February 20- World Day of Social Justice

2/5 Min


The International Labour Organization (ILO) 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 was the beginning of the activities that finally resulted on 26 November 2007, which the General Assembly declared that 20 February will be celebrated annually as the “World Day of Social Justice.”

Advancing social justice by considering it as the center of international, national, and regional policy agendas

Momentum is growing for the concept that advancing social justice should be the central aim guiding all national and international policies. This idea has gained traction among proponents who argue it enables societies and economies to function more cohesively when social justice is prioritized. Supporters contend that promoting decent work and a fair globalization agenda focused on fundamental rights, employment opportunities, social protections, and constructive social dialogue between governments, employers, and workers is key to putting social justice at the core. However, advocates point out the persisting grave injustices, widespread labor insecurity, high inequality, and unraveling social contracts exacerbated by global crises. These harsh realities threaten progress made on social issues. Reinforcing institutions and policies that truly advance social justice is seen as an urgent priority. Proposals to advance social justice include improving inclusive and effective governance of work, ensuring employment opportunities and lifelong learning, reforming institutions for fairer labor market outcomes, and extending social protections across people’s lifetimes. An integrated approach across all these areas is touted. Support is growing for creating a wide-reaching Global Coalition for Social Justice. The proposed coalition would aim to bolster multilateral cooperation and aligned policies focused on furthering social justice aims. It could highlight impactful initiatives that have successfully advanced social justice worldwide. The coalition would also empower constructive national social dialogues to identify and address social justice gaps. Overall, there are calls urging coordinated efforts to make advancing social justice a top policy priority across all levels.

Key documents and publications: