During a time of extreme civil turmoil, The Belarus Association of Social Workers has issued the following statement promoting the respect of all people´s rights and condemning violence:
“We, employees and members of the Non-governmental organization “Belarusian Association of Social Workers”, as representatives of a profession based on humanity, social justice and respect for human rights, cannot stand aside from the completely unacceptable events currently taking place in Belarus.
We condemn the numerous acts of violence that occur in Belarus and draw attention to the tragic consequences for individuals, families and society as a whole.
Social sphere professionals face suffering, pain, crises in the lives of people every day. The number of people in need, suffering people is already exceedingly large for our country, so let us not increase it by our actions or indifference.
We believe that in a social state, everyone has the right to respect for their human dignity, the right to be heard through participation in peaceful actions, without worrying about their own life. Violence is unacceptable on either side!
We, social sphere professionals, understand that we must respond to today’s challenge and help make our society healthy and safe, using all our experience, skills and opportunities, identifying and promptly responding to the needs of members of local communities that could arise as a result of current events. We must lend a helping hand to everyone who needs it.
We encourage everyone to act in accordance with ethical and professional values, while promoting respect for the principles of humanity and social justice. This is especially important at a time when divisions of opinion are causing increased aggression in families and communities.
We believe that even in these difficult times every professional will be able to maintain a sensitive and attentive attitude towards every person who applies for support.”
IFSW Secretary-General, Rory Truell applauded the position that the Belarusian Association has taken: “The social work role of peacebuilding in situations of violent polarization is never the easy path as the social workers and their professional associations are often under pressure to support this or that side. The BASW´s wisdom in promoting the profession´s values of non-violence, the recognition of everyone´s dignity and rights; and fostering respectful relationships across diverse viewpoints, will support healing, as well as awareness that all sides need each other to work together to make a new, secure and positive future. The Federation fully applauds the actions of the Belarus Association of Social Workers”.