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2016 theme – ‘A just transition – environmentally sustainable economies and societies’
To understand the bigger picture and true meaning of social justice, one needs to understand its importance in depth. The idea of social justice is a revolutionary concept which provides meaning and significance to life and human dignity. Social justice makes the rule of law dynamic through its far reaching approaches and removal of barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.
The term social justice was first used in 1840 by a Sicilian priest, Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio, and given prominence by Antonio Rosmini Serbati in La Costitutione Civile Secondo la Giustizia Sociale in 1848. UN General Assembly proclaimed 20th February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007, inviting Member States to devote the day to promote national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly. The day reaches out to the international community to consolidate the efforts towards poverty eradication, promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all.
This year’s theme ”A just transition – environmentally sustainable economies and societies” emphasizes on the fact that strong social consensus on the goal and pathways to sustainability is fundamental. Social deliberations and constructive dialogue must form an integral part of the institutional framework for policymaking and implementation at all levels. Adequate, informed and ongoing consultation should take place with all relevant stakeholders. The historic Paris climate accord adopted on 12th December 2015, can be seen as a breakthrough as it brought 195 countries on the table to sign the pact for an environmentally sustainable future.
The theme also envisages that policies must respect, promote and realize fundamental principles and rights at work. There is a greater need to frame policies for the economic, environmental, social, education and labour portfolios that will provide an enabling environment for enterprises, workers, investors and consumers. This will in turn drive the transition towards environmentally sustainable and inclusive economies and societies.
Fiinovation contemplates the idea of welfare state is that the social justice claims must be treated as paramount. When Indian society makes an effort to meet the challenges of socio-economic inequality through its legislation and with the help of the rule of law, it desires to achieve economic justice without any violent conflict. To sustain individual freedom and liberty constant efforts have to be made in the right direction with reasonable regulation and control as to achieve socio-economic justice. Those who are zealous of their individual freedom and liberty must co-operate with democracy which seeks to regulate freedom and liberty in the interest of social good.
The ultimate solution to social injustice actually lies within us only. We must subject every claim whether it is made in the name of the poor, the backward, whosoever to rational examination. We should shift from equality of outcomes to equality of opportunities. There is another area where we must pay due attention is that if the majority is disregarding smaller sections in the community, it may drive them to rebellion. Therefore, the policy makers must focus while drafting policies truly on secular and pluralistic principles. The individual and not the group should be the unit of state policy. We are living in fast changing world and social processes are constantly changing, therefore an effective legal system ensures that laws adapt to the changing situations and ensure social good. The legal system of any country must ensure protection of the basic dignity of the human being and the inherent need of every individual to grow into the fullness of life.
By – Rohit Kaul
Media & Communications – Fiinovation