This module is concerned with the significance of international law for social work both on national and international level. In this context the question is raised how social work is affected when conflicts and violations are discussed in terms of human rights. Critical issues including vulnerable groups (e.g. refugees) and the relation between the first and third worlds, globalization and the legitimacy of the United Nations and other international legal institutions are studied from a socio-legal perspective.
We will also examine the theories, the UN mechanisms and institutionalized practices of human rights and the significance of human rights politics for the structure of social work on a national and international level. The aim is to be able to contextualize, analyze, evaluate, and apply various concepts of human rights.
The concepts of international law, its legitimacy, subjects, and sources as well as selected aspects of enforcement of human rights protection under international law essential for vulnerable groups will be addressed. This will involve discussions regarding international courts such as the ICC and international human rights courts (African, European, and Inter-American) and the relevance of their decisions for social work theory and practice. The protection of human rights in Europe, highlighted in ECHR and relevant documents from the European union are discussed during the course.