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BASW condemns President Trump’s dehumanising immigration policy

BASW is standing with our American colleagues, the National Association of Social Workers, in condemning President Trump’s policies that led to the practice of separating migrant families at the US-Mexico border.

It is just that the president yesterday signed an executive order to revoke the policy.

However, the fact it was preceded by huge national pressure as well as international condemnation, and that the US decided to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council on the same day, signals that this administration’s hostile and dehumanising immigration policy shows little sign of reversing.

When the rights of children to humane treatment can be so casually put aside in the world’s richest nation indicates a new low in international recognition of human rights. Moreover, it gives encouragement for similar polices to grow globally.

Whether it is in America, Germany, Greece, Bangladesh, Myanmar or here in the UK, across the world, treatment of immigrants is worsening and international commitment to shared human rights concepts is at risk. 

It is increasingly worrying that the UK seems to be travelling down a similar path. The ongoing Windrush scandal is a national disgrace, while the government’s decision to renegade on the ‘Dubs amendment’ – in bringing in around 350 lone refugee children rather than the 3000 MPs voted for – provides further evidence of a hostile environment created through cruel immigration policies.

As social workers here in the UK, connected via profession and ethics with social workers around the world, we need to do everything we can to protect the human rights of all people – adults and children, migrant and settled.

We all need to promote common conventions and commitments to human rights globally, including through the shared values of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) which can deliver the voices of social workers up to the UN and to government’s around the world.  

Similarly, the UN Human Rights Council plays a vital role in addressing serious rights abuses around the world, and so it is deeply disappointing that the US have disconnected from the UN in this way.

BASW agrees with Amnesty International in its summary: “The US should urgently reverse this decision, which places it squarely on the wrong side of history. It is wilfully choosing to undermine the human rights of all people everywhere, and their struggles for justice.”