Social work in Germany is becoming increasingly affected by escalating economic, social and environmental crises in and between countries all over the globe. These crises are caused by a range of mutually exacerbating developments, such as poverty, the climate crisis and environmental destruction, populism and racism, inadequate healthcare, insufficient international safeguarding of human rights, and forced migration due to war and conflict. Growing inequalities demand a professional and political positioning of social work, in both theory and practice, on all levels – local, national, international, transnational and global – in order to protect human rights and bring about socially and environmentally just transformation.
The Expert Group for International Social Work seeks to overcome national silos in social work research, teaching and practice by promoting transnational perspectives and internationalisation in all of the profession’s fields of action. International dialogue and international social work associations play an important role as partners here, as do social movements and civil society organisations. Professional training, expertise and organisation in the context of international social work are key elements of our participation in global social, political and economic discourses as advocates for those who, because of structural marginalisation, are unable to make their voices heard. However, we also represent our own interests when shaping professional standards while at the same time attending to the very different conditions and (postcolonial) developments in the Global North and South.
Our group members’ specialisations integrate transnational, European and comparative social work under the umbrella term “international social work”.
This expert group welcomes new members; please contact our spokespersons if you are interested in joining us.