In the later years of the nineteenth and early years of the twentieth century, across many countries of Europe, the early pioneers of social work strove to improve the lives of the ‘abandoned and forsaken’. Women such as Octavia Hill in the United Kingdom, Manon Lüttichau in Denmark, Alice Masaryk in Czechoslovakia, Alice Salomon in Germany, Helena Radlinska in Poland - to mention a few - worked tirelessly driven by the commitment to improve the welfare of those socially excluded. Subsequent generations of social workers, throughout Europe, stand on the shoulders of these giants - continuing the work that they began as they strive to realize the aspirations embedded at the heart of the social work profession to promote human rights. Working to achieve these aspirations is no easy matter; social workers need help.
IFSW (Europe) has provided just such help in this volume by assisting social workers to understand what is required to promote Human Rights. The European Region of the International Federation of Social Workers is to be congratulated in having taken an important step forward to promote Human Rights across European Social Work and beyond.
The publication of a set of standards for meeting Human Rights makes clear, perhaps for the first time what is expected of social workers and their employers to meet their obligations that arise from the various international conventions on Human Rights. It behooves all those associated with the profession across Europe to engage with these standards, to work actively towards their attainment in day-to-day professional practice and to ensure that all new recruits to the profession know of these standards and the obligations to society that are required. Those that have worked tirelessly to produce this statement deserve our gratitude and thanks.
The Source: International Federation of Social Workers European Region e.V. www.ifsw.org/europe