ESSENTIAL ROLE OF SOCIAL WORK IMPLEMENTING THE UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD’
IFSW MEETS THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child welcomed a discussion with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) on 1 February 2008 at the Palais Wilson in Geneva. The meeting enabled an exchange of views and laid foundations for joint work in the future, and was based on feedback from more than 10 IFSW member organizations, Executive Committee members and representatives in all regions.
In his introduction, David N Jones, IFSW President, spoke about the global role of the Federation in more than 80 countries working through national organisations representing more than 510,000 social workers. He welcomed the approach adopted by the Committee since its creation, aiming to work collaboratively with states parties to improve compliance with the Convention and to enhance the situation of children throughout the world. Committee members welcomed the IFSW training manual on the implementation of the Convention, which has been available from the IFSW office in Bern, Switzerland for several years.
Committee members recognised the value of the social work profession in promoting the rights of children in practical ways and there was discussion of possible areas for future co-operation to enhance the well-being of children throughout the world.
After almost 2 hours of exchanges, the Committee’s Vice-Chair, Mr. Kamel Filali, who acted as Chairperson on this occasion, thanked the IFSW President, David N Jones and the Main IFSW Representative in Geneva, Ellen Mouravieff-Apostol, for their visit and their presentations. Recognising the many obstacles that still need to be overcome to reach the full implementation of the Convention, he was grateful for the contribution of social workers in many fields, not least in preventing child right violations through work with parents and the community.
David Jones thanked members of the Committee for their kind invitation to IFSW and generous welcome and said IFSW would continue joint work on these important issues for children and families.
Following the meeting, IFSW President David N Jones, commented ‘This was a welcome and highly significant meeting with the Committee on the Rights of the Child for global social work. Social workers are one of the main professional groups supporting implementation of the Convention in a practical way. IFSW welcomes continued co-operation with the Committee (and our other NGO partners) and will ensure that we take up the challenge to develop some practical guidance on the specific issues raised.’
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) has since its original establishment in 1928 been the representative body of professional social workers globally. Today, IFSW represents social work associations in 84 countries with a total membership of more than 510 000 social workers. Special consultative status has been granted 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 International Labour Organisation (ILO), 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 Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and others.