The Commonwealth Organisation for Social Work (COSW) is an accredited civil society organisation of the Commonwealth.
Through accreditation, COSW can also advocate for decisions within the Commonwealth to reflect social work aims, ethos, and values.
COSW has representatives in Commonwealth countries who are supported by the local national social work associations in which they are based.
In the UK, BASW plays the important role of providing professional and logistic assistance to COSW.
BASW has been able to present UK social work perspectives in the Commonwealth, leading to campaigning successes on key issues:
- The need for the Commonwealth to recognise the important role women play in the economies of the Global South
- Marginalisation of women, including gender-based violence
- Children’s role as informal carers and how this impacts on their own development
- Oppression of people of different sexual and gender orientation
- Enforced migration
- Sexual exploitation
The relevance of social work advocacy in the Commonwealth can be seen in the submissions to and outcome from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) in London and the CHOGM 2022 in Rwanda.