Social Work and Human Rights: A Foundation for Policy and Practice

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Columbia University Press, Sep 13, 2011 - Political Science - 192 pages
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Social Work and Human Rights has become a standard text highlighting the role of social work in protecting the rights of vulnerable populations. Through rigorous analysis, classroom exercises, and a frank discussion of the implications for practice both within and outside of the United States, the volume effectively acquaints readers with the political, economic, and social dimensions of rights issues and the documents that guarantee them. New material covers international events, such as the United Nations' Millennium Declaration (2000) and its effort to reduce the poverty and suffering of billions worldwide. The volume now emphasizes cultural rights and includes a probing lesson in cultural relativism. It turns a critical eye toward the failure in the United States to address social welfare issues and its reluctance to rectify policies favoring one group over another.

Praise for the first edition:

"A human rights compass—a preliminary guide for the translation of human rights for social workers.... It is to be welcomed."—European Journal of Social Work

"Foundation documents provide an essential tool for understanding the issues and applying the understanding to concrete social policy advocacy and action."—Canadian Association of Social Workers Bulletin

"This is a text which is overdue for social work students and faculty."—Rosemary Link, coauthor of Human Behavior in a Just World: Reaching for Common Ground

"Reichert makes human rights concepts come alive. Practice case examples and human rights analysis of the National Association of Social Worker's Code of Ethics are particularly valuable in orienting the reader to the domestic practice applications of the global human rights movement."—Lynne M. Healy, author of International Social Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World


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1 Development and History of Human Rights
2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
3 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
4 International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
5 Diversity Within a Human Rights Perspective
6 Human Rights and Children Persons with Disabilities Persons with HIVAIDS Gays and Lesbians Older Persons and Victims of Racism
7 International Aspects of Human Rights
Appendix A Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Appendix B International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Appendix C Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Appendix D Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly
Appendix E Suggested Internet Websites for Further Research

8 Applying Human Rights to the Social Work Profession

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About the author (2011)

Elisabeth Reichert is a professor at the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale School of Social Work and author of Challenges in Human Rights: A Social Work Perspective and Understanding Human Rights: An Exercise Book.

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