World Day of Social Justice: History, Significance, Theme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 28, 2022, 8:46

Every year, February 20 is celebrated as the World Day of Social Justice around the globe. The day is internationally commemorated as a special day recognizing the requirement to promote social justice that includes eradicating poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment while making the world more inclusive and bereft of gender biases. It is a day recognized by the United Nations to uphold social protection and human rights.

World Day of Social Justice History

In one of its conferences on November 26, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly announced the celebration of World Day of Social Justice every year on February 20. This proposition was approved by the International Labour Organization on June 10, 2008, to promote fair globalization. This is the third vital statement of the policies and principles adopted by the International Labour Conference since the adoption of ILO's constitution in 1919. Interestingly, the principles of Social Justice Day builds on the 1944 Philadelphia Declaration and 1998's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

This day is celebrated every year around a particular theme pre-decided by the United Nations. The theme is celebrated mainly at educational institutions across the globe in order to acquaint the students with the social indifference in society and an urgent need to uphold the principles of social justice.

Notably, the definition of social justice has also undergone numerous transformations over the years. In recent times, the notion has been classified into five varied components. They are - 

  • The dignity of human beings
  • Reciprocal rights and responsibilities
  • The superiority of the common good
  • The dignity and rights of labourers and workers
  • Fundamental Rights for the poor and vulnerable

Purpose of Having World Justice Day

The major purpose of World Justice Day is to bring the world's various communities together and make the world bereft of gender and physical discrimination, poverty, racism, illiteracy, religious discrimination, various biases, etc. The purpose is to create a more inclusive world, free of social prejudices.

World Social Justice Day 2022 Theme

The theme for World Day for Social Justice 2022 was "Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment." According to the United Nations, equality and non-discrimination informal employment are stepping stones of social justice, which is why it was heralded as the theme of the year. Educational institutions of varied reputations across the globe participate in World Social Justice Day by adopting the theme and hosting various talks, debates, quizzes, etc., around the topic to initiate a discussion into social justice. 

For 2021, the theme was "A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy."

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FAQs on World Day of Social Justice

Q.1) When is the World Day of Social Justice celebrated?

The World Day of Social Justice is celebrated every year on February 20. The day was decided by the General Assembly of the United Nations, which the International Labour Organization later approved.

Q.2) What were the themes for Social Justice day in 2021 and 2022?

The theme for Social Justice Day in 2021 was "A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy," while that of 2022 was "Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment."

Q.3) What is the aim behind the celebration of Social Justice Day?

The World Day of Social Justice is celebrated every year to make the world more inclusive and bereft of social prejudices of any kind.