Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. World Day of Social Justice is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment. Many organizations, including the UN and the International Labour Office, make statements on the importance of social justice for people. Many organizations also present plans for greater social justice by tackling poverty, social and economic exclusion and unemployment. The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually, approved on 26 November 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice.

Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation. The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labour law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equal opportunity and equality of outcome.

For the United Nations, the pursuit of social justice for all is at the core of our global mission to promote development and human dignity. Links between sustainability and social justice are growing ever clearer; environmental catastrophes disproportionately affect poor people in undeveloped regions, deforestation and desertification make access to resources even more difficult for those already in need at the same time as they create barriers to gender equality, and conflict over quickly disappearing resources is an undeniable cause of violence and war.

Learn more about social justice in EU

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