Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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


Maria Ines Martinez-Herrero

Paul Arnell

Janine Bolger

William Cook

Margaret Downie

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.

Report Type Research Report
Publication Date Dec 19, 2019
Publisher British Association of Social Workers (BASW)
Institution Citation 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
Keywords Social workers; Human rights; Liberty; Family life; Mental health; Children; Adoption; Social work practice
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations