American Academy Blog

Illegal Social Work

March 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm Comments are off for this post

The obligations of social workers to their clients, and the commitments they make to social justice sometimes require them to break the law. This creates a whole host of moral, administrative, and logistic challenges for the profession. The most important example of this currently is, in my view, the underground railroad that evacuates North Korean refugees to South Korea. Protecting these refugees from repatriation to North Korea and subsequent torture and execution in prison camps involves breaking the law in China and other countries. Yet these refugees have the same needs for services and expertise as other social work clientele.