The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) calls for immediate implementation of the ceasefire called for by the UN Security Council in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
The present situation is intolerable and the disastrous circle of provocation and retribution must end. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded since Israel started its military operations with the stated aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks towards Israeli civilians.
International humanitarian law must be applied so that the wounded can be cared for and evacuated. It is a tragedy that so many children have fallen victims of the conflict. As so often in military conflicts the most vulnerable suffer most.
The IFSW General Meeting in 2006 endorsed a “Resolution on the Victims of Violent Conflicts” and expressed its dismay at the threat to the well being of the world’s most vulnerable citizens in conflicts: women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the poor, who are disproportionately affected by these conflicts. The resolution further emphasized the right of all peoples to live in an environment in which essential human rights and social justice are respected. Social work values emphasize the need for dialogue, respect and consideration of the views of opposing parties.
Life is the ultimate human right. War as a conflict resolution method is not working, only making things worse. We therefore call on the international society and the actors in the ongoing conflict to do their outmost to stop the use of military means and seek a sustainable, peaceful solution providing safety for both parties.
London, January 13, 2009
David N Jones