World day of social justice: Quest to empower the society
Social justice – what does this actually mean?
Well, it’s the basic concept of equality & equal rights advocating the underlying principle for peaceful & prosperous coexistence within and among society. It is based on the notion that all people should have equal access to wealth, health, wellbeing, justice and opportunity.
On November 26, the UN General Assembly announced that 20 February will be observed as World Day of Social Justice. Back in 1995, 100 political leaders participated in the social development summit at Copenhagen, Denmark. They committed to work for a stable society and mitigate issues like unemployment, poverty & social injustice. 10 years later, in 2005, this plan of action was reviewed by the members of the UN. And the day was first celebrated in 2009.
But is celebrating & marking a day for this enough?
Aren’t we all supposed to contribute in the seeding & germination of social justice in our society?
This year, the theme itself is – If you want peace & development, work for social justice.
It doesn’t depend on just the government or the decision makers alone. It’s how each of us is supportive of the idea and what we can do in our own capacity as an individual to accelerate the idea of social justice and empower our society & people.
The advancement of technology & globalisation has created better opportunities for many but at the same time, there is a dearth of employment & equal opportunities at the base level. This can be mitigated when our society is free from the shackles of discrimination based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.
Many international organisations like United Nations (UN) & International Labour Organisation (ILO) are committed to the development of society & establishment of social justice by proposing plans for equality & fundamental values of the society.
For the UN, the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of their global mission to promote development and human dignity. The adoption of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation by the International Labour Organisation is just one recent example of the UN system’s commitment to social justice. The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work.
According to an estimation by ILO, currently around 2 billion people live in fragile and conflict-affected situations, of which more than 400 million are aged between 15-29 years.
It is also seen that less than 40% people have better quality jobs or better access to jobs which would help to increase their incomes and contribute to more cohesive and equitable societies. Thus, it is important to prevent violent conflicts and address post-conflict challenges.
The ultimate purpose is to spread the awareness among people & prepare the framework for an equal footing for all – this would be a major stepping stone to protect human rights & dignity. The key is to incorporate social integration & inclusion to boost up social development & social justice aiming to implement a society for all at all strata of the society – be it regional, national or international.
“With exclusion and inequality on the rise, we must step up efforts to ensure that all people, without discrimination, are able to access opportunities to improve their lives and those of others.”, Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of UN.