“Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice” – World Day


Two people in an extremely impoverished rural area in Brazil.
Two people in an extremely impoverished rural area in Brazil. ©J. Ripper/ILO

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.

The adoption by the International Labour Organization of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization is just one recent example of the UN System’s commitment to social justice.

The Declaration focuses on guaranteeing fair outcomes for all, through employment, social protection, social dialogue, and fundamental principles and rights at work.

Background

The International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008. This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919.

It builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998. The 2008 Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization.

This landmark Declaration is a powerful reaffirmation of ILO values. It is the outcome of tripartite consultations that started in the wake of the Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization.

By adopting this text, the representatives of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations from 182 member States emphasize the key role of our tripartite Organization in helping to achieve progress and social justice in the context of globalization.

Together, they commit to enhance the ILO’s capacity to advance these goals, through the Decent Work Agenda. The Declaration institutionalizes the Decent Work concept developed by the ILO since 1999, placing it at the core of the Organization’s policies to reach its constitutional objectives.

The Declaration comes at a crucial political moment, reflecting the wide consensus on the need for a strong social dimension to globalization in achieving improved and fair outcomes for all.

It constitutes a compass for the promotion of a fair globalization based on decent work, as well as a practical tool to accelerate progress in the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda at the country level. It also reflects a productive outlook by highlighting the importance of sustainable enterprises in creating greater employment and income opportunities for all.

The General Assembly recognizes that social development and social justice are indispensable for the achievement and maintenance of peace and security within and among nations and that, in turn, social development and social justice cannot be attained in the absence of peace and security, or in the absence of respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It further recognizes that globalization and interdependence are opening new opportunities through trade, investment and capital flows and advances in technology, including information technology, for the growth of the world economy and the development and improvement of living standards around the world, while at the same time there remain serious challenges, including serious financial crises, insecurity, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among societies, and considerable obstacles to further integration and full participation in the global economy for developing countries, as well as some countries with economies in transition.

On 26 November 2007, the General Assembly declared that, starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, 20 February will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice.

A Few Facts

  • Employment growth since 2008 has averaged only 0.1% annually, compared with 0.9% between 2000 and 2007.
  • Over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract.
  • Fewer than 45 per cent of wage and salaried workers are employed on a full-time, permanent basis, and even that share is declining.
  • By 2019, more than 212 million people were out of work, up from 201 million in previous years.
  • 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the working age population.

Source: ILO

One in 5 workers still live in moderate or extreme poverty, geographical disparities impede access to decent work, many workers face stagnant wages, gender inequality prevails and people are not benefitting equally from economic growth.

Inequalities between and among countries are weakening social cohesion, preventing people from achieving their full potential and burdening economies. It is time to reduce inequalities globally.

The Permanent Mission of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations and the International Labour Organization Office for the United Nations cordially invite you to the World Day of Social Justice 2020. 25 years after the adoption of the Copenhagen Declaration, the commemorative meeting will be an opportunity to discuss policies needed to reduce inequalities and achieve social justice for all.

2020 Human Wrongs Watch

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