BASW & SWU Statement on Israel-Palestine conflict

SWU & BASW Statement

Joint statement by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the Social Workers Union (SWU)

BASW and the SWU stand with the innocent victims, their families and all civilians at risk of harm and death in Israel and Palestine in the current terrible and escalating conflict. We unequivocally condemn the targeting of civilians by Hamas and the Israeli military. 

There is no military solution to this situation. Only a negotiated political settlement together with respect for international law, will end the violence.   

Within the international community, social workers and our representative organisations can play an important role in ‘bottom up’ initiatives to build understanding and consensus across different communities in the longer term. In the short term, we call for the urgent provision of humanitarian aid, safe passage for all civilians at risk, and local and international diplomatic efforts to end the violence. 

We also want to support members and others affected by this violence, whether through loss or harm of loved ones in the conflict or through the impact of this outbreak of hostilities on community relationships and safety in the UK.  We condemn in the strongest possible terms and stand against all instances of Antisemitism and Islamophobia within the UK and globally.

BASW is an active member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and we support their statement in response to the situation, which can be viewed here.  SWU is an active member of the General Federation of Trades Unions. Together we will continue to work within respective bodies to advocate for social work’s voice in this situation. Our thoughts are with all social work colleagues in the region.

Update on 25 October 2023: As a union affiliate we fully support the GFTU statement on Palestine which builds on our statement produced with BASW.