This report will discuss the Red Cross and its diversity policy. An overview of the policy will be identified and it’s key components examined. Australian Federal Government responses to diversity and Red Cross Australia will also be looked at. The impact of the diversity policy on Red Cross Australia will be analysed examining legal and ethical issues, the clients who use the service and some recommendations for improvement.
What is social policy?
Social policy is used as a kind of ethical answer to the question of ‘what do we as citizens owe to each other’ (Bessant, Watts, Dalton & Smyth, 2006). To make policy, policy makers do research – they read, hold meetings and give interviews. Governments then draft legislation and politicians meet in Parliament to vote on and pass legislation. The next step is to set the wheels of policy in motion with detailed programs. This is a social activity often created by groups of people inside networks or policy-making communities. There is a collective quality about these networks, as the ideas and activities come to be more important than the personal feelings of any one person (Bessant, et., al.,2006). Red Cross Australia is an example of one of these networks.
Australian Red Cross and Diversity Policy
Australian Red Cross believes in the power of humanity. ‘Relief in times of crisis, care when its needed most and commitment when others turn away. Red Cross is there for people in need, no matter who you are, no matter where you live’ (www.redcross.org.au). The fundamental principles of Red Cross Australia are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service and universality. Australian Red Cross uses the Board Social Policy statements for humanitarian diplomacy to persuade and influence decision makers and opinion leaders to act in particular ways in the interests of vulnerable people. The Red Cross is a non-government organisation that is community based. There is a high level of trust and a large amount of voluntarism. Agendas are created involving group discussions around important issues. Powell (1991) states that it is important to have an anthropological understanding when policy making and the Red Cross is front line when it comes to agenda – setting (Bessant, et., al., 2006). Through being there with the people in times of crisis they understand what people need and can give it to them. This creates waves and therefore involves the community and the media, which in turn presses the Government into action (Bessant, et. al., 2006).
The Red Cross Diversity Policy states that aid will be given, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress. The Red Cross does not discriminate against nationality, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, social background, family status, age or political opinion.
Red Cross Australia makes the following commitments to diversity.
To provide access, equity and respect to Red Cross people
To provide access, equity and respect for clients and beneficiaries To focus on marginalised groups
To promote respect for diversity
As a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development Red Cross is committed to high standards in financial reporting, management and ethical practice (www.acfid.com).
Red Cross Australia embraces the diversity of Australian society and believes the respect and acceptance are imperative in an equitable, multicultural society. The Red Cross has developed, with the Department of Immigration, a diverse Australia program, which celebrates diversity and encourages all young Australians to engage themselves with issues of multiculturalism. A range of activities has been designed to increase a mutual understanding between young Australians of varied backgrounds. These youth led projects are effective when it comes to encouraging this mutual understanding. Red Cross believes that every Australian has a rich cultural...
References: Humanitarian reference group. Retrieved from http://www.acfid.com
Multiculturalism: a review of Australian policy statements and recent debates in Australia and overseas, (2010)
Bessant, J., Watts, R., Dalton, T. & Smyth, P., (2006). State organisations and social policy- making. In Talking Policy: How social policy is made (pp208-234). Sydney: Allen Unwin.
Jamrozik, A. (2009). Social Policy in the post welfare state: Australian Society in a changing world (3rd ed.). Sydney, Australia: Pearson Education.
Social diverstiy policy
United Nations: (1948). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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