Greetings From Samos! The Container Has Arrived!

In fact, it was SO large that an entire cargo container was sent to Samos, where social worker and Professor Chris Jones is helping to coordinate relief. The container finally arrived earlier this week. Both Chris and Swan wish to send a truly monumentous thank you to all who made the collection and delivery possible. True solidarity in the face of racist and inhumane international policy. Read Chris’ letter here:


“The container has arrived and been unpacked!

What a monster and never in our lives have we seen such a big spaced so tightly packed. And to break the seal and open the doors to see all these faces of little teddy bears poking from behind the boxes and bags gave us a laugh. Just two days before it arrived, one of our group was saying that small teddy bears were the most treasured toys for the young children when they land on the beaches. They seem to give a lot of comfort so we were delighted to find so many in the container.

What can we say? Thank you does not say enough about how we feel. We didn’t expect so many of the bags and boxes to be labelled which made an enormous difference to our unloading; we simply didn’t expect so much and all of it will be so useful for the refugees – the blankets, sleeping bags, tents, mats and of course shoes……baby clothes…toiletries…..tooth brushes/paste and on and on. And all such good stuff.

The container represents a huge effort and we really hope you can communicate to as many of those involved as possible- the students and staff of your department and Liverpool Hope University more widely, the Social Work Action Network, members of trade unions including Unison and not least those in Scotland who paid for the container to be sent: Our deepest gratitude. It really is going to make a difference to many refugees coming to Samos especially as winter is coming.

But as you know well, we in our group on Samos, like many others are furious at the responsible powers in Europe for their utter failure to respond with humanity and solidarity to the exodus of refugees coming to Europe. It is no exaggeration to say that the burden of care for the arriving refugees on all of the Greek frontier islands including Samos has fallen on the shoulders of the people, who have been magnificent. But quite bluntly, we should not have to do this and we would not have to do it if the issue was seen as a humanitarian crisis instead of it being seen as a heavily racist framed security problem.

Our interventions in this context are fundamentally concerned with solidarity. We engage with the refugees and work with them to make sure that we can meet some of their most pressing needs. Working together builds solidarity between us and most importantly between the refugees themselves. We rarely have enough so sharing becomes really important and will be if they are going to survive their onward march from Samos to the north of Europe.

As I write the refugees are continuing to arrive in significant numbers. There are sharp daily fluctuations depending on sea conditions but still we are talking in hundreds of arrivals every day. Since Paris and with the development of the Hotspot in Samos Town we are seeing the emergence of a clear two-tiered system which is very depressing. The Syrians – around 60 to 70% of arrivals- are gathered in the Hotspot on the port. That is where the main resources from the big NGOs and other voluntary groups, as well as state resources are concentrated. Conditions are not great but there is more shelter now and more resources generally in terms of food and clothing. But as the security checks and fingerprinting take more time, they are no longer moving off the island as quickly. In the meantime all other nationalities are sent to the Camp about 1km out of the town centre up a remote hillside. The gates are no longer closed indeed there is now an overspill of refugees camping outside the perimeter fence. Yesterday there were 1,300 refugees in the Camp. It feels to be a largely abandoned place and the conditions and overcrowding are Medieval. Many will spend up to 2 weeks in these conditions waiting for their paper which will allow them to move on from the island. This is where we will be concentrating our effort and already we have started to distribute sleeping bags, blankets and not least tooth brushes (in huge demand)!


You and all who helped need to know that the words ‘Liverpool Container’ brings a lot of smiles to many of us on Samos. It is real solidarity and means a lot.

Warmest greetings


(On behalf of our group!)

Samos updates can be found on our Facebook page:









SWAN Ireland Survey

Hi all,

Please find below, a link to a small survey that has been complied to find out about people’s recent experiences of using/supporting users of services in recent times. The aim of the survey is to identify the particular challenges that people are experiencing and to establish whether they might consider joining SWAN as a response to their dissatisfaction. It also aims to let both service users and practitioners know about SWAN, and so to try to establish a stronger support base.

We would really appreciate you taking the time (2 minutes) to fill in this survey and to share with others you think might like to complete it too.


The SWAN Ireland Steering Committee

Link to survey:

Community Care Article Covers the Convoy.

Community Care journalist Rachel Shraer travelled with the convoy, organised by both Swan and Stand Up To Racism, to Calais on the 17th October 2015. Here you can read her report, highlighting the complexities of organising aid across borders, with no state assistance, and the desire amongst the social work profession to promote social justice. Alongside the donations, Swan and SUTR organised a rally that was held alongside refugees, to demonstrate our solidarity with those trapped in the Jungle, and have produced an International Swan petition alongside other social work agencies that demands social policy change. 

Events early November in Calais have taken an unpleasant turn, with police firing rubber bullets, masses of tear gas and pacifying grenades directly at refugees. The need to send messages of support and find ways to demonstrate solidarity is not going to disappear, and Swan remains committed to the cause of refugees and asylum seekers experiencing serious social injustice.

JUST PUBLISHED: “Frontline” – the Social Work Action Network Ireland Bulletin


The Social Work Action Network Ireland bulletin, “Frontline” has just been published. Issue 1, December 2015 can be found by clicking on the link below. Please read it and share far and wide. We would love to hear your thoughts about the articles you read and would also love to receive submissions future editions!

Our email is: socialworkactionnetworkireland “at” gmail “dot” com


Thanks, from the Frontline Editorial Collective (FEC)

Link to “Frontline”, Issue 1, December 2015:



A Service User’s Perspective: Morning Lane Associates, Social Work and Barriers to Public Debate

Swan raised significant concerns with Morning Lane Associates back in April/May, namely the connections between Chief Social Worker for Children and Families (England) Isabelle Trowler, MLA and the allocation of contracts worth millions of pounds of public money. 

Morning Lane Associates, Social Work and Barriers to Public Debate

Some weeks back Steve Goodman co-founder and director of controversial Morning Lane Associates criticised me personally on twitter for raising my concerns that unproven government restructuring of social work might one day be linked with a child protection tragedy.

I hadn’t as he suggested singled out Frontline for criticism. Instead I said I’d be delighted to take part (alongside others) with him and Morning Lane Associates in a public debate to explore the consequences of the new matrix of developments linked with Morning Lane for social work and social work education. 

I asked him if he’d be up for such a debate. I was pleased to see he seemed to be saying yes, asking me how I’d like to proceed. I raised the issue of resources (which I don’t have, but clearly Morning Lane do) and although there was an edge – him saying in an email to me – ‘I don’t play games – not with adults anyway’ (the last thing on my mind and where did that come from?), he mentioned that ML have a room where the debate could take place – for up to 60 people – which seemed really encouraging.

But this is where things seemed to get difficult. As a service user, coming from a user led organization, resources and the difficulty raising them is always at the front of my mind. So I raised with Steve issues I was familiar with organising events which equally include service users/carers and people unwaged or on low income – which of course are that this creates costs – to get there, maybe for support etc. I asked him if he could provide refreshments?

Is your training room fully accessible? what about contributors/speakers and their expenses?? These are the kind of resources that I am thinking of, I said

Steve though said he was thinking of having a debate ‘within’ the profession and maybe involving service users could come after.

You won’t be surprised that my view of this was that:

a debate about the profession can hardly leave out service users especially as a key achievement of social work education (and requirement) has been to include them in every stage and every aspect of learning. That’s why I’ve raised the resource issue. Helpful to get this clear at this stage rather than taking time meeting.

And that sadly so far is pretty much the end of the story. Steve replied that he respected my work on including users of services but that what he had in mind, he didn’t think should include service users and added that this was a pity as he felt a debate would have been of interest to many.

So there you go, that’s it, as far as this force in progressive social work is concerned. So much for ‘public debate’.

We don’t include or involve service users in discussions; we don’t make such discussions accessible to service users. And when the issue of supporting a public debate about the role of organisations like Morning Lane in the new government proposed arrangements for social work, gets serious, ‘the public’ apparently doesn’t include people as service users, or carers . Now that’s a nice way of saying you want to encourage public debate about the radical restructuring of social work, while making it pretty difficult for that ever to happen.

But we are talking about public money here. Are discussions behind closed doors increasingly overlaid with the rhetoric of ‘commercial confidentiality’ really a helpful way forward? Is this really the road to safe social work that truly improves the protection of children and young people and the safeguarding of adults? I’ll leave that one to you, but coming in the wake of the appalling cock-ups government proponents of these new arrangements for social work and social work education are coming to be seen to have made over Kids Company and its funding and operation, it seems to me there are some big concerns out here.


Swan International Statement and Petition – Open Borders Now!




We are witnessing an almost unprecedented movement of people in the world due to political conflict. Based on the IOM and UNHCR data, an estimated 590,000 people entered the EU by the sea in the first 9.5 months of 2015. IOM’s research also indicates that Europe is the most dangerous destination for “irregular” migrants, with the Mediterranean costing the lives of over 3,000 people in 2015 to date. The EU and individual governments need to respond to their plight in line with the basic principles and standards set forth in the relevant human rights instruments and frameworks of the United Nations, which hasn’t been the case to date.

1. There is a need to create safe and legal routes to the EU. Permitting travel by ordinary means will do much to halt the hazardous boat traffic and will save lives. Such routes ought to include:

– Humanitarian visas (for the specific purpose of seeking asylum on arrival)

– Resettlement schemes, accepting refugees directly from the country of persecution.

– Humane family reunion policies

– EU funding for the Refugee Air initiative.

– Either suspend or abolish EU Directive 2001/51/EC, which in reality prevents refugees from accessing commercial travel options and delegates refugee assessment/checking to the commercial carriers.

2. Safe and legal routes within the EU through full suspension of The Dublin III regulation (No. 604/2013).

3. Decriminalisation of citizen support for refugees, including transport.

4. Abolishment of detention camps and support for safe use of community volunteering initiatives on temporary basis. Detention camps and temporary camps provide inhuman and degrading conditions for people fleeing persecution and political conflict, subjecting them to further abuse and neglect. Many communities wish to provide temporary or more permanent housing support. Thanks to social networking sites and use of internet in general, social workers in particular can be supported to co-ordinate such community housing schemes.

Open EU borders now! 


Οι Κοινωνικοί Λειτουργοί σε όλη την Ευρώπη απαιτούμε- #OpenEUborders

Ανοίξτε τα Ευρωπαϊκά Σύνορα για τους πρόσφυγες και τους αιτούντες άσυλο

Βιώνουμε μια σχεδόν άνευ προηγούμενου μετακίνηση ανθρώπων στο κόσμο εξαιτίας πολιτικών αναταραχών. Σύμφωνα με τον Διεθνή Οργανισμό Μετανάστευσης (IOM) και τον Οργανισμό Ηνωμένων Εθνών για τους Πρόσφυγες (UNHCR), περίπου 590.000 άνθρωποι εισήλθαν στην Ευρώπη μέσω της θάλασσας τους πρώτους 9,5 μήνες του 2015. Επίσης, η έρευνα του ΙΟΜ αναδεικνύει την Ευρώπη ως τον πιο επικίνδυνο προορισμό για τους ‘παράτυπους’ μετανάστες, καθώς πάνω από 3.000 ζωές ανθρώπων έχουν χαθεί στη Μεσόγειο μέσα στο 2015. Οι κυβερνήσεις των Ευρωπαϊκών κρατών πρέπει να ανταποκριθούν στη σοβαρότητα της κατάστασης σύμφωνα με τις βασικές αρχές και τα πρότυπα που ορίζονται από τη σύμβαση για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα των Ηνωμένων Εθνών και παρόμοιες διατάξεις, γεγονός που δεν έχει συμβεί μέχρι σήμερα.

1. Είναι αναγκαίο να δημιουργηθούν ασφαλή και νόμιμες οδοί διέλευσης στην Ευρώπη. Η εξασφάλιση της πρόσβασης με κανονικά μέσα μεταφοράς θα είναι σωτήρια για χιλιάδες ζωές που διακινδυνεύουν τη ζωή τους χρησιμοποιώντας βάρκες. Οι συγκεκριμένες οδοί διέλευσης χρειάζεται να εξασφαλίζουν τα ακόλουθα: -Χορήγηση ανθρωπιστικής βίζας (για την αίτηση ασύλου κατά την άφιξη) -Προγράμματα επανεγκατάστασης που αποδέχονται άμεσα τους πρόσφυγες από τη χώρα δίωξης -Πολιτικές επανένωσης οικογενειών -Ευρωπαϊκή χρηματοδότηση για την πρωτοβουλία Refugee Air -Αναστολή ή κατάργηση της Ευρωπαϊκής Οδηγίας 2001/51/EC, η οποία στην πραγματικότητα εμποδίζει τους πρόσφυγες από τη δυνατότητα να ταξιδέψουν με επίσημα μέσα.

2. Ασφαλή και νόμιμες οδοί διέλευσης στην Ευρώπη μέσω της πλήρους αναστολής της οδηγίας Δουβλίνο ΙΙΙ (Dublin III, No. 604/2013)

3. Αποποινικοποίηση της υποστήριξης των πολιτών στους πρόσφυγες, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της μεταφοράς/μετακίνησης

4. Κατάργηση των κέντρων κράτησης και υποστήριξη της ασφαλούς χρήσης των πρωτοβουλιών εθελοντισμού στις κοινότητες σε προσωρινή βάση. Οι συνθήκες στα κέντρα κράτησης καθώς και στους προσωρινούς καταυλισμούς είναι απάνθρωπες, εξευτελιστικές, και υποβάλουν σε περαιτέρω κακοποίηση και παραμέληση ανθρώπους που δραπετεύουν από διωκτικά καθεστώτα και πολιτικές αναταραχές. Πολλές κοινότητες επιθυμούν να παρέχουν προσωρινή ή μόνιμη κατοικία στους πρόσφυγες. Χάρη στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης και της χρήσης του διαδικτύου γενικότερα, οι κοινωνικοί λειτουργοί, ειδικά, μπορούν να υποστηριχθούν στο να συντονίσουν τέτοιες πρωτοβουλίες κοινοτικής στέγασης.

Ανοίξτε τα σύνορα της Ευρώπης τώρα!  



Nous assistons à un mouvement migratoire presque sans précédent de personnes dans le monde en raison d’un conflit politique. D’après les données de l’OIM et du UNHCR, environ 590.000 personnes sont entrées dans l’Union Européenne par la mer lors des 9 premiers mois et demi de l’année 2015. L’OIM indique également que l’Europe est la destination la plus dangereuse pour les migrants «en situation irrégulière». Sachant qu’en 2015 et à ce jour, 3 000 personnes ont perdu la vie en tentant de traverser la Méditerranée, l’Union Européenne et chacun de ses États individuellement se doivent de répondre à leur cris de détresse suivant les principes de base et les normes tels qu’énoncés dans la Déclaration de Droits de l’Homme et dans le cadre des Nations Unies – ce qui n’a pas été le cas jusqu’à présent.


  1. Il est urgent de créer des itinéraires sécurisés et autorisés pour accéder à l’Union Européenne. La mise en place de modes de voyage et de transports habituels et légaux permettra de mettre fin à la circulation de bateaux dangereux et de sauver des vies.

Ce qui doit inclure:

– L’octroi de visas humanitaires (dans le but précis de demander l’asile à l’arrivée)

– Des programmes d’installation, et de prise en charge, directement depuis le pays de persécution, des réfugiés.

– Des mesures de regroupement familial humaines.

– Le financement par l’Union Européenne de l’opération « Air Réfugiés ».

– La suspension ou la suppression de la directive européenne 2001/51 / CE qui, en réalité, empêche les réfugiés d’accéder à des options commerciales de voyage, et qui oblige les sociétés commerciales privées à évaluer et vérifier le statut des réfugiés.


  1. La mise en place dans l’Union Européenne d’un itinéraire sûr et légal, par le biais de la suspension complète du règlement de Dublin III (n ° 604/2013).


  1. La dépénalisation de l’assistance des citoyens aux réfugiés, y compris leur transport.


4. Suppression de camps de détention et de soutien au profit de l’utilisation en tout sécurité d’initiatives communautaires bénévoles temporaires. Les camps de détention et les camps temporaires offrent des conditions inhumaines et dégradantes pour les personnes qui fuient la persécution et les conflits politiques, en les soumettant à d’autres mauvais traitements et négligences. Beaucoup de communautés souhaitent apporter une aide au logement temporaire ou plus permanente. Grâce aux réseaux sociaux et à l’utilisation d’internet en général, les travailleurs sociaux principalement peuvent prendre en charge et coordonner ces programmes de logement communautaires.  

Ouvrez les frontières de l’UE maintenant!

Trabajadores sociales de toda Europa demandan: – #OpenEUborders, fronteras abiertas para los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo

Estamos siendo testigos de un desplazamiento de personas a consecuencia de un conflicto político casi sin precedentes en el mundo. A partir de los datos de la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM) y la ACNUR, se estima que 590.000 personas entraron por mar en la UE durante los primeros nueve meses y medio de este año 2015. La investigación realizada por la OIM también indica que Europa es el destino más peligroso para los inmigrantes „irregulares“, con el cruce del mediterráneo habiendo costado 3000 vidas humanas en lo que llevamos de 2015. La UE y los gobiernos de los estados miembros individualmente tienen que responder a esta situación en concordancia con los principios y normas básicas establecidas en los marcos legales de las Naciones Unidas así como en los instrumentos legales pertinentes de protección de los derechos humanos, lo cual, hasta el momento, no ha sido el caso.


  1. Es necesario crear rutas seguras y legales hacia la UE. Permitir que el viaje se realice mediante medios de transporte ordinarios sería una gran contribución para detener el tan arriesgado transito en botes, y, consecuentemente, salvar vidas. Tales rutas deben incluir:
  • Visados humanitarios (para el propósito especifico de la solicitud de asilo a la llegada)
  • Procedimientos de realojo, aceptando a los refugiados directamente desde el país de persecución.
  • Políticas humanas de reunificación familiar.
  • Financiación por parte de la UE de la iniciativa „Refugee Air“.
  • La suspensión o derogación de la directiva europea 2001/51/EC, que en realidad impide a los refugiados el acceso a los medios de transporte comerciales y delega la evaluación/legitimación de los refugiados a las compañías de transporte.


  1. Rutas seguras y legales dentro de la UE con la suspensión total del reglamento Dublín III (Reglamento UE nº 604/2013).


  1. Despenalización del apoyo ciudadano a los refugiados, incluido el transporte.


  1. Abolición de los campos de detención y apoyo para el uso seguro de las iniciativas comunitarias voluntarias de acogida temporal. Las personas que huyen de la persecución y el conflicto político encuentran condiciones de vida inhumanas y degradantes en los campos de detención, campos de refugiados y centros de estancia temporal, siendo expuestos a abusos y negligencias. Muchas comunidades desean facilitar soluciones y apoyo para el alojamiento temporal e incluso más permanente de los refugiados. Gracias a las redes sociales y al uso generalizado de internet, los trabajadores sociales en particular pueden recibir apoyos para coordinar soluciones de acogida comunitaria.


Fronteras de la UE abiertas ya!


Sozialarbeiter_innen aus ganz Europa fordern: Offene EU Grenzen für Flüchtlinge und Asylbewerber_innen

Aufgrund von politischen Konflikten erleben wir auf der Erde eine fast beispiellose Bewegung von Menschen.

Bis Mitte Oktober 2015 sind nach Angaben der IOM und dem UNHCR ca. 590.000 Menschen über den Seeweg nach Europa geflohen. Forschungsergebnisse der IOM weisen darauf hin, dass Europa das gefährlichste Ziel für „irreguläre“ Migrant_innen ist, allein die Flucht über das Mittelmeer kostete in diesem Jahr bislang über 3000 Menschenleben.

Die EU und die einzelnen Regierungen müssen auf diesen Notstand reagieren.

Auf Basis der Prinzipien und Standards die in den relevanten Menschenrechtsabkommen und Rahmenverträgen der Vereinten Nationen verankert sind, die bislang keine Beachtung fanden.


  1. Es besteht die Notwendigkeit für sichere und legale Fluchtwege nach Europa.

Die Reisefreiheit zu ermöglichen wird die Folge haben die riskanten Schiffsüberfahrten zu verhindern und wird Leben retten.

Legale Fluchtwege sollten beinhalten:

  • Die Vergabe von humanitären Visa (mit dem Zweck bei Ankunft einen Asylantrag stellen zu können)
  • Die Etablierung von Weiterwanderungsprogramme (Resettlement), die das Aufnehmen von Flüchtlingen direkt aus den Ländern der Verfolgung ermöglicht.
  • Die Einführung humaner Familienzusammenführungsregelungen
  • Die Finanzierung „Refugee Air Initiative“ durch die EU
  • Die Einstellung oder das Verbot der EU Directive 2001/51/EC, welche verhindert, dass Flüchtlinge kommerzielle Reiseoptionen nutzen können und welche die Prüfung, ob eine Person die Flüchtlingseigenschaft besitzt den Fluggesellschaften überträgt


  1. Sichere und legale Einwanderungswege in die EU sind zudem zu schaffen durch die völlige Aufhebung der Dublin III Regelung (No. 604/2013)


  1. Die Entkriminalisierung von Flüchtlingshilfe durch Privatpersonen und Initiativen inklusive des Transports ist notwendig


  1. Das Verbot von Haftlagern ist notwendig, ebenso wie die Unterstützung der vorübergehenden sicheren Nutzung von Angeboten von Freiwilligeninitiativen. Haftlager und Übergangslager sind inhuman und verschlechtern die Lebenssituation der Menschen die vor Verfolgung und politische Konflikte fliehen. Flüchtlinge werden in ihnen weiterer Vernachlässigung und Misshandlung unterworfen. Viele Initiativen möchten übergangsweise oder dauerhaft die Wohnsituation von Flüchtlingen unterstützen. Dank der sozialen Medien und des Internets im Allgemeinen können Sozialarbeiter_innen im Besonderen unterstützt werden, solche Wohnvorhaben zu realisieren.


Für die Öffnung der EU-Grenzen, jetzt!


Socijalne radnice i radnici širom Europe zahtijevaju otvaranje EU granica za izbjeglice i tražitelje azila #OpenEUborders

Uslijed ratnih sukoba, dnevno svjedočimo do sad neviđenom pokretu ljudi širom svijeta. Prema podacima IOM-a I UNHCR, govoto 590,000 ljudi je ušlo u EU putem mora u prvih 9.5 mjeseci 2015. godine. Istraživanje IOM-a ukazuje i da je Europa jedna od najopasnijih destinacija za «migrante». Do sad je tokom 2015. godine više od 3,000 ljudi poginulo tokom pokušaja da dođu do Europe prijelazom morske granice na Mediteranu. EU i vlade pojedinačnih zemalja članica trebaju odgovoriti potrebama izbjeglica i tražitelja azila u skladu sa osnovnim principima i standardima iskazanim u bitnim instrumentima i okvirima Ujedinjenih Naroda za ljudska prava – što nije bio slučaj do sada.


  1. Neophodno je osigurati sigurne i legalne metode putovanja i ulaska u EU. Davanje dozvole za uobičajene metode putovanja omogućit će nesigurna i ilegalna putovanja brodom i sačuvati ljudske živote. Moguće metode uključuju:
    • Humanitarne vize (čija bi isključiva namjena bila traženje azila u zemlji dolaska),
    • Program humanog preseljenja, koji bi omogučio davanje azila već u zemlji njihovog domicila.
    • Humane politike reunifikacije obitelji
    • Omogućavanje EU finansiranja za avio program za izbjeglice, ‘Refugee Air’
    • Suspenziju ili ukidanje EU Direktive 2001/51/EC, koja onemogućava izbjeglicama korištenje komercijalnih letova prema Europskim destinacijama.
  2. Osiguravanje sigurnih i legalnih mogućnosti putovanja unutar EU, kroz potpunu suspenziju Regulative Dublin III (No. 604/2013).


  1. Dekriminalizaciju građanske podrške izbjeglicama, uključujući i pružanje besplatnog transporta za izbjeglice.


  1. Ukidanje kampova za prijem i obradu izbjeglica, te podrška za sigurnu i provjerenu upotrebu privremenih mogućnosti smještaja kod volontera u zajednici. Izbjeglički kampovi za prijem i obradu izbjeglica širom Europe često dovode do nehumanog i ponižavajućeg tretmana ljudi koji bježe od progona i političkog konflikta u zemlji njihovog domicila. Time ih se izlaže ponovnom i ustrajnom zlostavljanju i zanemarivanju. Mnoge zajednice širom Europe žele pružiti mogućnosti privremenog ili stalnijeg smještaja za izbjeglice. Zahvaljujući socijalnim mrežama i upotrebi interneta, socijalne radnice i radnici bi trebali biti podržani i ovlašteni da koordiniraju takve mogućnosti smještaja.


Szociális munkások Európa-szerte követelik a határok megnyitását a menekültek és menedékkérők előtt – #OpenEUborders


Világszerte az emberek példátlan mozgásának lehetünk szemtanúi a világban, melynek okai politikai konfliktusok. Az IOM és az UNHCR adatai alapján közel 590 000 lépett be az EU-ba a tengeren 2015 első 9 és fél hónapjában. Szintén az IOM kutatásai alapján Európa a legveszélyesebb úti cél a „szabálytalan” migránsok számára, idén már több, mint 3000 ember életét követelve a Földközi-tengeren. Az EU-nak és az egyes kormányoknak is reagálniuk kell a helyzetre összhangban azzal, amit az ENSZ vonatkozó emberi jogi eszközei és keretrendszerei alapvető elvként és normaként meghatároznak, és amely lépéseket eddig még nem tettek meg.


  1. Szükség van biztonságos és legális útvonalak létrehozására az EU felé. A hagyományos módon történő utazás engedélyezése nagyban visszafogná a veszélyes hajóforgalmat és életeket mentene meg. Az ilyen útvonalaknak tartalmazniuk kellene a következőket:
  • Humanitárius vízumok (a menedékjog kérelme érdekében érkezéskor)
  • Letelepedési programok, az üldöző országokból jött menekültek befogadása. Emberséges családegyesítő politikák
  • A Refugee Air kezdeményezés EU-finanszírozása
  • Az EU 2001/51/EK irányelv felfüggesztése vagy eltörlése, amely a valóságban megakadályozza, hogy a menekültek kereskedelmi utazási lehetőségekhez férjenek hozzá, a menekültek elbírálását és ellenőrzését pedig a kereskedelmi szállítókra bízza.


  1. Biztonságos és legális útvonalak az EU-n belül, a Dublin III rendelet teljes felfüggesztésével (No. 604/2013).


  1. A menekülteknek nyújtott civil segítség dekriminalizációja, beleértve a közlekedést is.


  1. A táborok eltörlése és a közösségi önkéntes kezdeményezések biztonságos használatának támogatása ideiglenes jelleggel. A zárt és ideiglenes táborok embertelen és megalázó körülményeket biztosítanak azoknak az embereknek, akik üldöztetés és politikai konfliktusok elől menekülnek, további bántalmazásnak és elhanyagolásnak kitéve őket. Sok közösség szeretne ideiglenes vagy állandó lakhatási támogatást biztosítani. A közösségi hálózatoknak és általában az internetnek hála a szociális munkások segíthetőek az ilyen közösségi lakhatási rendszerek koordinálásában.


Nyissák meg az EU határait most!



Manifesto 2004: The Foundations of Swan

It forms the foundation of Swan and demonstrates our overtly critical and political stance. Feel free to draw upon this document as a resource:

Social work and social justice: a manifesto for a new engaged practice

Colleagues from the UK have published a manifesto for social work practice that calls for a political position of professional social work against the background of political and social changes.

Social work and social justice: a manifesto for a new engaged practice


  1. Social Work Today

Social work in Britain today has lost direction. This is not new. Many have talked about social work being in crisis for over thirty years now. The starting point for this Manifesto, however, is that the ‘crisis of social work’ can no longer be tolerated. We need to find more effective ways of resisting the dominant trends within social work and map ways forward for a new engaged practice.

Many of us entered social work – and many still do – out of a commitment to social justice or, at the very least, to bring about positive change in people’s lives. Yet increasingly the scope for doing so is curtailed.

Instead, our work is shaped by managerialism, by the fragmentation of services, by financial restrictions and lack of resources, by increased bureaucracy and work-loads, by the domination of care-management approaches with their associated performance indicators and by the increased use of the private sector. While these trends have long been present in state social work, they now dominate the day-to-day work of front line social workers and shape the welfare services that are offered to clients. The effect has been to increase the distance between managers and front line workers on the one hand, and between workers and service users on the other. The main concern of too many social work managers today is the control of budgets rather than the welfare of service users, while worker-client relationships are increasingly characterised by control and supervision rather than care.

Unless the fundamental direction of social work changes, then neither a new social work degree nor new bodies such as the Social Care Councils will do anything to improve the current situation. These are no more than ‘technical fixes’ for deep-rooted problems. So attempts by individual local authorities to alleviate the staffing crisis by offering cash incentives – the so-called ‘golden hellos’ – simply move the problem around.

In the absence of an organised response to these trends, people understandably react in different individual ways. Some social workers may leave the profession, but for many this is not an option. Some workers have found ways within their workplaces to occupy spaces where they can practice a more rounded social work – in the voluntary sector, for example, or in more specialist projects – but this option is not available to most. Even in the voluntary sector the trends are increasingly mirroring the managerialist pattern of the statutory agencies.

And yet, the need for a social work committed to social justice and challenging poverty and discrimination is greater than ever. In our view, this remains a project that is worth defending. More than any other welfare state profession, social work seeks to understand the links between ‘public issues’ and ‘private troubles’ and seeks to address both. It is for this reason that many who hold power and influence in our society would be delighted to see a demoralised and defeated social work, a social work that is incapable of drawing attention to the miseries and difficulties which beset so many in our society. This alone makes social work worth fighting for.

The current degraded status of social work as a profession is inextricably related to the status and standing of those we work with. Social work clients are amongst some of the most vulnerable and impoverished in our society, and have benefited least from New Labour’s social welfare reforms. In fact, under New Labour we have witnessed not only greater levels of material inequality, but also an intensified demonisation of asylum seekers, young people and poor families, the very groups that social workers engage with. Too often today social workers are often doing little more than supervising the deterioration of people’s lives.

So in opposition to those who would be happy to see a defeated and silenced social work occupation, we are seeking a social work that has prevention at its heart and recognises the value of collective approaches. At the same time we also recognise that good casework has also suffered as a result of the trends referred to above. We are looking to a social work that can contribute to shaping a different kind of social policy agenda, based on our understanding of the struggles experienced by clients in addressing a range of emotional, social and material problems and the strengths they bring to these struggles.


  1. Resources of hope

Many social workers who despair about the ways in which social work has been changed can see no way out of the current situation. Given the mauling that social work (and social workers) have taken from politicians and the tabloid media over the past twenty five years, some despair or despondency is understandable, However, there is a real danger that this can blind us to the new resources of hope that have emerged in recent years and which may point the way towards a reinvigorated social work practice which plays a part in the demands for a more just and humane society.

Over the last two decades the growth of users movements (like the disability movement and the mental health users movement) have brought innovation and insight to our ways of seeing social and individual problems. These movements have developed many relevant and interesting approaches to dealing with service users needs – collective advocacy, for example, or (in the mental health field) the Hearing Voices groups or user-led approaches such the Clubhouse model. The fact that these models have come, not from professional social work but from service users themselves, emphasises that social work needs to engage with, and learn from, these movements in ways that will allow partnerships to form and new knowledge bases and curricula to develop.

In addition the last few years have witnessed the growth of dynamic and international global protest movements against capitalism and war. In the 1960s and 1970s social work was profoundly influenced by the ‘spirit of the sixties’: the Vietnam anti-war, the black, and the women’s movements. It was this that laid the basis of future anti-oppressive social work practice. Today we are seeing the rise of similar social movements. Within the anti-capitalist and anti-war movements we have ‘greater resources of hope’ than have been available to us for 30 years. These have been movements within which user groups and NGO’s have fruitfully engaged and within which questions of social justice are paramount. They have challenged the orthodoxy of neo-liberal globalisation and its devastating impact on the poor and dispossessed across the world, on the environment and on the human costs of the privatisation of services.

The anti-capitalist movement was born out of the protests against the World Trade Organisation’s Third Ministerial in Seattle in 1999 and has since spread across the globe. Over the last year it has merged with the movement against war and Imperialism. In February 2003 the spirit of anti-capitalist protest dramatically came to Britain when 2 million people demonstrated in London against the war on Iraq. The breadth and inclusiveness of this movement in conjunction with its energy and youthfulness, has revitalised many who had fallen into despair. It has also had an impact in rejuvenating the spirit of protest within the trade union movement.

But these movements are not just against war and capitalism they have also started to think of alternative futures. Over the last three years at various World and European Social Forums large numbers of people have come together to share ideas and discuss what another world might look like. These debates can help us think about the shape of a modern engaged social work based around such core ‘anti-capitalist’ values as democracy, solidarity, accountability, participation, justice, equality, liberty and diversity.

Thus we find ourselves at a crossroads. Down one road is managerialism and increased marketisation, and with it frustration and despondency for frontline workers; while down the other there is a possibility – and it is no more than that – for a renewed and regenerated social work that engages with the resources of hope available in the new collective movements for an alternative, and better, world.

An ethical career

The enduring crisis of social work in Britain has taught us many things. It has brought us to a state of affairs that nobody in their right mind could possibly view as acceptable. It has taught us that there can be no return to a past of professional arrogance and that progressive change must involve users and all front line workers. As agents of change senior managers have had their day. It has reminded us that budget dominated welfare systems are cruel and destructive of human well-being. The casualties are everywhere in the social work system amongst clients and users and social workers. These years of turmoil have highlighted that social work has to be defined not by its function for the state but by its value base. Above all it has been a stark lesson in the need for collective organisation, both to defend a vision of social work based on social justice and also to defend the working conditions that make that possible.

As we noted at the start of this Manifesto, in the past many people entered social work because it seemed to offer a way of earning a living that did not involve oppressing or exploiting people, but on the contrary could contribute, even in a small way, to social change. It was, in other words, an ethical career. That potential for social change has all but been squeezed out of social work by the drives towards marketisation and managerialism that have characterised the last decade and a half. Yet overwhelmingly it is still the case that people enter social work not to be care-managers or rationers of services or dispensers of community punishment but rather to make a positive contribution to the lives of poor and oppressed people. If it is the widening gap between promise and reality that breeds much of the current anger and frustration amongst social workers, it is also the awareness that social work could be much more than it is at present that leads many of us to hang on in there.

We note that the organisation People and Planet includes social work within its ‘Ethical Careers Service’. If that progressive promise is to be realised even in part, then we need to coalesce and organise around a shared vision of what a genuinely anti-oppressive social work might be like.

This Manifesto is a small contribution towards the process of developing that vision and that organisation.

Chris Jones, Professor of Social Work, University of Liverpool.
Iain Ferguson, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Stirling.
Michael Lavalette, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Liverpool.
Laura Penketh, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Manchester.


The manifesto online: or

Swan’s Terry Murphy speaks out about Frontline

 The social work education programme that claims to ‘fast track’ the “brightest and best” social work leaders of tomorrow through Children and Families qualifications has long been condemned by Swan as a crude attempt to privatise social work education and at best water down, at worst eradicate, the ethical and political dimensions of the social work profession. 

There is only a month left to listen to the exchange, found 35 minutes into the show!

BBC Tees – Frontline debate (after 35mins)