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Social work and human rights: a practice guide.

Harms-Smith, Linda; Martinez-Herrero, Maria Ines; Arnell, Paul; Bolger, Janine; Butler-Warke, Alice; Cook, William; Downie, Margaret; Farmer, Natalia; Nicholls, Jack; MacDermott, Denise


Linda Harms-Smith

Maria Ines Martinez-Herrero

William Cook

Natalia Farmer

Jack Nicholls

Denise MacDermott


The legislation and policy under which social workers practice is governed by human rights legislation. The Human Rights Act 1998 identified a number of protections including the right to liberty (Article 5) and the right to family life (Article 8). Social workers undertaking mental health assessments have to take into account Article 5 as do social workers applying Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Social workers (and the courts) making decisions about the removal of children, or adoption, have to take into account Article 8. As this Practice Guide will demonstrate there are many other examples.


HARMS-SMITH, L., MARTINEZ-HERRERO, M.I.,ARNELL, P., BOLGER, J., BUTLER-WARKE, A., COOK, W., DOWNIE, M., FARMER, N., NICHOLLS, J. and MACDERMOTT, D. 2019. Social work and human rights: a practical guide. Birmingham: BASW [online]. Available from

Report Type Research Report
Online Publication Date Dec 19, 2019
Publication Date Dec 19, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 28, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2020
Publisher British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
Keywords Social workers; Human rights; Liberty; Family life; Mental health; Children; Adoption; Social work practice
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