Every year on February 20, the world celebrates the World Day of Social Justice.
The decision to proclaim this day was taken on November 26, 2007 at the 57th plenary meeting of the General Assembly. This holiday was first celebrated in 2009.
Social justice is the creation of equal opportunities for all members of society to realize their abilities, to meet their vital needs; proportionality of the remuneration received by people and their various associations from society and its individuals, according to their deeds, actions, the nature of life. The implementation of the principle of social justice presupposes the expansion of opportunities for the development of the abilities of all citizens and the choice of types of labor activity in accordance with them: improving the system of vocational guidance for young people, all types of vocational training, the system of adaptation of young personnel in work collectives, etc.
The first World Summit for Social Development was held in 1995 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The heads of 117 states and governments adopted the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Program of Action, which enshrined specific commitments to improve human living conditions.
In 2000, UN member states held the 24th Special Session of the General Assembly for Social Development. They analyzed the results of the implementation of the Copenhagen decisions, identified the main obstacles and ways to eliminate them. The main conclusion of the meeting was that the tasks of economic growth of states should be subordinated to ensuring human dignity and improving the quality of life of people. For human development, it is necessary to create favorable conditions by allocating the necessary financial resources for various social programs.
In 2007, a draft resolution on this matter was presented by the Kyrgyz delegation. It was co-authored by about 80 UN member states. It emphasized that economic growth, peace and security, and respect for human rights are essential conditions for social development and social justice. The resolution drew attention to the fact that globalization and interdependence through trade, investment and capital flows, as well as advances in technology, including information technology, open up new opportunities for the growth of the world economy, recovery and improvement of living standards around the world.
In this regard, the General Assembly declared the need to further strengthen the efforts of the international community to eradicate poverty, achieve full employment and decent work, gender equality, and access to social welfare and social justice for all.
On June 10, 2008, the International Labor Organization unanimously adopted the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. This document focuses on ensuring that equitable results are achieved for all through employment, social protection and social dialogue.
World Day of Social Justice aims to tackle inequality, develop policy alternatives that create opportunities for stability, make decisions that will help overcome conflict, revitalize economies and achieve economic growth and social progress.
According to UN data, since 2008, the global unemployment rate has declined by only 0.1% per year, while in the period from 2000 to 2007 it fell by 0.9%. More than 60% of employees do not have employment contracts and less than 45% of wage earners have permanent employment contracts, however, their number is decreasing.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the labor market suffered unprecedented losses. According to the International Labor Organization, the loss of working hours during 2020 was 8.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 and was equivalent to the loss of 255 million jobs – about four times more than during the 2009 global financial crisis. This includes losses associated with reduced working hours for those who did work, and with unprecedented unemployment: 114 million people lost their jobs. Moreover, 71% of this number are people who either could not work – perhaps because of the restrictions imposed, and those who were desperate and did not even look for work. As a result, labor income fell by 8.3%, which is $ 3.7 trillion, or 4.4% of global GDP.
The unemployment rate in Russia has not exceeded 5% since February 2018; in August 2019, a historic low was reached – 4.3% (3.3 million people aged 15 and over were classified as unemployed). However, in 2020, amid the pandemic, there was a slight increase. According to Rosstat, unemployment in Russia in December 2020 was 5.9% (or 4.4 million people aged 15 and over).
Every year, World Day for Social Justice is dedicated to a specific theme. The theme for 2021 is “Social Justice in the Digital Economy”.
Over the past decade, the proliferation of broadband, cloud computing and big data has led to the adoption of digital platforms in a number of sectors of the economy that have a significant impact on society. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to electronic means, it was possible to seamlessly carry out many activities remotely, which indicates the critical role of digital technology.
However, the pandemic has also exposed and exacerbated the growing digital divide, both within and between developed and developing countries, especially in the availability, accessibility and use of information and communication technologies and Internet access, deepening existing inequalities. UN Member States underline the importance of dialogue on the actions needed to bridge the digital divide, ensure decent work opportunities, and protect labor and human rights in the digital age.
The material was prepared on the basis of information from RIA Novosti and open sources