Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect, and independence. These values are, or rather should be, defined and protected by international law.
Justice is the concept of fairness. Social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. That includes fairness in healthcare, employment, housing, and more. Discrimination and social justice are not compatible. All human beings should be born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience, and we should act towards one another in a spirit of humankind.
40 million children below the age of 15 suffer from abuse and neglect. There are approximately 246 million child laborers worldwide. Roughly about 27 million people are currently enslaved in the human trafficking trade around the world. Protestors of repressive governments across the globe have been killed, beaten, and arrested by police in the streets for voicing their opinions on reforms.
Additionally, human rights are often breached for the incarcerated prisoners. They are not given proper healthcare treatments or their chance at education and career opportunities.
Throughout history, women have been denied the knowledge, means, and freedom to act in the best interest of themselves. Women of the family were not included in decision-making for the family, they were confined to their homes and not allowed to work, they were not given the right to vote or even education which is still up for debate in some parts of the world. Women are still not given higher position jobs and paid less than an average working male, even though her productivity rate may be double that of her male counterpart.
Furthermore, people were, and are currently, being dismissed from their jobs for being part of the LGBTQ+ community. The European Court of Human Rights found that the armed forces’ policy of excluding homosexuals could not be justified and the individuals’ human rights had been violated. Only twenty-nine nations around the world currently allow same-sex marriage (as of January 2021).
“ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. ” — Eleanor Roosevelt
In too many situations across the world, when people raise their voices for an issue they feel that needs to be addressed, they are again and again shut down either by being arrested or violence, especially when it goes against the values of the government or any articles of legislation. Providing basic human rights, which includes the freedom to act upon social justice initiatives, should be the primary issue of any government but, in stark contrast to how governments should be acting, a lot of governments only initiate the violation of these rights.
Social justice aims to fulfill one complicated but crucial goal: equality for all. We have to do everything in our power to achieve it so we can come as close as we can to living in the ideal utopian future.
“ A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take away from you. “ — Ramsey clark