Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Introducing Human Rights in Social Work: Curriculum Endeavours

Briskman Linda.

This paper discusses endeavours to introduce human rights frameworks into social work education in universities in Victoria and Western Australia. As well as presenting example from the curriculum, it raises some of the dilemmas for social work education in drawing on international, legalistic and western frameworks in advancing the causes of groups marginalised from full participation in society.

The authors draw on their areas of expertise to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of human rights endeavours in social work practice and in classroom teaching. The examples include social work with asylum seekers, Indigenous groups and people with mental illness.

The question of integration of a human rights discourse into social work programs is analysed, using student feedback data. The benefits and weaknesses of teaching human rights as an elective is discussed.


Briskman Linda  (Australia)
Associate Professor of Social Work
School of Social Science and Planning
RMIT University

Linda Briskman is Associate Professor of Social Work at RMIT University. She teaches and writes in the areas of human rights, Indigenous studies and asylum seeker policy. Sharlene Nipperess is a PhD student at RMIT University. She has previously taught human rights courses in Western Australia and has expertise in the fields of asylum seekers and refugees and mental health.

  • Human rights teaching
  • Social work

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)