16 August 2014
Statement of IFSW Europe: Social Work for Peace and Self-Determination – Peace is the way
Peace is the way to freedom and self-determination for every human being. Everyone has a right to be free and freedom is a precondition of sustainable peace.
Social Workers are committed to the realisation of Human Rights and Social Justice. Therefore we are against all kinds of abuse and violence that endanger the full achievement of people’s basic needs. Situations of armed conflict almost inevitably result in the injury, death or violation of the rights of innocent and defenseless citizens of all ages.
The European Region of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) calls on all social workers and member organisations across Europe to join the IFSW global campaign to promote change in the Middle East, which has been so affected for decades by never ending conflict between Palestine and Israel. A ceasefire should be the beginning of a process that has a vision for sustained peace based on social and economic equalities for all in the region.
As social workers witnessing the atrocities recently televised worldwide, we have a duty to demand that the UN send a sizeable peacekeeping force to Gaza provided with the best equipment to put an end to the use of weapons by either country that are indiscriminately targeting population centres and places where civilians have taken refuge. Such action should be taken in conjunction with humanitarian aid and the resources to restore essential services, rebuild homes and communities and of course the necessary negotiations to secure a permanent solution to this longstanding conflict.
Social Workers are united in diversity and have the mission and the duty to assist politicians and other decision makers to find solutions for a better world where all are respected regardless of their history, cultures, religion, race, etc.
We support our members in Palestine and Israel in their efforts to promote peace based on social work principles.
Violence leads to more violence and human rights are compromised.
“There is no way to peace; peace is the way.” Mahatma Gandhi
15th August 2014
For further information contact: Cristina Martins,President of the IFSW European Region[International Federation of Social Workers Europe e.V.] E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell phone: + 351 936272618 Web: www.ifsw.org/europe