“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Martin Luther King Jr
Every year, February 20 is celebrated as the World Day of Social Justice across countries. It is also known as the Social Justice Equality Day.
In November 2007, the United Nations General Assembly approved the annual celebration of this day, which was officially celebrated for the first time in 2009.
Every country in the world has certain common problems relating to poverty, gender inequality, human rights issues, illiteracy, and unemployment, to name a few. This day is celebrated internationally to highlight the need to eliminate such issues and promote social justice and harmony for all.
The United Nations theme of World Day of Social Justice 2023 is ‘Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice’, based on the recommendations of the UN’s “common agenda” to “strengthen global solidarity and rebuild trust in government”.
Thus, this year’s theme provides a chance for discussion with member states, youth, social partners, civil society, UN organisations, and other stakeholders, on how to strengthen the social contract that has been weakened due to increasing inequality, conflicts and weak institutes meant for safeguarding workers’ rights.
Keeping these issues in mind, there has been an effort to construct a coalition for social justice and provide for more investments in good jobs, emphasising on the green, digital and care economy, and on the youth.
The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change-led natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, and violent conflicts around the world have had a massive negative impact on the already rising socio-economic crisis around the world.
These crises have shown interdependence between the different regions of the world and the need to tackle these problems at the global, national and regional levels.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for greater inclusivity and networked multilateralism, global solidarity, and reviving the social contract between countries as part of the approach to protect human rights.
Thus, social justice is an important instrument in the required efficient multilateralism and is also significant for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.