World Day of Social Justice – February 20, 2023

World Day of Social Justice is observed annually on February 20. Internationally, the world is plagued with unfortunate issues that prohibit millions of individuals from living a fair life. Many of the world’s population, through no fault of their own, are deprived of basic facilities, such as homes, jobs, healthcare, education, nutrition, and more.

It must be the responsibility of the privileged to ensure that we can create a just world where social justice is a norm.

History of World Day of Social Justice

The world is facing significant issues including serious financial crises, poverty, exclusion among societies, discrimination, lack of access to facilities, and unemployment, that prohibit full participation in the global economy for developing countries. Back in 1995, Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted the World Summit for Social Development. This resulted in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. Over 100 political leaders took a pledge to alleviate poverty, work towards full employment and create stable, safe, and just societies. They also decided that they needed to put people at the center of the development plans.

In 2005 in New York, the U.N.’s member states reviewed the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action at a session of the Commission for Social Development. They agreed to commit to advancing social development. Two years later on November 26, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared that starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, February 20 will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice. On June 10, 2008, The International Labour Organization adopted the I.L.O. Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization.

Organizations across the world including the United Nations and the International Labour Office, make statements on the importance of social justice for people. Organizations also prepare and present plans for tackling issues and promoting social justice. Trade unions also participate and do their bit in marking this day. The Russian General Confederation of Trade Unions has in fact declared the common slogan as ‘Social Justice and Decent Life for All!’

World Day of Social Justice timeline

1950s — 1960s
Civil Rights Movement

A civil rights movement takes place for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law in the United States.

1961
Affirmative Action

President John F. Kennedy signs an affirmative action for social justice.

1990
Americans with Disabilities Act

President George H. W. Bush signs the final bill version of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

2020
A Drop in Executions

Amnesty International records 483 executions in 18 countries, a 26% decrease from what was recorded in the year earlier.

World Day of Social Justice FAQs

What are the four principles of social justice?

The four interrelated principles of social justice are equity, access, participation, and rights. These are important to create a socially sound world for every individual.

What is an example of social justice?

Social justice essentially means fairness in society which includes healthcare, employment, housing, and more. Over the years, it has started applying to all aspects of society, including race and gender.

What are some social issues?

Some of the most pressing social issues are poverty, homelessness, climate change, gender inequality, and access to healthcare, e.t.c.

How to Observe World Day of Social Justice

  1. Advocate for a social cause

    There are several social issues that need attention. Do your research and advocate for a cause. It could be anything related to race, education, healthcare, malnutrition, etc. Use social media to conduct a digital campaign. Start a conversation, build dialog, call for action, and try to make a difference in the world.

  2. Organize a social justice event

    There are many social justice events that take place around the world to raise awareness. You can either start one in your own neighborhood to attract more people or volunteer to host an already recurring event. Contribute with your time and efforts to create a fair world for everyone.

  3. Educate yourself on social issues

    Many social issues go unnoticed due to the lack of information available in the world. Equip yourself with adequate knowledge through books, conversations with the most affected groups. Travel around the world to see the conditions in other countries.

5 Important Facts About Social Justice

  1. Gender discrimination in the world

    A report by the World Bank measured gender discrimination in 187 countries with only six countries giving women and men equal legal work rights.

  2. Kimberly Motley, Human Rights Attorney

    Motley is one of the most effective International Human Rights Attorneys and Defense Attorneys operating in Afghanistan.

  3. First Nobel Peace Prize

    The first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize is Ralph Bunche.

  4. Greta Thunberg’s scathing speech

    Thunberg is one of the youngest social justice activists who made headlines with her speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

  5. Black Lives Matter demonstrations

    According to data, around 26 million people in the United States participated in Black Lives Matter demonstrations, making it the largest movement in the history of the country.

Why World Day of Social Justice is Important

  1. It creates a fair world

    Social justice is essential in creating a fair and just world for everyone. Be it access to basic healthcare for a better life, education, equal opportunities, or living in a safe world. Social justice is required to ensure it is a fair world and every individual can thrive.

  2. It allows each individual to live with dignity

    With access to education, healthcare, shelter, employment, e.t.c., individuals can lead a dignified life without having to rely on the mercy of others. It is important that people feel a sense of belonging in this world to ensure harmonious relations and progression.

  3. Social issues are highlighted

    World Day of Social Justice raises awareness on the many prevailing issues in the world that don’t get enough attention. It is not known to many that malnutrition across the world is a serious issue. Another major concern is childhood obesity. By focusing on these, we can take appropriate measures to alleviate them and provide a better life to many.

World Day of Social Justice dates

YearDateDay
2022February 20Sunday
2023February 20Monday
2024February 20Tuesday
2025February 20Thursday
2026February 20Friday

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