World Day of Social Justice

World Day of Social Justice is observed on February 20th every year and is designed to be a day on which people can focus on the urgent need for social justice in the world. Whether it’s poverty, human rights, unemployment, gender inequality, or exclusion, there is a myriad of problems that face the world and must be solved. This is a day on which people can come together and focus on these problems to create a better world.

The History of World Day of Social Justice

In November of 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that February 20 would be celebrated annually as World Day of Social Justice. The following year, the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization was unanimously adopted by the International Labour Organization on June 10th, 2008.

It built on the work of the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 as well as the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998. Through it, the General Assembly recognized that social justice and development are necessary for peace and security within and among nations.

Facts About Social Justice

Below are some facts about social justice and inequality that we uncovered during our research for this holiday.

  • The five main principles of social justice include equity, access to resources, diversity, participation, and human rights.
  • Minority and low-income Americans tend to live and work in areas exposed to pollution disproportionately.
  • Over 7,000 people were legally executed during the 20th century in the U.S.
  • It’s estimated that $16 billion in global economic aid would send all children in low-income countries to school.
  • In 1970, the U.S. high school graduation rate was #1 in the world. By 2020, it ranked #23 in the world.
  • Globally, women only earn 73% of men’s wages on average.
  • The United States is the only developed country without paid maternity leave.
  • If women were paid the same salary as men, worldwide poverty rates would be cut in half.
  • Belonging to a union reduces the gender wage gap by 50%.
  • 25% of mothers who have been homeless have left school or their jobs due to a lack of child care.
  • In the U.S., the increase in the number of women incarcerated has increased by over 750% since 1980.
  • Over 120 million girls living right now have experienced sexual violence around the globe.
  • The world’s richest 1% own 44% of the world’s wealth.
  • In Honduras, 90% of female homicides go unsolved.
  • Every 10 minutes, an adolescent girl dies from violence.
  • 71% of people who are sex trafficked are female.
  • Only 8 out of 31 countries in Europe state that sex without consent is rape.
  • For every U.S. dollar invested in education for children under 3, up to $9 in future productivity is gained.
  • 34 million girls worldwide do not attend primary school.
  • 16 million girls between the ages of 6 and 11 will never begin school.
  • As many as half a million girls and women in the U.S. have suffered through genital mutilation.

Observing World Social Justice Day

People interested in observing World Social Justice Day can do so by donating their time or money to organizations that promote social justice issues. People can also use the hashtag #WorldSocialJusticeDay to promote this holiday on their social media accounts as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 20 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
February 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
February 20 Monday
Awareness & Cause, United Nations