World Social Work Day this year falls on 17th March
In her message about World Social Work Day 2015, the President of the International Federation of Social Workers – Asia Pacific Region touched on a fundamental principle in social work. When providing services and interventions, social workers always have the dignity and worth of their clients in mind. This focus is expressed in this year’s World Social Work Day theme – Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples. In the Asia-Pacific region this would surely include the migrant worker population which has become an important contributor to economic development in the Asia-Pacific countries. They have a huge presence in the region and cannot be ignored as a group needing social services and community intervention.
The president Mariko Kimura also touched on how social work supports the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how the goals set the agenda in the human services. Every one of the goals is of concern to social work practice. Reflecting on the president’s words – there are also links between the contribution of migrant workers and the MDGs.
The Millennium Goal of Poverty Eradication – remittances by migrant workers help reduce poverty in countries of origin. They provide families with additional income which provide food, health services and education. They are also used for small business ventures, and investing in land and homes. These remittances provide a stable flow of income for poorer countries and play the role of a social safety net. Migrant workers are also consumers in countries of destination. Businesses and communities thrive on providing goods and services to their migrant worker population.
The Millennium Goal of Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women – more and more women migrate independently to support families. This sign of empowerment encourages gender equality in countries of origin. The empowerment of women in these countries is essential in reducing poverty, improving health, and seeing that children especially girls get an education. The role of migrant female workers as agents of change and development cannot be ignored.
Mariko Kimura also touched on the basic human right of every person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Social work is based on respecting these rights and having positive regard for individuals, families and communities. This is emphasised in the World Social Work Day theme – PROMOTING THE DIGNITY AND WORTH OF PEOPLES. The Migration Works Campaign 2015 with its objective of promoting a positive image of migrant workers, and to address some of the pervasive misconceptions is very much in line with this theme.
We wish all social work practitioners in Malaysia, including students in social work courses in universities HAPPY SOCIAL WORK DAY!
Migration Works Campaign 2015 Team
13 March 2015
Watch Dr. Mariko Kimura speak on video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWv4pUoUqMI