TODAY we celebrate the First World Day of Social Justice.
With the aim of consolidating further the efforts of the global community in eradicating poverty, promoting full employment, decent work, gender equality, and access to social well-being and justice for all, the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) has designated the 20th of February as World Day of Social Justice to be observed for the first time this year.
The day-long celebration seeks to encourage all UN member states to organize activities on the national level that will support the objectives of the 1995 World Summit for Social Development that recognizes how “social development aims at social justice, solidarity, harmony, and equality within and among countries.”
The declaration also acknowledges that economic growth is “a vehicle for promoting equity and social justice, and stresses that a society for all is only attainable with the presence of social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
There are endless numbers of definitions of social justice, an encompassing term that covers the entire spectrum of elements that render quality to the life of a people or a group of people. Put simply, it is the presence of equal justice in all aspects of society, with everyone – from the most marginalized to the most affluent – accorded equal rights, opportunities, and privileges, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, religious or political affiliation, and economic status, among others.
Poverty and crimes against person and property will continue to be the most visible manifestations of the absence of a just and equitable social system. The day-long celebration hopes to achieve a society where everyone enjoys equal rights and privileges and even chances and opportunities in all aspects of life and where mutual respect for individual rights and freedoms is ensured.
The celebration of the first World Day of Social Justice should serve as a reminder to all of us that a just society is the foundation on which peace and unity can be built, and only through which they can be continually nurtured.