IFSW has been granted Special Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In addition, IFSW is working with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The commission supports IFSW representatives and IFSW members to act as facilitators and bridging the gaps between community’s aspirations and UN agendas. At the same time, the knowledge of the UN’s work shall flow back to the IFSW board and the IFSW members with the goal to create a partnership and realising a social change.
The overarching objective of IFSW representations to the UN is to represent a social work perspective to the UN and the UN Agencies and to work towards joint action based on social work principles. Representatives will highlight the social solutions that can be achieved through applying the profession’s principles and methodologies as a framework for achieving social justice, inclusive participatory democracy, sustainable peaceful societies, social transformation for equality and rights. Representatives are bound to constitution, definition, ethical principles and the policies of IFSW.
The Commission and the representations work as a part of the wider IFSW body and the work of all Representatives should link with the above objective, vision and work agenda of IFSW UN Commission. Representatives are requested to focus on one or two themes (such as children’s rights, health…) that are relevant for global social work and coordinated within the Commission. Representatives work should also be guided by:
- the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development,
- the definition of social work
- the constitution of IFSW
- the ethical principles
- the IFSW policies
The members of the UN Commission are:
- The IFSW UN Commissioner
- The Main Representatives that are also the Regional Commissioners
- A team of max. five Representatives per abovementioned region
The relationships between the main representatives, the local IFSW member, the IFSW UN Commissioner, the IFSW Secretary-General and the Regional President are essential to coordinating and planning the representative’s work. It is envisaged that there will be Skype meetings regularly or on-demand (UN Commissioner, Main Rep. and regional IFSW President) so that they can have the support and link their work plans. Regular contact shall be maintained from all the above-mentioned persons.
IFSW Pays Tribute to Long Standing UN Representative Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol.
- Task of the UN Commissioner
- Task of the Main Representative / Regional Commissioner
- Task of the IFSW Representatives to the UN
- IFSW Representative to an UN Headquarters
Swetha R. Dhananka
Latin American and the Caribbean Region
Please contact the regional president of Latin America or the UN Commissioner if you are interested in this position.
North American Region
If you wish to make a suggestion for an IFSW Statement, please contact the main representative of the location.
- 2023 IFSW UN Commission Geneva team news
- 2022: Social Workers as a stakeholder in Co-building, promoting, and sustaining an eco-social world
- An interview with the deputy high commissioner OHCHR on social workers standing up for human rights
- 2019. Call for IFSW UN Commission Representative in Nairobi, Africa
- 2019. Learning Session on High-Level Political Forum 2019
- IFSW UN Commission Representation to the UN. Objectives, Structure, Function, and Guidelines
- IFSW’s history of working at the UN, its issues and implications.
- World Social Work Day at the United Nations (WSWD).
- A toolbox for working with adolescents with mental health problems, created by WHO and UNICEF, applicable for social workers.
- 2019. IFSW United Nations Commission – Statement “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”
- 2019 Statement on Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness
- 2019 IFSW Statement on International Women’s Day 8 March 2019
- 2018 Statement on Human Rights Day
- 2018 Statement on Global Compact on Migration
- 2020 UN Commissioner Report
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Bangkok
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Geneva
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Nairobi
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team New York
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Santiago
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Vienna
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Team Vienna
- 2020 Report from IFSW UN Africa Commissioner on The 10th Session of the World Urban Forum – Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation
- 2018 Report from IFSW UN Team Geneva
- 2018 Report from IFSW UN Team Nairobi
- 2018 Report from IFSW UN Team New York
- 2018 Report from IFSW UN Team Vienna