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To: All GE2020 candidates

Social Work Action Network Ireland Election 2020 Charter

Social Work Action Network Ireland Election 2020 Charter

All those standing in the General Election on February 8th 2020 are being asked to endorse the Charter by signing it and committing themselves to this urgent 19-point reform progamme. SWAN supporters are also asked to support the principles in the Charter.

1. All current social work vacancies will be filled and a two fold increase in the number of social workers across all sectors in the state will be invested in.
2. Quality public sector home-care services will be provided on a statuary basis.
3. Appropriate resourcing to be committed to implementing all aspects of the Assisted Decision-Making Act, once enacted.
4. The full implementation of ‘Vision for Change’. Publish legislation in 2020 to reform the Mental Health Act in full. Commit to fully funding mental health policy and increasing mental health to 10% of health budget.
5. All prisoners will be guaranteed timely access to a social worker.
6. The Habitual Resident Condition which is punitive and has prompted hardship and distress will be scrapped.
7. Immediate action will be taken to meaningfully address the global refugee crisis.
8. Immediate action on the global climate and ecological emergency by committing to net zero emissions by 2030 in recognition of Ireland's historic responsibility for climate change as a wealthy developed country and in recognition of Ireland's commitment to climate justice.
9. Uphold the obligations of the state under the Istanbul Convention to adequately resource domestic violence services across the state.
10. Uphold the rights of children with disabilities to receive proper and adequate education and in a manner that ensures their full and active participation in society.
11. In line with the state’s human rights obligations, emergency measures will be put in place to address the conditions, amounting to institutionalised abuse, encountered by children and their families within the ‘direct provision’ system. The systemic exclusion of asylum seekers from daily life and civil society will cease.
12. Children will be safeguarded and protected and their rights, identified in the UN Convention, will be respected.
13. The Family Court Bill (pre-legislative scrutiny stage) must be enacted. A specialised Regional Family Court service to be developed in tandem with this.
14. A national root and branch care review will be called.  
15. Eliminating child poverty will be a top priority for the next Government. 
16. Commit to beginning an immediate programme of building 80,000 fully public social houses over the next government lifetime, immediate rent controls and an end to mortgage-related evictions, as part of an overall strategy to deal with homelessness and the housing crisis.
17. Introduction of statutory standards in homeless services.
18. The immediate cessation of use of hotel accommodation for individuals and families who are homeless.
19. Reinstating adequate funding for community drug task forces.

Why is this important?

You can do your bit to get candidates to endorse the charter by emailing them and sending them to the link to the online petition containing the charter and 19-point reform programme.
Tell them why signing the charter is important to you. Make sure to tell the candidates to include their party/affiliation when they sign the charter.
SWAN supporters are also asked to support the principles in the charter by using the hashtag #SWs4Change in #GE2020 and signing up to the charter.
If a candidate comes to your door canvassing hand them a hardcopy of the charter (downloadable pdf on our wordpress blog, link below) and ask them to sign up to it. Tweet us a picture of the signed charter using the hashtag #SWs4Change.
Thanks for doing your bit for social justice ahead of #GE2020. Let us know how you get on and who signs the charter by tweeting us @SWAN_IRL and using the hashtag #SWs4Change.

How it will be delivered

We will collate all signatories to the charter (online petition and hardcopy) on our blog here:

Reasons for signing

  • It's time for our next government to prove they are worth our time and votes by publicly signing up to the principles in this charter.


2020-01-21 22:53:07 +0000

50 signatures reached

2020-01-20 06:37:46 +0000

25 signatures reached

2020-01-19 21:45:21 +0000

10 signatures reached