Episode 41 - Dr. Elisabeth Reichert: Social Work and Human Rights

Monday, March 08, 2010, 10:46:40 AM

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In this episode, Dr. Elisabeth Reichert traces the history of the human rights movement and addresses the role of social work in that movement. She discusses the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, political, civil, social, and economic rights, and women's rights, and compares the concepts of universal verses culturally relative human rights. She concludes with a discussion of the role of international education and improved understanding of human rights.

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Average Rating: 5stars  still relevant..., Sunday, February 10, 2019

By Kristen F. :

Discussions of human rights will never be irrelevant, and that is certainly evidenced in this podcast, which remains just as current in 2019 as it was in 2010. Given the current political climate and strong feelings toward immigrants in America today, Dr. Reichert reminds us that our role as social workers is to remind those with political and financial capital of the human aspect of the immigration debate, which seems to have been largely forgotten by the warring political parties. Dr. Reichert makes the case for continued emphasis on human rights throughout social work courses, as future social workers are trained not only as clinicians, but more importantly as advocates. She also makes a compelling case for social workers to speak loudly to those in power so that they don’t forget the true universality of human rights, remembering that one group of people is no more worthy than another. This podcast inspired me to be the type of person who is actively involved in politics, not as a member of a particular party but as a member of the human race.

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Average Rating: 5stars  human rights, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Clara B. :

This episode was very enlightening. I appreciate that Dr. Reichert took a moment to reflect how social workers can enforce human rights. One piece of the conversation I found valuable, was when Dr. Reichert mentioned cultures input on human rights. She made it clear that certain past cultural norms are not okay in today’s society, such as domestic violence, in light of the Declaration of Human Rights. She further explained that one cannot use culture, to violate human rights. What I took away from the conversation is that although human rights are vital for society on a national scale, more needs to be done and seemingly is being done to push them on to the forefront. She mentioned that one way to honor those rights is by speaking out against injustices, which as a future social worker, I can start to work on. I found the conversation fascinating and was really grateful to hear about human rights in such a descriptive way

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Average Rating: 5stars  eye opening, Saturday, February 10, 2018

By Aubree J. :

I enjoyed listening to this podcast. I thought it was informative and helpful to make me continue thinking about how the human rights perspective can be impacted by different cultures. Groups may not want feedback regarding their culture from “outsiders” but as social workers, sometimes we have to speak up if a person or a group of people is being mistreated. We may need to advocate for people if their human rights are not being protected. The examples used in this podcast really made it easy to make connections between real world situations and human rights. I agree that it is important for us, as social workers, to understand the history and the documents behind human rights so we can have a voice.
The study abroad trip sounds very powerful and impactful. I think experiences like that can have such a lasting mark and can provide a different lens and really open your eyes to how important human rights are. There have been horrific things that have happened in our history and we need to know about these so we can try to avoid them in the future and it sounds like the study abroad program helps students to understand that.

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Average Rating: 5stars  excellent podcast, Saturday, February 10, 2018

By Susan B. :

I found Dr. Reichert's podcast to be exceptional. Her ability to define human rights and what it means on a local and global scale was very interesting. What I found to be very important was her explanation of the differences between what is a right as it differs from country to country. An example of this is when Dr. Reichert talks about medical insurance being a right in some countries but a privilege in other countries. This was interesting to me because I had not thought of the cultural differences that could impact what is seen as right ans what is seen as a privilege. What I found to be most beneficial in this podcast is the concept that although there are basic human rights culture plays a big role in what is deemed acceptable and what is not. In some countries it is considered culturally normal to beat your spouse and in other countries is not. Just because something is culturally acceptable does not mean it is right. The role of a social worker as a advocate really spoke to me when Dr. Reichert spoke about this. Our world is ever changing and with the changes that come social workers have the distinct responsibility to advocate for the people that may not have the ability to have their voices heard.

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Average Rating: 5stars  human rights and social work education, Monday, February 01, 2016

By Nicolalita :

This is a wonderful listen for anyone struggling with distinguishing the difference between human rights and social justice! Dr. Reichert does a wonderful job speaking to issues, many in the profession shy away from. She speaks to human rights issues on a local as well as a global level and shows a true passion for the education of social work students, particularly around human rights education.

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Average Rating: 5stars  human rights in social work, Saturday, January 30, 2016

By Jennifer Blais :

Dr. Reichert provides great insight into the importance of maintaining a human rights perspective. She highlights how power and domination help to distinguish between cultural relativism and “universal” rights. Social Workers must evaluate the institutional norms and beliefs among a culture to provide effective social work practice. Interactions with cultures outside of our own facilitates an understanding of how history and different cultural norms and belief systems influence its members. A human rights framework also allows Social Workers to see how socioeconomic and racial disparity manifests in this country by looking at the United States resistance to ratifying human rights doctrines addressing discrimination and children. “An emancipated society would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.”- Theodor Adorno

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Average Rating: 4stars  human rights perspective, Saturday, October 29, 2011

By Gina :

Episode # 41, by Dr. Elisabeth Reichert: Social Work and Human Rights was an excellent podcast. The podcast discussed how all aspects of the social work profession are intertwined in the Human Rights perspective. Human Rights are define as every human having the right to their basics needs, such as shelter, clothes, foods, health, and justice, just because they are human beings.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, and states that all human beings should also be treated with dignity and respect and their rights are protected by law. As social workers most of the clients we serve have their human rights violated on a daily basis, and it is our job as social workers to advocate and empower the people who do not have a voice. I liked the part where Dr. Reichert stated that social work is in the business of challenging culture practices in which are harmful, which include social, cultural and economic rights. Discussing Human Right’s violations in my classes has made me become much more aware of how often this truly takes place but more importantly, how challenging it really is on our part to help create change when the people in power are usually the ones guilty of these violations.
I think we should keep talking and discussing this topic, and to also bring a real perspective of what really goes on once we enter the field. Giving students a clear picture of how difficult it can be to create change and advocate for those without a voice at the same time is not as easy as it sounds while also having to follow policies and procedures within your agency or organization. When you are in the role of a supervisor or director also having to balance and maintain numbers and intakes.
I think it is exciting and challenging to find and create new ways for change. The podcast showed that the speaker understands the importance of social workers getting involved in politics on a grassroots level.

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Average Rating: 5stars  the importance of human rights, Sunday, June 05, 2011

By Shermeeka Mason :

I remember reading her text "Social Work and Human Rights" as an undergraduate at SUNY Brockport. Much of what she writes (and what I read) is unfortunate, but not surprising. However, Dr. Reichert shares with listeners the solutions on how social workers can truly change the current status quo--through learning history and getting involved in grassroots activism.

I love how she notes that the U.S. government has yet to ratify much needed amendments that will generate change. This is one of the reasons why we have to learn history so we as social workers can bring those amendments to light and take our leaders to task. I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast not only because I am familiar with some of her work, but because she understands the importance of social workers getting involved in politics on a grassroots level.

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Average Rating: 4stars  human rights perspective, Saturday, July 24, 2010

By Garrett Dickinson :

I enjoyed hearing here personal background and the route she took to achieve what she has. I have read one of her textbooks for a human rights class, and it was gratifying to be able to learn where she comes and the basis for her knowledge and opinions. Furthermore, it was interesting to learn the basis for her teaching style, and more specifically how she gets her students involved in the issues and cultural implications rather than just reviewing documents. She seems like an excellent professor and a great asset to the social work field.
I was interested by her personal definitions of human rights and social justice, Though they are terms which have been defined many times before, she simplified them and made them easily understood. She explained cultural considerations and how they play a major role in any discussion of human rights/social justice and implications involved with clinical practice including working from a strengths perspective.
The most interesting part of the discussion lies in her understanding in the debate between universality and cultural relativism. She explains that universality deals with applying a set of ethical principles and rights to every individual in a universal manner. She goes on to explain that cultural relativism relates to developing ethical principles and rights based on cultural values.
Overall, the discussion was very informative and reinforced the idea and the background from the social work field stems from. It seems as though it can be easy to forget the general ideas and thinking when getting caught up in specialized work.

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Average Rating: 5stars  social work and human rights, Monday, July 19, 2010

By Dao Kamara :

Human rights are define as every human having the right to their basics needs, such as shelter, clothes, foods, health, and justice. Social work is tied within human rights because the NASW code of ethics talks about economic needs and social justices.
human rights provides general coverage for people whose voices could not be heared, who are also abused by people in power. As we all know, everyone has his or her own culture, but some cultures may be abusives to people, and then it is not acceptable according to human rights.
Social worker's practice is useful with human rights; however' the practice is challenging but will help to define the role of culture and the role of the United Nations. social work also work s with different cultures, improving on how to do what is right. social workers could sit with the elders or those who have the power in culture to help them understand that some cultural practices do not help.
For example, social workers should work with the cultural fear in America, which includes health care because America only focuses on human rights in political and civil rights issues, but the basic needs fall to the wayside. Americans fail to address the human right to health rather than an option.
Women's rights are human rights, by looking at discrimination aganist women, education, domestic violence in community. Humans have the right to live with housing, food, and health care. The challenge of social workers is to help the grass root movement by expanding their ideas on the human rights table, because the United Nations gets support through the grass roots movement.
human rights workers and social workers all facess risks and challenges, because they have to speak for those who voices could not be heard. social workers have to work with agencies to involve the human rights perspective in social work.

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