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Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development

The messages in this document come from professionals immersed in the real world. We know that our global community can and should provide equitable standards of decent wellbeing for the whole of the world’s population, but this is not the current reality. As social workers, educators and social development practitioners, we are working every day with life at its extremes, witnessing the highs and lows of human capabilities and behaviour. We recognise that, for many people, the opportunities for social mobility and full realisation of their potential are beyond their own efforts; family inheritance and place of birth (be it locality, community or country) and access to resources are determining factors for many. We are also aware that being born into some communities makes self-improvement personally challenging and immensely difficult. We are, therefore, realistic about social limitations whilst optimistic about human potential.

The global commitment to respect for human dignity and rights is at the centre of our work, but we live the reality of social injustice. Our experience and research tells us that people, systems and the way we exist together can change for the better. Together, we can create a better world. This conviction is the driving force behind our efforts in establishing The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development.

This process is being driven by the 3 main global bodies representing social workers, social development practitioners and educators: the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) and International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).