Joint Social Action: Solidarity with Iranian Social Workers
Social work is a profession that moves societies in the direction of promoting social justice and equality. However, Social Work in Iran has been conditioned by the Islamic Republic's systemic political expediency. The state has prevented Iranian social workers from achieving social justice and upholding international standards of professional ethics by implementing oppressive theocratic laws over four decades of governance. The results of these conditions are escalating social harm in the country and minimizing human rights and freedom.
Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), it violates its principles and fundamental children's rights by killing over 40 innocent children in the last national protest. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). This limits significantly the recognition and respect of women's rights in Iran. Therefore, Iranian Social workers have been struggling to improve the lives of the oppressed, particularly women and children, and address the root causes of their oppression.
Today, the call for "woman, life, freedom" is resonating louder than ever, not only in Iran but globally. The present movement is a declaration that the people of Iran will no longer tolerate oppression and accept the limitations in the name of religious obligation. In this regard, Iranian social workers are joining the nation at the cost of getting arrested and imprisoned. As social workers are also considered activists or advocators of change, they may face harsher punishments and are thereby putting their lives in danger. However, they can't even voice their protest and demands because the internet is restricted and many websites and social media applications are banned inside the country.
Additionally, there has been no oversight body or union for Iranian social workers for the past 44 years. Even so-called social work organizations and associations have served as the vehicle for carrying out the social programs of the Iranian Islamic Regime. They are not speaking out over the latest arrests of social workers and students or following up on their well-being.
Therefore, while denouncing the Islamic regime's violence toward people, social workers from around the world request IFSW be a voice for Iranian social workers. We also express our solidarity and respect for the social workers fighting for justice in Iran, particularly those currently imprisoned. This statement collaborates with the IFSW's call for “the celebration of International Social Work Day in 2023”. The ‘respecting diversity through joint action’ slogan stems from the people’s charter for New Eco-Social World. In this regard, emancipator practice and social actions are the main features of the Eco-Social approach. Without support for social workers in oppressed societies and the care about fundamental human rights, we firmly believe that the Eco-Social world would not exist. To this end, Iranian social workers must be recognized for their courageous acts to encourage others in this profession to speak up against injustice and create an equal Eco-Social world for all.
We wish all the best to the victory of the social justice and freedom movements in Iran and worldwide.