Among the professions dedicated to improving society, social workers stand out as guardians of human rights. Their role transcends the traditional boundaries of care and support, embedding itself in the fight for dignity, equality and justice for all individuals. It is in this way that the social work profession intersects with values, making a significant contribution to the development of global human rights.

The profession of social work is fundamentally rooted in the principles of human rights. Social workers play a crucial role in combating social exclusion by advocating for and supporting individuals and communities who are marginalized or disadvantaged. Marginalised communities include children, single parents, older people, people with disabilities, refugees, people with mental health issues, substance misusers, and unemployed people. They can be marginalised in various ways, including unequal access to education, exclusion from social participation and political life, discrimination, economic disparities and limited access to healthcare and other essential services.

Social workers are not just concerned with providing direct services; they also strive to change systems and policies that perpetuate inequality and injustice. Their mission is to empower marginalised groups and ensure that these groups have access to the necessary resources, services, and opportunities to fully participate in society. Empowerment is a key process in facilitating individuals and communities to realise their rights. Moreover, empowerment leads to greater awareness and exercise of rights, fostering a culture of respect and accountability that is essential for the protection and promotion of human rights. The social worker’s efforts can lead to significant legislative changes that advance the rights and well-being of the most marginalized populations. This commitment aligns with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Social workers address and challenge social injustices that infringe upon human rights. Through their day-to-day work, they witness the impacts of poverty, discrimination, and exclusion, and they use this knowledge to fight against such injustices. Whether it is challenging discriminatory practices, supporting victims of abuse, or working towards economic justice, social workers are committed to dismantling the structures that undermine human rights.

As advocates for human rights, social workers remind us of our collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable and work towards a world where the rights and freedoms of every individual are respected and realized.

You can also start to take professional steps towards creating a better tomorrow full of equal rights and respect for all. Become a human rights guardian by joining the team of social workers. We are waiting for you to apply for the Social Work programme at UITM!