Social Work Beyond Human Rights

The first thing we acknowledged in planting our community garden was that we were planting into an already established community in the natural world, and we spent nearly 2 years developing our relationship with the land and its inhabitants before we planted anything into it. As a land based entity, our relationship with our garden and the forest we have planted guide all of our decisions. Here’s an interesting piece about the importance of expanding the concept of human rights to the non-human world.


by Steven W. Halady, PhD

Editor’s note: Steven Halady is a current MSW candidate (he entered the program with a PhD in Philosophy) and is the first student to write a guest blog post for SocialWorkSynergy. As Human Rights Day (December 10) approaches, his essay offers an expanded view of social justice and suggests a larger moral compass for the profession.

Human rights provide an important moral foundation for social work. Many social work practitioners, educators, and researchers acknowledge the ways in which human rights are an essential professional value. In its International Policy on Human Rights, the National Association of Social Workers notes that, “Human rights and social work are natural allies.” As Elizabeth Reichertwrites:

For too long, social workers have stood aside from human rights, considering discussion of the topic to be more international and legalistic. Fortunately, this reluctance to integrate human rights into social work…

View original post 986 more words


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