Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH Executive Director
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) released their Policy on Health, and Paul Bywaters, a consultant to IFSW presented “Worldwide Challenges for Practice and for Policy-Making” at the 6th International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health in Dublin.
The IFSW Policy on Health includes 7 key points:
1. Health is a key aspect of all social work practice, education, research, and policy making and in all settings.
2. Health is not merely the absence of disease, it emcompasses physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing.
3. Health is a central dimension of people’s lives.
4. Health is an issue of fundamental human rights.
5. Health status is primarily determined by social, economic, environmental, and political conditions and is an issue of social equality and justice.
6. Securing and sustaining health depends on local, national and global health and social policies and practices.
7. Securing and sustaining health depends on the concerted actions of intenational institutions, governments, civil society and peoples.
The IFSW policy is a starting point for discussion. Can we create conditions for action?
The IFSW Policy on Health is available at www.ifsw.org/p38000081.html