World Day of Social Justice 2023: Theme, History, Significance, and Everything You Need to Know

Every year on February 20, people mark the World Day for Social Justice. The main goal of the World Day of Social Justice celebration is to raise awareness of social injustice and to bring together diverse communities around the world in an effort to eradicate poverty, gender, physical discrimination, illiteracy, and religious discrimination and create a society that is socially integrated.

World Social Justice Day is marked to promote social justice and break down barriers based on gender, age, colour, ethnicity, religion, culture, or disability. Read this article to know everything about it.

World Day of Social Justice 2023: Theme

The theme for this year is “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice,” which focuses on the suggestions made in the Common Agenda to promote international cooperation and to restore public confidence in the government. As a result, the 2023 World Day of Social Justice offers a chance to encourage discussion with Member States, young people, social partners, civil society organisations, UN agencies, and other stakeholders about the steps that must be taken to strengthen the social contract that has been shattered by escalating inequality, armed conflicts, and weak institutions that are supposed to protect workers’ rights.

In spite of these several problems, there are numerous chances to forge a social justice coalition and to increase investments in decent jobs, with an emphasis on the green, digital, and care economies as well as on young people.

World Day of Social Justice: History

The General Assembly declared 20 February to be observed annually as the World Day of Social Justice on November 26, 2007, effective with the sixty-third session of the General Assembly.

World Day of Social Justice

The ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization was unanimously approved by the International Labor Organization on June 10, 2008. Since the ILO’s Constitution in 1919, the International Labour Conference has adopted three significant statements of principles and policies.

World Day of Social Justice 2023: Here are some inspirational quotes about social justice and freedom

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any class is made to feel that society is an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” –Frederick Douglass

Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. – Martin Luther King Jr.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself. – Leigh Bardugo

Justice and power must be brought together so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just. – Blaise Pascal

The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but the judgement is never just. – D. H. Lawrence

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Justice? — You get justice in the next world. In this one, you have the law.” –William Gaddis

“Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.” –Pope John Paul II

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.” –Helen Keller

“Courage is of no value unless accompanied by justice; yet if all men became just, there would be no need for courage.” – Agesilaus the Second

“The failure to invest in civil justice is directly related to the increase in criminal disorder. The more people feel there is injustice the more it becomes part of their psyche.” –Wilhelm Joseph

“The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.” –Marian Wright Edelman

A Global Coalition For Social Justice

Poverty and inequalities within and among countries are on the rise in many parts of the world. The economic and social crises of recent years have been exacerbated by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters due to accelerating climate change, geopolitical tensions and armed conflicts.

Beyond the human tragedies associated with them and their impact on the world of work, these crises have highlighted the interlinkages and dependencies of economies and societies around the world and shown the crucial need for concerted action to respond to them, at global, regional and national levels.

World Day of Social Justice

This has happened against the background of important changes such as, inter alia, growing disruptions in economies linked to globalisation and technology, significant demographic transformations, increasing migration flows and protracted situations of fragility. The world of work has not been spared by these upheavals.

The perceived lack of satisfactory responses to these multiple challenges and changes has led in many countries to growing discontent and mistrust vis-à-vis established institutions and actors of public life.

Confronted with this complex situation, the multilateral system has also struggled to adapt to a changing environment and to provide concrete and coordinated responses to many of the world’s most pressing challenges. The growing gap between international commitments and concrete achievements has fragilized multilateral action and its credibility, resulting in open criticism and disengagement.

More than ever, it is urgent for the multilateral system to deliver and to contribute to bringing solutions to people’s daily problems, and to do so in a more efficient and coherent manner.

This sense of urgency has been shared by many, including the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General who, in his report “Our Common Agenda”, has warned against today’s growing divide and called for a more inclusive and networked multilateralism, re-embracing global solidarity and renewing the social contract between governments and their people and within societies, anchored in a comprehensive approach to human rights.

Social justice makes societies and economies function better and reduces poverty, inequalities and social tensions. It plays an important role in attaining more inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development paths and is key for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), especially at a time when the achievement of those goals remains faraway.

It is more important than ever that the multilateral system coalesce around a set of shared values and goals and identify the means to respond to peoples’ aspirations and needs. Social justice has therefore to become one of the cornerstones of the renewed multilateralism that is required; a rallying objective but also a significant instrument for a more efficient multilateral system, ensuring coherence across a range of policy areas.

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