World Social Work Day

Posted on March 24, 2015

The Department of Social Work and Criminology recently commemorated World Social Work Day and highlighted their discipline’s contribution to society by organising a seminar on the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Hatfield Campus.

As indicated by the name, World Social Work Day is an international event during which the emphasis was on the theme, Promoting the dignity and worth of people. The Head of the Department of Social Work and Criminology, Prof Antoinette Lombard, provided the theoretical outline for the importance of the day and the theme and emphasised that “The starting point of any discussion on social work is to emphasise the need to treat all people with dignity and to promote the dignity and worth of others”.

UP students showed their commitment to the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development by producing videos, poetry and songs to highlight the importance of dignity and rights for all people. Subthemes suggested by students to explain the all-encompassing nature of the theme included freedom, inclusion, human rights, humanity, exploitation, poverty and oppression.

The theme for 2015–16 focuses on the work done jointly by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the International Council on Social Welfare. These three organisations work together to influence policies and decisions at the international, regional and local levels, and to highlight the value and contributions of social workers.

The research output of the Department of Social Work and Criminology also feeds into the main pillars of the Global Agenda for Social Work, which are: promoting social and economic equality, the dignity and the worth of people, environmental sustainability, and strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. These integrated research themes are important for building healthy societies. The Department is committed to producing industry-ready graduates who are capable of fulfilling the mandates required by these bodies.

- Author Department of University Relations

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