Archives for posts with tag: human-rights

Pro-independence parties have restarted talks on the formation of an effective government in Catalonia. The negotiations broke down two weeks ago, following a wave of mutual reproaches and criticism. However, the announcement of the Spanish government that it will use its direct rule over Catalonia to eliminate Catalan as a vernacular language at schools has forced ERC and JxCat to understand each other and accelerate their negotiations.

A number of possible formulas to swear in Puigdemont as president are under discussion. The possibility of forming a dual government with some members in Brussels and others in Barcelona appears to be the most feasible one. In an interview with ACN (Catalan News Agency), Elsa Artadi (JxCat) said that her party and the ERC are preparing the necessary logistics to make it possible to govern from both places.

She also said that Puigdemont has to be sworn in even though the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Spanish government are determined to prevent it from happening. She explains that Puigdemont cannot be just a symbolic figure. For her candidacy, she has to “govern, be part of the executive power and have completelegitimacy.” Artadi added that Puigdemont should be the leader of the country, the one “setting the tone” of Catalonia’s politics.

 

Source: Dual Government in Catalonia? : Josep Goded

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It is shameful that Theresa May will not scrap this law and that being so would it be possible to review this Act so that it becomes more relevant to the 21st Century.

This being that now, as it was not so in 1824 there are other means to consider people who are homeless. Rather than criminalise them the Law should be reviewed so that there is a commitment or ‘Duty of Care’ on every Local Authority to do everything possible to minimise homelessness. Many of these homeless persons will be there due to circumstances, which in many ways would be outwith their control and therefore each individual should be considered so that their life could be changed in such a way that they are given choices that are mutually agreed upon and not just dealt with like an object that can be bungled away.

Like everyone these homeless persons also have rights and deserve the choice to lead a reasonable life.

Govt Newspeak

Theresa May refuses to back bid to scrap Dickensian law that criminalises rough sleepers

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions

Lib Dem Layla Moran has called for the 1824 Vagrancy Act to be repealed – but the Prime Minister refused to back it. Theresa May has refused to give her backing to a bid to scrap a Dickensian law that criticises homeless people sleeping rough.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has called for the “draconian” law to be scrapped, after it was used by local authorities more than 2,000 times last year. Most recently, Windsor council wanted to use it to ensure homeless people were “moved on” ahead of the Royal Wedding.

Conservative Simon Dudley said beggars could present the town in a “sadly unfavourable light” when Prince Harry marries American actress Meghan Markle in May. He drew criticism from figures including Prime Minister Theresa May…

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A school is facing a privacy backlash from parents after removing the front wall of a girls’ toilet block.

Parents of children at St Mary’s College in Wallasey have criticised the re-design, with many concerned about their daughters’ privacy.

The exterior wall of one of the school’s female toilet blocks has been removed to make the toilets open plan with the only doors now being those on individual cubicles.

A video sent to the ECHO shows the toilets, which are set back off a corridoor, facing what are believed to be two classrooms and a CCTV camera.

Parents have claimed their children have been told the wall had been removed in a bid to stop smoking, bullying and pupils skipping class and hiding in the toilets.

 

Source: Parents’ privacy fears as school removes wall from front of girls’ toilet block : Liverpool Echo


Spain do your duty and support the majority in Catalonia, that is democracy in action.

Josep Goded

Over the past few years, unionist parties together with the Spanish government had been saying that the vast majority of Catalans, who support the unity of Spain, were being silenced by the Catalan ‘separatist’ government. They contended that pro-independence parties always tend to win an absolute majority in general elections because most unionists never participate in Catalan electoral contests due to the fact that they do not identify with Catalan politics.

This was the main reason why the Spanish administration called for snap elections: “To give citizens back their voice.” However, this myth, which has been spread by unionist forces across Europe for years, was debunked in the latest Catalan general elections held this past December 21st, which had the highest turnout in Catalonia’s history: 82%. 

Pro-independence parties (JxCat, ERC, and CUP) not only validated their absolute majority of seats in Parliament (70), but got more than 2 million votes:…

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A pregnant wife from India has been refused entry to the UK to be with her Scottish husband because her English is ‘too good’.

Alexandria Rintoul wants to join her husband Bobby in St Andrews, Fife but the couple say she’s been denied a visa despite passing a higher level International English Language Testing System exam than is required.

Mrs Rintoul, 22, was shocked to learn her visa had been refused, even though she has completed a degree in English and passed an exam which would allow her to study at some of the country’s top universities.

Mr Rintoul, 33, said he fears she will be too pregnant to fly or have even given birth by the time the immigration hitches are sorted out.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5178693/Pregnant-Indian-wife-banned-joining-husband-UK.html#ixzz51LauU8Qu

 

Source: Pregnant Indian wife banned from joining husband in UK


Now these are area for consideration and there may be advantages but there will also be many disadvantages.

One of the main advantages will be that there is an ordered society, but the disadvantage is who creates the order and who will monitor it.

Society values change from time to time and when this occurs would there have to be widespread rewiring or reprogramming. and who will decide when, where and how.

Is this not the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984.

Will this only be occurring within the UK or all over the World and if the latter, what about the different perceptions of Society in each individual country. Then if this is so what would occur when people visit from other countries where the aspects of Society differ from the country they are coming to.

On the face of it rewiring and reprogramming is the ideal, but when taking into account the practicalities, then may be not.
It is also open to abuse from anyone within the ruling classes.

In effect is there not an option at the moment with the rewiring and reprogramming substituted by some forms of medication.

Lastly, would any of us wish to be, within an environment, where everyone would be the same as the next person, surely our individual differences bring enlightenment to all our lives.

Opher's World

All behaviour is either learnt or innate.

There is no such thing as evil. That religious concept went out with the death of the Devil (another human invention).

That does not mean that people do not do ‘evil’ things. They do. We all have the innate behavioural pathways to do cruel, hateful, callous and nasty things.

But most of us don’t. Should the ones who do be punished?

Either their behaviour is the result of being damaged by their horrible experiences, of being taught badly, or of an innate character flaw. Whatever the cause it is down to bad wiring in the brain and bad brain chemistry.

What has been learnt can be unlearnt, wiring can be rewired, chemistry imbalances can be corrected.

In future when we have understood the functioning and biochemistry of the brain a lot better, rather than punish someone for bad behaviour all that will be…

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This is not good news for the disabled and others on low incomes and just proves that you can not trust this Government. On coming into office as Prime Minister Theresa May promised that she would ‘place fairness and social justice at the heart of her premiership’. This we now see was an empty promise and further reduces the trust we all have with regards to our politicians.

At a time when Brexit is a major Government priority, social justice should be, at least, an equal footing.

It now appears that the plight of the disabled and others on low incomes will be made even worse than it is now. We have already seen the punitive cuts to welfare benefits and the assessment processes that are ‘not fit for purpose’.

At a time when our trust in politicians and this Government ,in particular, is extremely low, it is now to be reduced even further.

Does this Government really wish to remove disability and others on low incomes by causing their extinction, by creating conditions that will cause situations where their life survival cannot be maintained. Thus removing many from the welfare system, not by improving their quality of life, but by ending their life.

Source: Theresa May faces new crisis after mass walkout over social policy


A good question for in the Tories austerity campaign there appears to be no room for manoeuvre to allow any reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Will any existing European Union legislation be maintained into UK law and furthermore will EU legislation coming through be also included. Without these current and forthcoming EU legislations the outlook for disabled people will be even more depressing and unequal as it is already.

All of the UK needs to unify behind ensuring that disabled people now and after Brexit are not abandoned by this Tory Government, as you may also become disabled within your lifetime. Think of others like you would for yourself and your own family, otherwise the life for disabled will be far worse than it is now and now is not as good as it should be.

Britain Isn't Eating

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Following debates over the role of faith in social work, Ryan Wise analyses whether insisting beliefs are put to one side is the right approach

Photo: Kieferpix/Fotolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Ryan Wise

In recent weeks there has been plenty of discussion in the social work community about the role of religion, and what part it can play in practice.

This was prompted by a social work student losing an appeal case against his university’s decision to expel him after he shared support for an American registrar who refused to give marriage licenses to gay couples on grounds of faith and said homosexuality was a ‘sin’. His appeal was on the basis that the university had unlawfully interfered with his rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

piece written in Community Care on 6 November inspired me to reflect on my own perspective of being a social worker, a practice educator and a gay male. I think it is important to look at the relationship between social work and religion with an emphasis on when religious belief leads one to hold views possibly at odds with ideas of equality; namely same-sex marriage.

I am personally fascinated by religion and faith, I completed my undergraduate in religious studies where I was curious to explore the complexities of religion and the influence it has on society and people’s thoughts, views and behaviours.

I respect faith and belief and recognise how religion can be a drive to do well in the world. However, when it comes to views against same-sex marriage, I then struggle. Theologically, I must admit I am not au fait with the intricacies of teaching in monotheistic faith which indicates same-sex marriage as wrong.

Quite the contrary, my understanding is that most of the teachings focused on equality.

Right way forward

When confronted with these views, I do wonder if questioning why they are held is the right way forward. I don’t know for sure, but for me it is about understanding how one has come to this view.

It is key to explore such views and explore faith-based viewpoints more generally. I don’t propose questioning theologically, but adopting a curious approach to ethics and values which our profession holds at its foundations.

When I started as a practice educator I was informed on my first day that a high number of students on the University course held the view that same-sex marriage was at odds with their faith and thus possibly wrong. I struggled with this and, truthfully, I still am struggling. I was perhaps surprised as a view which opposed same-sex marriage was one I considered to be held by few rather than the many, like it was in this context.

I believe it is my role to encourage different thinking and curiosity. The example of referring to homosexuality as a sin is perhaps a clear red flag but what about the grey areas? The grey areas indicate that we can only consider each case in its own individual context.

Beliefs in social work

Perhaps it is about the individual person’s ability to consider their beliefs and values concerning same-sex marriage and reflect on difference. It can be argued that not agreeing with same-sex marriage is not the same as a homophobic stance, but again we have the issue of equality.

People have different beliefs, and often the question is how they can be put to one side to effectively practice in social work. I feel this is the wrong position to take and wonder why this is suggested. I do not think we can put our values and beliefs to one side.

We engage with difference all the time and we must engage with ourselves reflexively.

There is a difficulty when beliefs and values are at odds with equality, although this can be explored through the Social Graces. Devised by Roper Hall and Burnham, Social Graces represents aspects of difference in beliefs, power and lifestyle, visible and invisible, voiced and unvoiced, to which we might pay attention too.

The Social Graces have grown since their original development and currently represent: Gender, Geography, Race, Religion, Age, Ability, Appearance, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Employment, Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, and Spirituality.

An important part of self-reflexivity is engaging with the Social Graces. Religion is only one of the graces, do you have specific ideas about people’s ages, or people’s class or race? Are we always acutely aware of what we think or believe? With so many Graces in play at any one time, should differences over religion and faith play such a prominent role in deeming what makes a person fit or unfit to be a social worker?

My point is that we all hold different views, ideas and beliefs and we must engage with ourselves in the reflexive process to question those.

Critical reflection

For me it is no coincidence that in my colleagues’ article they mentioned the student in the case central to this renewed debate did not ‘demonstrate critical reflection or regret about his comments, showing little insight into how LGBTQ+ service users might experience such an attitude’.

Critical reflection is a process, a process supported and encouraged by good quality supervision.

I have learned that it is my role as a practice educator to engage with beliefs and values concerning same-sex marriage which are at odds to my own and develop curious thinking.

I am coming from a standpoint that one can hold views that are different, or be seen by the majority as ‘unethical’, and if they are willing to engage with their beliefs then they can practice as a social worker.

I am not saying this is a right or wrong view, merely pointing out there is a plurality of beliefs and values.

If someone is sharing beliefs or values that are outwardly discriminatory or oppressive then it is different to being opposed to same-sex marriage because you believe it to be at odds with your faith. If same-sex marriage is not compatible with your religious beliefs, what counts as ‘good enough’ engagement or reflection and do we have a standard to work towards to allow practitioners to start working with vulnerable children and families?

Fostering curiosity

I think there must be a standard; it is for the practice educator or manager to consider that individual’s capacity to reflect and engage with the Social Graces; if there is evidence of little-to-no reflexive willingness or skill I would question how that person would be able to effectively encourage and empower children and families to change.

I have spoken a lot about what is expected of someone else, but there’s also a question around how I address my own views and my own responsibilities. I must be open and foster curiosity, creating a space for students to explore their thinking. I need to engage with my own approach. I respect religion, but I am not a religious person myself; do I think about this enough when working with those who hold strong beliefs and values?

Reflexivity is not just for those who have faith, or who may hold views we deem controversial, its for every member of the profession.

I recently attended a talk on Witchcraft and Spirit possession. Here I saw a particularly inspirational speaker who spoke openly about how, as a pastor’s wife and a social worker, she skilfully articulated how she negotiated challenges of faith and practice.

The reflexive skill showed was outstanding and left me feeling enthused.

We need to identify our own areas of development and realise that this is not an easy area to articulate or navigate. It is important to consider the culture of organisations and the profession, and how they can work together to bring out these conversations.

This is necessary, not only to ensure that practice is anti-discriminatory but also support practitioners to feel that they should not have to hide their faith.

Ryan Wise is an advanced social work practitioner in children’s services. He tweets @ryanwise18.

 

Source : Should we ask social workers to ignore their religious beliefs? : Community Care


Josep Goded

On Saturday, over a million Catalans marched in Barcelona to call for the release of the Catalan political prisoners recently imprisoned by Spain. The demonstration was given the name of “National Day for Liberty,” aiming for the same level of attendance and international impact as the yearly celebrations for Catalonia’s September 11th National Day. The demonstration filled more than three kilometers (almost 2 miles) of one of the Catalan capital’s main thoroughfares. Almost a thousand buses loaded with independentists from across the country headed to the protest in Barcelona.

At the front of the demonstration, a banner held by family members of the Catalan political prisoners and the organizers read, “Freedom for political prisoners, we are the Republic.” Attendance exceeded the expectations of the organizers, which delayed the beginning of the protest by an hour. The march lasted for 3 hours before arriving at the intersection with Avenida Icària, where…

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