BASW has been a long-term supporter of the Commonwealth Organisation for Social Work (COSW), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) accredited by The Commonwealth and affiliated to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).
There is a triennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) during which NGOs seek to shape the activities of the Commonwealth and the individual 52-member states.
We are hosting the next summit in London from today until 20 April 2018, which includes an event tomorrow afternoon where BASW was invited and has agreed to provide representation for COSW to influence CHOGM.
The aim is to ensure that the ethics and values of the social work profession is part of the coalition of NGOs seeking to lobby and affect the Commonwealth to meet desired outcomes.
In addition, BASW has accepted a request from the Department of Education for the newly appointed children’s minister Nadhim Zahawi to give a speech on social work across the Commonwealth including university and education.
Like the IFSW, COSW and CHOGM are avenues for BASW to lobby for human rights, sustainable development within a social justice framework, and government support for statutory social services.
Part of this process involved leading a working party of Commonwealth NGOs to draft a paper on ‘Fairness’ which has already been presented to senior officials from Commonwealth countries. The 4 CHOGM themes are ‘A Fairer Future, A More Secure Future, A More Prosperous Future and A More Sustainable Future’.
The paper tackles several universal issues, such as fair access to economic resources and fairness on women’s rights, especially regarding gender-based violence.