5 Jobs for Human Rights Social Workers

The field of social work is meant to help others and defend community rights. Human rights follow the practice of social work. In particular, social workers in this field concentrate on upholding human dignity in all aspects of life. Here are five possible jobs for human rights social workers.

1. Human Rights Officer

A human rights officer monitors civil, social, and political rights violations. Most people in this field find employment with the United Nations, but it is also possible to work for smaller government organizations. These individuals investigate complaints that involve abuse against minorities, unjust imprisonment, and cases of religious intolerance. Many times, it is necessary to hold interviews with violated individuals, observe trials, and monitor demonstrations. Under certain circumstances, it is necessary to work with the authorities on behalf of victims. To follow this job path, it is necessary to have a master's degree in law or public administration and have experience with human rights issues.

2. Child Welfare Social Worker

Children are citizens who often find themselves in abusive circumstances. When there is no one else available to stand up for these youths, a human rights social worker can defend their dignity. This professional protects the well-being of children and offers support to families in need. In 2014, approximately 702,000 children were maltreated, including many in the foster care system. Medical studies have shown these experiences lead to a high risk of developing mental health issues as adults. Fortunately, a dedicated child welfare social worker with a commitment to human rights can make critical decisions that positively affect vulnerable children so that they can have a chance at healthier futures.

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3. Refugee Assistance Officer

As a refugee assistance officer, it is possible to work for the Division of Refugee Assistance and oversee statewide programs that offer help to refugees and similar groups. In this career, a person plans programs that supply monetary and medical aid to individuals fleeing to other countries. A refugee assistance officer must provide compassion. Each day, this worker comes face to face with people whose lives have been torn apart by forces beyond their control. On an upbeat note, this profession helps people turn their lives around and start over in a better environment.

4. Corrections Social Worker

In the past, many individuals who entered the social working profession interacted with prison inmates and halfway house residents to make sure they were receiving adequate counseling. Today, more emphasis is placed on defending their human rights. Human rights social workers make sure all inmates are treated with respect and dignity. They help develop behavior modification programs that prepare inmates to find viable employment and live better lives so that they do not return to the prison system after they are released.

5. Human Rights Educator

Many social workers enter the classroom to teach others. Besides universities and colleges, is possible to educate individuals on a global level about their rights and freedoms. Education is a fundamental tool that promotes tolerance for the rights of all fellow human beings. On an international scope, UNESCO touts education as a powerful way to lift poverty-stricken individuals and help them participate as citizens. Social workers in this area believe education must encompass peace, equality, and justice in a non-violent and non-discriminative atmosphere.

Social work and human rights intersect on a number of levels. The above jobs are examples of careers that protect and uphold the rights and freedoms of all humans. They allow individuals to take active roles in society and improve the quality of life for a large group of less fortunate people.