09 Feb 2024 - Cork social workers to take to city in support of ceasefire in Gaza this weekend
Cork social workers to take to city in support of ceasefire in Gaza this weekend
The role of social workers in Gaza has been ‘decimated’, according to the IASW
Cork-based social workers seeking an immediate ceasefire to end the “carnage” in Gaza will march from Grand Parade this Saturday in solidarity with their colleagues in Palestine.
The workers will participate in the weekly demonstration organised by the Cork Palestine Solidarity Campaign and walk behind the banner of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), an organisation which released a statement calling for an end to the conflict in the Middle East last month.
Vivian Geiran is the chairperson of IASW and is expecting a “visible presence” of the body’s members at this weekend’s demonstration, following on from a similar march by social workers in Dublin in January.
Mr Geiran toldThe Corkmanthat because his organisation is committed to humanitarianism, it condemns all war crimes, including those perpetrated by Hamas on October 7.
“At this stage the level of response by Israel is causing such carnage in Gaza and even though we’re not a political organisation we’re founded on human rights principles and we just have to make our views known in that regard,” Mr Geiran said.
The director, who is also a lecturer in social work and policy at Trinity College, said that people’s “most fundamental rights” are being “trampled on” in Palestine and that the IASW is of the view that the only way to address this issue is with an immediate ceasefire that will allow steps to be taken toward a “lasting solution”.
Mr Geiran said that the roles of social workers and those involved in humanitarian work in Gaza have been “decimated” as a result of the conflict.
“Social workers have been killed and imprisoned and they are not able to carry out their functions in the prevailing conditions in Gaza,” Mr Geiran said.
“Understandably, the focus is on life and limb and that’s the most obvious threat for people there, but social workers, whether it’s in Ireland or Palestine or anywhere else, do carry out critical social services and in that context they’ll be left picking up the pieces for years if not decades to come.”