CSWE Press

Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education

Kathryn R. Libal, S. Megan Berthold, Rebecca L. Thomas, and Lynne M. Healy
Publication Date: 01/30/2015
ISBN: 978-0-87293-173-2
Pages: 542
Publisher: CSWE Press

This volume brings together a host of scholars to address curriculum development and teaching methodologies for integrating human rights into social work education. Contributors discuss the theoretical framework and practical applications of the human rights approach in the areas of diverse human rights orientations to curriculum development; policy, research, and social justice; travel study and exchange models; and special populations. The authors press readers to address not only the human rights violations reported widely in the media, but also more familiar issues such as child welfare, poverty, food insecurity, racism, and violence against women. In addition, readers will find ideas for course design and teaching strategies and ample reference material, such as specialized treaties of specific relevance to social work, country and shadow reports, and complaint mechanisms. This book illustrates how the powerful idea of human rights can inform and transform social work education, and ultimately, professional practice.


Joseph Wronka, David Androff, Jane McPherson, Elaine Congress, Nivedita Prasad, Sandra Chadwick-Parkes, Michael Reisch, Louise Simmons, Christina Chiarelli-Helminiak, Brunilda Ferraj, Viviene Taylor, Rosemary Barbera, Shirley Gatenio Gabel, Hugo Kamya, Dennis Ritchie, Laura Guzmán Stein, Jody Olsen, Anusha Chatterjee, Robin Spath, Joyce Lee Taylor, Kirk James, Julie Smyth, Uma A. Segal, Filomena M. Critelli, DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga, Sudha Sankar, S. Megan Berthold, Rebecca L. Thomas, Lynne M. Healy, and Kathryn R. Libal.

About the Editors

Kathryn Libal, PhD, MA
, is associate professor of social work and associate director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. She earned her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Washington. She specializes in human rights, social welfare, and the state and has published on women’s and children’s rights movements in Turkey and on advocacy efforts of international nongovernmental organizations on behalf of Iraqi refugees. Her current scholarship focuses on the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States, including a co-edited volume with Dr. Shareen Hertel, Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism, and a new project on U.S. politics of food security and food policy as a human rights concern. She has also co-authored, with Dr. Scott Harding, a short text, Human Rights-Based Approaches to Community Practice in the United States.

S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, is assistant professor at the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work. She has worked with diverse refugee and asylum seeking survivors of torture, war traumas, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and other traumas since the mid-1980s. She was a clinician and educator in refugee camps in Nepal, the Philippines, and on the Thai-Cambodian border and worked with the Program for Torture Victims in Los Angeles, CA, before joining the faculty of the University of Connecticut. Megan conducts National Institute of Mental Health-funded research examining the prevalence of mental and physical health consequences postgenocide and other traumas among Cambodian refugees. Her community based participatory research in Cambodian communities across the United States has contributed to building community capacity to conduct research to address their health disparities. She frequently testifies as an expert witness in U.S. Immigration Court. Megan was selected as the 2009 National Social Worker of the Year by the NASW.

Rebecca L. Thomas, PhD, MSW, is associate professor at the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work, and the director of the Center for International Social Work Studies. She is appointed to the City of Hartford Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs. She was the principal investigator for a 3-year process and outcome evaluation, “Building Relations and Bridging Social Capital: An Inclusive Approach to Immigrant Civic Engagement Within Libraries.” Her areas of research include micro credit, disasters, remittances, and building social capital. She serves on the Global Affairs Advisory Board of the University of Connecticut, charged with the task of developing a strategic plan and proposing concrete strategies for deepening global education at the university. Recently, she was a Fellow in the Costa Rica Professional Women’s Empowerment Program sponsored by the Global Training and Development Institute of the University of Connecticut and funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Lynne M. Healy, PhD, MSW, is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and founding director of the Center for International Social Work Studies. Her areas of publication include human rights, internationalizing social work curriculum, international social work, human service administration, and ethics. She has written several articles on human rights and social work, co-edited (with Rosemary Link) the recently published Handbook of International Social Work: Human Rights, Development and the Global Profession (Oxford, 2012), and co-edited a 2012 special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education on globalization and social work education (with Shirley Gatenio Gabel). Healy chairs the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) Human Rights Committee, represents the IASSW on the United Nations NGO Committee for Social Development, and is a member of the Council on Social Work Education Katherine A. Kendall Institute Advisory Committee.


"Definitely a welcome addition, relevant and timely, for social work literature, and a great resource for social work educators!" — Marciana Popescu, PhD (Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Service)

"This volume is comprehensive in nature and the chapters provide a wonderful resource in terms of presenting the case for a stronger emphasis on human rights within social work education, summarizing the history of social work's involvement in human rights, demonstrating ways that a human rights framework can be integrated across the social work curriculum, and describing actions that social workers can take to address human rights violations at every practice level." — Joanne Corbin, PhD (Smith College, School for Social Work)

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Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education