United Nations regards social justice as the underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence among the nations. With the vision of promoting social justice globally, the United Nations General Assembly on 26th November 2007 approved the observance of “World Day of social Justice”, which is observed on 20th February, starting in 2009.
Organizations like ALA (American Library Association) and ILO (International Labour Office) actively participate by giving statements on vital issues concerning social justice.
The prime agenda behind the observance of “World Day of social Justice” is to promote peace and harmony, prosperity and social justice globally, by addressing the issues like – poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, migrant issues and human rights violations etc.
World Day of Social Justice 2019
World Day of Social Justice 2019 was observed globally on 20th February 2019 (Wednesday).
The World Day of Social Justice 2019 theme was “If you want Peace & Development, Work for Social Justice”.
National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), Hyderabad organised a two day seminar on the occasion of World Day of Social Justice. The topic for the seminar was ‘Sustainable Development and Social Justice: Issues and Way Forward’. There were around 75 participants from various states who took part in the seminar.
The day was also observed in the UN headquarters through various meetings, discussions and seminars with a focus on social justice and how it could help for peace and development in the world. There were various campaigns which were launched to mark the day and to raise awareness on the reach of social justice across the globe.
Why is the World Day of Social Justice Observed?
The United Nations recognizes social justice as the main principle for bringing global peace and prosperity. Social justice is the main factor in achieving peace, harmony and prosperity around the globe.
The world has many issues which obstruct its path to peace and prosperity, like – poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, gender inequality, crime and human rights violations. The UN’s objective of Sustainable Development cannot be achieved unless these issues are addressed.
With the objective of bringing and promoting social justice by making the world a fair place, with equal opportunities and rights for all, without caste, religion or gender discrimination, providing equal opportunities to prosper and grow; United Nations celebrate the “World Day of Social Justice”.
The observance of the World Day of Social Justice brings International community together to make efforts towards promoting global peace and equality.
It makes the political thinkers and policy makers across the world, admire the fact that the global goals of Sustainable Development can only be achieved by bringing social justice.
Social justice is a key principle that ensures progress, prosperity along with equal wealth distribution, equal opportunities and also eliminates any discrimination based on age, caste, creed, religion, gender or physical differences.
How Is the World Day of Social Justice Observed?
The World Day of Social Justice is observed with the prime objective of promoting social justice and bringing the international community together to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, gender and physical discriminations, religious discrimination etc in the pursuit of a socially integrated society.
Various organizations like United Nations, ILO (International Labor Office) and ALA (American Labour Organization) issue public statements on the significance of social justice.
Plans to bring social justice by improving literacy, ensuring equality and eradicating poverty are presented by many organizations. Non Government Organizations and other unions throughout the globe; work in their own capacity to promote social justice and harmony.
Events are organized by schools and colleges around the world addressing the issues like illiteracy, poverty, gender discrimination etc. People are made aware of the need to bring social justice and equality.
Issues regarding social justice around the world are also raised through print and electronic media.
World Day of Social Justice 2018
World Day of Social Justice 2018 was observed on 20th February 2018 (Tuesday) with the central theme- “Workers on The Move: The Quest for Social Justice”.
The main objective of the World Day of Social Justice 2018 is to tackle the issue of social justice and labor migration and to formulate policies to address them.
Journalists associated with ILO (International Labor Organization) spoke on the issues of migratory labors across the world. Issues concerning them in their country of origin as well as destination were talked about and possible policies to address them were recommended.
Policy makers, representatives of civil societies and trade union from around the world along with UN delegates; discussed and debated on the issues of migrant labors.
Following are the topics of the few stories told by the participants during the program at the United Nations-
- Migration and Separation: Stories of the Barren Children in Caribbean.
- Ince and the hope of being needed: A year and a half with a tireless Turkish Day before laborer in Berlin.
- The Hand that Feeds: Undocumented immigrant workers struggling for labor rights in the food sector.
Things to Do on World Day of Social Justice
1) Raise Awareness
Raise the awareness of the people in your community about social justice and its significance in achieving global peace and prosperity.
2) Address Social Issues
One of the methods of celebrating World Day of Social Justice is to address the social issues in your community. Issues like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, and gender discrimination could be raised through talks and debates.
3) Volunteer with an Organization
Volunteer with an NGO or any other organization working on the issues of Social Justice, towards bringing social equality and harmony. Reach out to the people in need and address their issues. Volunteer in programs and events of the day.
4) Promote Self Employment
Unemployment is also a main factor obstructing social equality. It leads to an economical and social divide often resulting in criminal indulgences. You can inspire the unemployed youths of your community to set up a small business as a mean of income generation. They should be made aware of Government policies and aids provided by the government for establishing own business.
5) Promote and Protect Human Rights
Social Justice is closely connected to human rights, so much so that one reflects the other. Social justice is automatically brought to a place where human rights are practiced and protected and the opposite also holds true. Therefore, to promote social justice promote human rights.
World Day of Social Justice Themes
- Theme of 2019 – “If you want Peace & Development, Work for Social Justice”.
- Theme of 2018 – “Workers on the Move: The Quest for Social Justice”.
- Theme of 2017 – “Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace through Decent Work”.
- Theme of 2016 – “A Just Transition – Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies”.
- Theme of 2015 – “Ending Human Trafficking and forced labour”.
- Theme of 2014 – “Global Inequality”.