24 July 2014
IFSW statement on the MH17 and other aircraft tragedies
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) shares the shock of the rest at the world at the tragedy resulting from the shooting down of Malaysian Airways flight MH17. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those who died so unexpectedly.
Speaking soon after her own return from the world social work conference in Melbourne, IFSW President Ruth Stark said: ‘Many members of the IFSW family were in Melbourne for the world conference on social work and social development a few days ago and some travelled back home with Malaysian Airways over the same route as the ill-fated MH17. We are only too conscious that some of our colleagues could have been killed in a similar way had the missile been launched on a different day. ‘
We therefore especially remember those who are currently attending the HIV-AIDS conference in Melbourne, meeting a few days after our own event there, and especially those who were on that flight but never made it. Their loss is a tragedy for the fight against HIV-AIDS.’
IFSW also extends condolences to those affected by the aircraft accident in Chinese Taipei and the apparent crash involving an airliner working for Air Algerie, lost over the Sahara desert.
Ruth Stark continued: ‘The aftermath of aircraft disasters leave many scars, regardless of their cause, including loss of family members, close friends and colleagues and loss of the expertise of specialists, such as some of those on MH17. Social Workers are frequently on hand to help those who are left behind after such tragedies, just as they were after the ill-fated Pan Am plane that was bombed over Lockerbie in Scotland over 20 years ago. Social work skills, knowledge and expertise will once again be focussing on helping those affected by MH17 through their personal crises caused by this unwarranted attack on innocent people.’