Greenland is on the one hand a unique case of independent Arctic social policy development and so ... Read more
Greenland is on the one hand a unique case of independent Arctic social policy development and social work education. On the other hand, severe social challenges are still evident in the form of violence towards women, youth suicide (perhaps the highest in the world), and low levels of child welfare.
This paper presents, for the first time, a coherent 50-year historical timeline starting with the National Council’s (Landsrådet) administration of social and labour market affairs in 1968, before the Home Rule Act of 1979 - concluding by examining current social policies anno 2018. It is discussed how social challenges, as listed above, can be linked to previous administration’s struggle to anchor the social work profession to social policy development.
In Greenland, the social work education began in 1985. Today, social workers are graduating with a bachelor-degree in accordance with The Bologna Process. However, as a profession, the Greenlandic social workers are still not organized in a labour union. This poses an essential problem in terms of being able to express a voice from a professional point of view in the social political debate.
Across the Arctic the Greenlandic case is rare in regards to the historic formation of an indigenous people’s administration of social policies. This is only in the making in neighboring countries.
Finally, the paper discusses the relation between an independent social work education, the necessity for a social worker labour union and the forming of future Arctic social policies.
By 2018, Greenland has officially had an independent controlled social and labour administration ... Read more
By 2018, Greenland has officially had an independent controlled social and labour administration for 50 years.
The realization in 1968 took place 12 years before the signing of the Greenlandic home rule act in 1979.
The taking over of the social and labour administration became a historical turning point for the introduction of a more organized and democratic social welfare system.