Geneva, 20 February 2023 (TDI): The United Nations (UN), celebrates the 2023 World Day of Social Justice, today. This day provides an opportunity to foster dialogue with UN agencies, member states, youth, social partners, civil society, and other stakeholders to take action in order to strengthen the social contract.

The social contract was fractured by rising inequalities, conflicts, and weakened institutions that are meant to protect the rights of workers.

Theme of 2023

This year’s theme focused on the recommendations of ‘Our Common Agenda’ in order to strengthen and reinforce global solidarity and to rebuild trust in government by “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice”.

Nevertheless, despite these crises, there exist many opportunities to build a coalition for social justice, and to unleash greater investments in jobs, with a particular focus on the economy.

Absence of Social Justice Increasing

Social justice around the world is in jeopardy because of the rise in poverty levels & inequalities. The economic and social crisis further worsened and aggravated due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, & geopolitical contentions.

This cycle generates more issues such as climate crises, conflicts, armed struggles, and political tensions. These crises are witness to the fact that a single crisis in a particular area triggers a chain of reactions.

The interdependency and interlinkages based on economies are transforming societies at global, regional, and national levels.

The recent crisis of the Ukraine-Russia war is a substantive example where a crisis in a particular area is generating further issues all around the world.

Inter alia, disruptions in an economy that is linked with globalization and technology, demographic transitions, and unprecedented flows of refugees are reasons for the increase in social injustice.

Consequently, this opened new areas of challenges that led to discontent and mistrust of the public for institutions.

In this urgency, the Secretary General of the UN said that ‘Our Common Agenda’ warned against the growing divide, it calls for inclusivity & an accommodationist approach where there is a need of renewing the social contract & reembracing global solidarity.

Social justice is important to reduce poverty, mitigate inequalities and decrease social tensions, the UN is keen to achieve its agenda of social justice by 2030.

Historical Contours

This day was declared as ‘World Day of Social Justice’ on 26 November 2007, as declared by the General Assembly.

The philosophy behind this day derived from the working of International Labor Organizations (ILO) when ILO adopted the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization in 2008.

That builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998.

Through these declarations, the General Assembly recognized the importance of social justice for the maintenance of peace and security within nations and then all around the world.

This also recognized that globalization opened a new arena of opportunities concerning economics, culture, society, and technology.

That would lead to the development of the world economy for the improvement of living standards and to resolve challenges of financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion, and inequality within and among societies.