination. Reports of excessive use of force, as well as actions taken specifically against journalists and their equipment, are inexcusable and must not continue. The fundamental rights to freedom of speech and assembly must be respected and instances of their breaching investigated. Therefore, we additionally call upon the government of Armenia to ensure an open investigation into the excessive use of force by the police.
On 13 May 2014 an explosion occurred at a coal mine in Soma, Turkey. According to official statements this was caused by faulty electrical equipment and resulted in 298 people losing their lives.
IFSW Europe e.V. wishes to express our deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of the victims of this disaster and to all Turkish citizens who are trying to come to terms with this terrible tragedy.
Emergencies such as this give rise to unimaginable trauma for people directly affected who may be simultaneously grieving over the loss of loved ones and grappling with the numerous practical problems that arise from such tragic situations.
Social workers play a key role in supporting people who, for whatever reason, require professional support in addition to that provided by family and friends in the aftermath of disasters and IFSW Europe e.V. also wishes to express solidarity with our colleagues in the Turkish Association of Social Workers who are actively contributing to the emergency services being provided in Soma and the surrounding area.
Two other issues arise from this particular tragedy for us as social workers. We are concerned to ensure that all citizens’ fundamental rights are respected and these include occupational safety and health in the workplace, as required by international human rights conventions. Initial information emerging from the Soma coal mine explosion suggests that there may have been serious violations of occupational safety and health standards.
We therefore call on all relevant state institutions, in particular the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, to investigate this tragedy transparently and start to cooperate with related trade unions and NGO’s to develop a more effective structure to ensure that employers are compelled to take all possible action to assess the risks faced by their employees and minimize the possibility of accidents of this type occurring.
IFSW Europe e.V is gravely concerned over the apparent link between the violation of labour safety and health and neo-liberal policies favouring private rather than public sector developments and and sub-contraction in all sectors which are having a negative effect on human rights in work places.
We are also concerned to ensure that Turkish citizens’ fundamental right to express their opinions freely is upheld by local and national authorities.
IFSW Europe e.V will keep the communication with our colleagues in Turkey who are contributing to the well being of most disadvantaged groups in society.
The current IFSW statement on ethics (which is shared with IASSW) was agreed in 2004. It acknowledges that there was some debate about some of the sections, it was eventually accepted as representing agreement about our ethics world-wide.
Within this document, section 4.2.1 addresses the ethical requirement for social workers to challenge negative discrimination and within that identifies sexual orientation as an area in which such discrimination should be challenged. Whilst it is understand that this was the subject of debate at the time, it was accepted as the shared view by the vast majority of colleagues and stands as the ethical statement. It is in that context that the following observations are made in the capacity as chair of the ethics committee.
In the current debate in Uganda there appears to be a very strong connection being made between homosexuality and child sexual abuse. This is extremely unfortunate, as it goes against all of the available evidence from many countries. The great majority of sexual abuse against children is heterosexual – that is, men abusing girls and young women. Such abuse is a key factor in human trafficking and the foundation of a lot of organised crime, for example. The scientific evidence and argument that was cited by some of the correspondence in this current debate actually addresses child sexual abuse (not homosexuality) in its critique of Kinsey and other early work on human sexuality. (The other argument was not scientific, but took a particular stand on moral grounds and then offered a specific intervention.)
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AASW would like to join IFSW in expressing our sympathy and support to the victims and their families of the recent attacks in Paris. We would also like to express our support for the people of France as a whole and to the social work community in particular during this difficult time. Please see below for IFSW’s official statement.
“It was in deep shock that we saw the news yesterday, January 7th, released by the media, of the terrorist attack to the headquarters of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
This was a barbarian attack that put an end to the most basic human right – the right to life. These are acts that, as social workers, we reject under any circumstances. No reason (be it religious, ideological, political, racial or other) can justify terrifying and criminal acts like this.
Social work is a profession of Human Rights which is based on principles and values that respect human dignity, recognize the right to freedom at all levels including the right to free expression of ideas, in writing, or any other creative field.
IFSW Europe, representing the Social Workers across Europe, deeply regrets the deaths of journalists and other Charlie Hebdo workers, sending heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
We express our solidarity with the Parisian people and the whole of France, and particularly the journalistic community.
A word of comfort and strength to our French social worker colleagues and friends at this time of pain, grief and anger. Your work in times of crisis such as this is of paramount importance and extremely valid.
IFSW Europe raises its voice in defense of Democracy and Freedom and joins the movement of France already widespread throughout the world: JE SUIS CHARLIE
8th January 2015
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