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Social justice as tool for peace & security

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By Mercy Kelani

On Nov. 26, 2007, UN General Assembly declared World Day of Social Justice.

The United Nations General Assembly acknowledges social development and social justice as indispensable tools for achieving and maintaining peace and security within and among nations. Likewise, it recognizes the fact that social development and social justice are unattainable without peace and security, and lack of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. As a result, the General Assembly, on November 26, 2007 made a declaration that from the 63rd session of the General Assembly, February 20 will be an annual celebration of the World Day of Social Justice.

Year 2023’s theme for the World Day of Social Justice, titled: “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice” has its focus on the recommendations of the United Nations Common Agenda to boost global solidarity and to renew trust in the government. This year’s commemoration gives an opportunity to build dialogue with Member States, social partners, UN organizations, youths, civil society and other relevant stakeholders on necessary actions to improve the social contract that has been affected by conflicts, rising inequalities and weakened institutions that are responsible for protecting the rights of workers.

Social justice is significant for achieving SDGs (2030 Agenda).

In many parts of the world, there is rising poverty and inequalities within and among countries. Recent economic and social crises have been fueled by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts, natural disasters such as climate change and geopolitical tensions. These crises, asides the human tragedies they have caused and their influence on the world of work, have revealed the need for concerted action to address them at global, regional, and national levels.

Social justice has been discovered to help societies and economies function better, while reducing inequalities, poverty and social tensions. It Is significant for the attainment of more inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development paths, and is important for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). Social justice is considered as a significant tool to achieve renewed multilateralism. It is believed that it would enable a more efficient multilateral system with coherence in all policy areas.

Nigeria ranks low in social justice with diverse social injustices.

Described as the equitable distribution of societal power and obligations to everyone regardless of race, age, gender, status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability and religious background. The fundamental principles of social justice are inclusion, equal access, collaboration, and equal opportunities. The existence of social justice is to curb social injustices that are prevalent in major developmental areas such as gender, health, education and access to these opportunities.

As of 2022, Nigeria ranks low in social justice, measuring 158 among 190 countries with a score 0.5344. The Nigerian social justice is filled with diverse social injustices and inequalities which includes female genital mutilation, widowhood practices, girl child marriage and many more. Social work, done to uphold social justice, promotes social justice, development, while empowering and liberating people. Social workers are trained to combat inequalities and to ensure access to resources and opportunities. Social justice should therefore be properly included in the social work curriculum.

Social justice aims at creating a socially integrated society.

The major goal of the World Day of Social Justice commemoration is to create awareness of social injustice and reunite diverse communities across the globe for elimination of poverty, physical discrimination, religious discrimination, gender and illiteracy, and creation of a society that is socially integrated. This year’s commemoration of the international day will begin with an online dialogue with youth advocates and young entrepreneurs concerning their projection for social justice, and shared prosperity, followed by an in-person side-event.

Related Link

UN: Website

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