Saltar al contenido principal

Rory Truell: “Orange tide should spread inmediatly all over the world"

viernes 23 de mayo de 2014 V.P.

Rory Truell (Newly, Northern Ireland, 1966) is secretary-general of the International Federation of Social Workers. On 16 May he joined the delegates meeting for IFSW Europe that took place in Madrid. He discusses the current situation of social services and social work all over the world and defends the needing of the orange tide.
(Leer en castellano)

In a context of crisis, which are the challenges for social workers all over the world?
One of the challenges we have is to inform governments on the critical function of social work. Social workers play a very important role in supporting families and communities to be able to be productive and contribute to society. If we took away social workers, communities and families wouldn’t have the support systems that they need, this is very negative for society and the economy. Many governments don’t understand the relationship between social support and economic productivity. So, we The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and all our members need to continue to inform governments on the critical work that social workers perform.

What is the direction of social work services in the world?
There is a strong trend internationally for social work to reclaim a community development perspective. In recent years many governments have tried to push social work to a small corner where we only work with a child or an individual. But social work is much more than this. Social work helps build functioning communities and assists families to find sustainable solutions and change the dynamics that cause the problems.

Is there a way back? Would we be able to recover to previous levels of social cohesion and equality?
The trouble for Spain and the other countries affected for austerity is the systems that make an economy work are being cut. What we notice is that people who are qualified leave their countries to take up jobs in other places. People are not able participate in education and this will also negatively effect the rebuilding of society. Youth unemployment, cuts in health and other in the systems that stabilize communities all are counter productive to rebuilding your economy.

How long will it take the austerity-affected countries to recover?
I think it will take more than one generation for the systems to rebuild back up. This is a huge failure of the European Union and others bodies who have insisted on austerity. Even in the USA the government responded to the economic crisis by buying the banks and putting in place stimulus packages, which have helped their recovery. But there seems to be one set of rules for the powerful countries and another set of rules for the less powerful countries. And as social workers we see the enormous human costs, the psychological pain, the suicides, the poverty and loss of trust and hope. Tragically this will not only scar the lives of this generation, but it will also damage the lives of our children.

What would be a desirable outcome of the current meeting?
Social work internationally is very exciting at moment, because social workers all over the world are saying the same messages. No cuts, invest in people, and that social workers have answers and solutions for today’s problems. We have so much experience working with social policies that don’t work, and with policies that have worked. I see the delegates meeting as an opportunity for us to continue to express the solutions to the current crisis, especially here in Spain.

In August the International meeting in Melbourne, Australia, will take place. What do you expect from that meeting?
One of the exciting topics that will be decided at the world meeting in Melbourne is the new international definition of social work. This has a much more community development focus and it reflects the old and new voices of social work, in all the regions of the world. When the last international definition of social work was agreed 12 years ago IFSW had about 64 member countries now we have 116 member countries. Most of our new members are from Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa. In these places very high quality social work is being practiced, just as it is in Europe and North America, and it is very important that all of these regions, and new members have been able to contribute fully to the way we describe the profession.

In Spain, the professional organisation is protesting in the streets with the orange tide movement. Should this movement expand to other countries?
In my job, I visit many countries around the world and I speak with social workers. One thing I always tell them is look at the Spanish social workers. I highlight Spain and the Orange Tide as the best example of social work led social-action in the world right now. I see that the work you are doing with regular colorful, non-violent protests is capturing the attention of the media and effectively sending strong messages that the government can’t ignore. I believe that because of your work, social services are not as badly cut, as they would otherwise have been. And I also see the Orange Tide giving social workers, and people you use social services hope, direction and a voice. I would like to see the orange tide spread to Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and to the rest of the world.


Aún no hay comentarios

Consejo General del Trabajo Social

Calle San Roque 4 Local 2

28004 Madrid

Redes sociales

Síguenos en

Pago seguro