The role of social work in the refugee crisis
Monday, March 14, 2016

More than a million refugees came to Europe in 2015, with war in Syria the single biggest driver. Many governments have been slow to act, and some hostile towards the “swarm” (in David Cameron’s words) of humanity. But social workers have not.

As governments have hesitated, social workers have stepped “into the vacuum,” says Vasilios Ioakimidis, senior lecturer in social work at Durham University. “Across Europe, they have managed to take sides, [supporting] migrants and refugees even where public opinion is against them.”

Ruth Stark, president of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), says the profession exists to help people work through changes in their lives – and refugees are experiencing some of the most traumatic changes imaginable.

In the countries that refugees are leaving – and in the massive camps they have established in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon – the social work presence is vital. “A lot of what they’re dealing with are such basic needs as food, clean water and shelter,” says Stark. “It’s people in absolute crisis.”

 

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Source: The Guardian