Armenian association of Social Workers

Discrimination and sexual orientation
2015 April 16

 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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