Values and ethical considerations in social work practice with refugees: Reflections from Calais, Tall Aabbas and Nakivale refugee camps
SWSD 2018: Social Work, Education and Social Development - ENVIRONMENTAL AND COMMUNITY SUSTAINABILITY | HUMAN SOLUTIONS IN EVOLVING SOCIETIES
Social work developed a strong emphasis on human rights, ethics and values which empower humans, acknowledge and promote their dignity. However, practitioners encounter contradictions and dilemmas while engaging and assisting individuals at all levels of practice: micro, mezzo and macro. In our context, this happens due to previous traumatic experiences of refugees, their different cultural backgrounds, conflicts and difficult situations in the camps, systems and policies which limit the practice. Malkki (1995) describes refugee camps as places of highly unequal space where people live under control over basic resources essential for supporting human life. Working with refugees, implies beside a good theoretical baggage and knowledge, skills, human and intuitive reasoning, emotional wisdom, ethics, resources and a good supervision (Cox & Pawar, 2013; Payne, 2014; Garcia, 2016). The study explores the challenges of professionals and their ethical dilemmas and brings forward examples of good practices while working with refugees. The data was collected over 4 months in Calais ‘The jungle’ refugee camp in France, Tal Aabbas refugee camp in Lebanon and Nakivale in Uganda. Using a qualitative methodology, through participatory observations, in-depth interviews and narratives which were held both with 25 practitioners from 4 main organizations and refugees, and looking into the way professionals deal with ethical dilemmas, what supports them, what are their experiences in the camp and how are they regarded by refugees. The results show the importance of cultural sensitivity and non-oppressive practice, promoting the dignity of refugees, good supervision, emotional support and constant reflection on their work in order to deal with dilemmas and critical situations, maintaining a positive attitude and personal believes while dealing with injustice and limitations of practice. All these mentioned, are essential for the study of social work, by preparing us to develop a critical thinking, understanding of our realities as professionals and bringing awareness of strengths and resources we own.
refugees,social work,values,ethics,education,good practices
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Outras Ciências Sociais - Ciências Sociais