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Holocaust Memorial Day reminds us of injustice in the world

Holocaust Memorial Day should serve as a timely reminder of the injustice and persecution that can be inflicted upon the most vulnerable in society, BASW warned.

The Association also highlighted the vital role of social workers across the world in highlighting unfairness and supporting people through hardship.

BASW’s England Professional Officer Joe Godden, who’s family fled Nazi Germany to the UK in 1939 to escape persecution, said: “Looking back from today it’s hard to imagine how the horror of the Holocaust could have happened. This most tragic event in the history of the 20th Century reminds us of the depths of inhumanity to which people and society can sink.

“The fact that it happened only 70 years ago, a relative blink in the eye historically, also underlines that we cannot be complacent in the face of current injustice and persecution.

“Today, we hear on a daily basis reports of human rights abuses committed against people overseas in places like Syria, Mali, Pakistan and the Middle East to name just a few.”

Mr Godden said closer to home the recession in the UK had seen some of the most vulnerable sections of society targeted and vilified.

“People suffering from disabilities have had their benefits removed. Those who have lost jobs or been long-term unemployed or sick have been branded “benefit cheats”, not only by sections of the media, but also mainstream politicians.

“In these difficult times it’s easy to look for scapegoats and the role of social work in supporting and standing up for the most vulnerable in society could not be more important.

“More than ever, as a profession, we are needed, to speaking out against unfairness and intervene to help people cope with hardship in their lives.

“Holocaust Memorial Day is a timely reminder of what can happen when people turn a blind eye to the injustice in their midst.”

“It is also a day to celebrate the amazing and brave actions of social workers and others across the world in supporting victims of oppression.”