Every year 20th February is observed as the World Day of Social Justice. The day is celebrated to promote equal rights and opportunities among people within a country and between nations.
The United Nations General Assembly had approved the day on 26 November 2007 and every year since 2009 social justice day is observed to raise awareness about social injustices throughout the world. This day is aimed at encouraging people to look at how social justice affects eradication of poverty, enhances employment and bring forth communal integration.
According to the International Labour Organisation estimates around two billion people still live in fragile and conflict-affected situations, of whom more than 400 million are aged 15 to 29.
How did this day come?
The World Summit for Social Development was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995 which resulted in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. The summit was the largest gathering ever of world leaders at that time. More than 100 political leaders in this summit pledged to fight poverty, promote full employment and to provide safe and stable societies. They also agreed on the need to put people in the centre of development plans.
Ten years later, the UN’s member states reviewed the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action when they gathered at a session of the Commission for Social Development in New York in February 2005. Social advancement was one of the key commitments made by all the members there. Subsequently, the UN General Assembly later proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007.
The UN also stated that creation of employment, better quality of work and access to jobs for the bottom 40 per cent of a population has the “potential to increase incomes and contribute to more cohesive and equitable societies”. This, in effect, helps to prevent violent conflicts as well as address post-conflict challenges.
The global body also maintains that observance of a social justice day should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.