Social Disparity Theory

1294 Words 6 Pages
Human beings have a number of rights in this world, from the right to vote, to the right to have an education; but this doesn’t mean that everyone has the same access to these rights, nor are everyone’s rights as equal as they are professed to be. Human rights are meant to protect people from abuse and oppression, with human right workers being on the front line fighting to protect vulnerable populations from oppression. This however is not separate from the work of a social worker, who must implement and deal with the impacts of the rights on individuals; one profession fights on the political front the other fights often one person at a time. While there is a split between the two practices, human rights and social work go hand in hand. This …show more content…
Vasak (1977) argues that these rights were slotted into two different categories which later became known as the first two generation of human rights, the civil-political along with the social-economic and cultural rights. Vasak goes onto state that the third generation needed to be added due to the changing society, with focuses on what he considered the “rights of solidarity” or community based rights (1977, p. 29). In the early days however, these were primarily focused on the legal side of human rights and what would need to be accomplished in the legal systems or provided by the government. Since Vasak first proposed the term, it has become common in academic literature as a way to describe the differing waves of human rights however, they continued to be discussed in the matter of politics and law (Ife, 2012, p. 43). While three generations of human rights have primarily been connected to the legal side, they all have implications for social work …show more content…
This is because the first generation is being used as a diversion, ignoring the abuses in the second and third generation. The focus on the first is due to the need for protection, primarily by the state in order to prevent human rights abuses; such as securing the right to a fair trial. This has led to a separation between social workers and human rights workers, as people have come to believe that human rights practitioners are only interested in the first generation of rights (Ife 2012, p. 48). Focusing on the first generation is beneficial for government as it allows them to appear as though they are protecting human rights while reducing funding for second generation rights. While this approach to human rights showcases how human rights is relevant to social work practice, this system is also problematic which can make the practice of these three generations confusing. (Androff 2015, p. 32). Androff also argues that while the second generation rights are seen as positive rights which requiring funding in order to be provided; the funds necessary for the first-generation rights are ignored such as a functioning legal system (2015, p. 33). With this model focusing on the legal side, the need for a human rights based approach is there to move human rights passed being a political

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