Historic motion passed in social work to improve recognition of the human rights of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities
The Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller Social Work Association supports a historic motion that will improve recognition of the human rights of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities into anti-racist discourse and practice in social work.
The Community Association said: "We welcome the passing of Motion 6 at BASW’s AGM yesterday and would like to offer up our sincerest thanks and gratitude to Worcestershire Branch for bringing the motion below."
‘Attitudes towards Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities have been described as being ‘the last acceptable form of racism’. Communities experience structural oppression, for example in England and Wales the government has fuelled the fire of racism by proposing to criminalise overnight stopping, despite the police not supporting such legislation. As an anti-racist organisation and champion of human rights, BASW should be leading the way, in co-production with Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities, in educating social work organisations about best practices within our diverse Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities. Most qualifying courses give only cursory attention to Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller issues and BASW membership has no contemporary policy/ best practice guidelines or champions in this field. This Annual General Meeting calls on BASW Council and Executive to take a strategic approach to right this imbalance in our profile, working together with Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities to bring about mutual understanding and respect for each other’s cultures’
It is fitting that this Motion is passed during BASW’s 50th year as an Association when we are marking social work’s legacy and thinking about best hopes for the future. As part of reflecting on this legacy social work and the Association, must undertake some deep soul searching and atone for the role that social work has played in perpetuating stereotypes about Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller families which has had a devastating impact and further embedded the effects of discrimination within our communities.
It is not acceptable that social work has barely recognised and only minimally incorporated the human rights of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities into anti-racist discourse and practice.
As a human rights profession that exists to stand alongside those marginalised and oppressed, we have a quite drom (road) ahead.
We are jelling the drom (going down the road) at last.
*You can contact the GRT Social Work Association on Cymru@basw.co.uk