A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

Social Work Models in Addressing State and Authority-Based Violence

In this paper, which is a collaborative project between Balay and Dignity, we focus on the importance of social work in human rights projects. As we have worked together, we have realized that social work is an indispensable part of human rights work because it addresses the relations between victims, perpetrators and interventions in a holistic manner. We also know that people who are included socially are less likely to be targeted violently and if they are, they cope better with the traumatic events. At the same time, social works is often an invisible discipline and profession, squeezed, as we show below, between other ‘legitimate’ professions (medical, legal and psychotherapeutic for example) on the one hand and people who simply ‘help’ others in a less professional way on the other. In this paper we insist that social work is a profession, that it is indispensable and that human rights work must place greater trust and resources in developing appropriate social works models. This paper is our small contribution to this larger advocacy agenda.