Source: The Assam Tribune Relevance: GS Paper ll (Social Justice)

Context: Each year, on February 20th, the global community comes together to observe the World Day of Social Justice. This day is a reminder of the urgent need to address inequality, injustice, and social exclusion worldwide. As significant challenges continue to threaten social cohesion and stability, the day emphasises the imperative of fostering fairer and more equitable societies.

World Day of Justice:

  • For the World Day of Social Justice 2024, the selected theme, “Bridging Gaps, Bridging Alliance,” emphasises the significance of cooperation and alliance in addressing global challenges.

  •  This theme stresses the necessity of collective endeavours from governments, organisations, and individuals to bridge gaps and strive for inclusive and sustainable development.

History and Significance:

  • Origin and Establishment of World Day of Social Justice: The World Day of Social Justice originated from a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly on November 26, 2007.

  • The date of February 20 was designated as an annual observance to emphasise the importance of social justice as a fundamental principle in all policies and initiatives.

  • International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration: The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization was adopted in 2008, further solidifying the global significance of social justice.

  • This declaration underscored that social justice is not only a moral imperative but also crucial for achieving peace, security, and sustainable development.

Promoting Decent Work and Fair Globalization:

  • Advocacy for Decent Work and Fair Globalisation: The World Day of Social Justice centres around advocating for decent work and fair globalisation.

  • This includes ensuring that everyone has access to employment opportunities, social protections, and rights.

  • Importance of Constructive Social Dialogue: The United Nations stresses the importance of constructive social dialogue between governments, employers, and workers.

  • This dialogue is crucial for addressing persistent inequalities and injustices.

  • Challenges in Advancing Social Justice: Despite progress, challenges like widespread labour insecurity, high inequality, and social unrest remain.

  • These challenges are further exacerbated by global crises, highlighting the urgent need for collective action and solidarity.

Principles of Social Justice:

Social justice is guided by several core principles:

  • Equity: Ensuring everyone has access to the same opportunities and resources.

  • Equality: Treating everyone with the same level of respect and dignity.

  •  Fairness: Ensuring that no one is disadvantaged or discriminated against.

  •  Inclusivity: Creating a society that embraces diversity and welcomes everyone.

  •  Human Rights: Upholding the rights of every individual, regardless of race, gender, religion, or socio-economic status.

Importance of Social Justice:

  • Reduces Inequality: Social justice initiatives aim to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, ensuring that everyone has access to basic needs and opportunities.

  • Promotes Peace and Stability: By addressing the root causes of social injustice, such as poverty and discrimination, social justice helps create a more peaceful and stable society.

  • Fosters Economic Growth: A fair and just society encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth, benefiting everyone.

  • Upholds Human Dignity: Social justice ensures that every individual is treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their background.

Challenges of Social Justice:

  • Systemic Inequality: Structural inequalities, such as racism, sexism, and classism, are deeply ingrained in society and can be difficult to address.

  •  Lack of Political Will: Political leaders may lack the will to implement social justice policies due to political pressures or conflicting interests.

  • Resistance to Change: Some individuals or groups may resist social justice initiatives, fearing a loss of power or privilege.

  •  Complexity: Social justice issues are often complex and multifaceted, requiring comprehensive and nuanced solutions.

Social justice is a fundamental concept that is essential for creating a fair and equitable society. While there are challenges to overcome, the principles of social justice can guide us towards a more inclusive and just world.

Advait IAS