World Social Justice Day

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The world on Monday celebrated social justice day under the theme: ”Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.”

Social justice is the virtue that guides us in creating organized human interactions that we call institutions which in turn, provide us with what is good for people and in our association with others.

The General Assembly of the United Nations declared November 26, 2007 World Social Justice Day, to be celebrated annually under different themes.

This year’s theme will focus on the recommendations of the Common Agenda to strengthen global solidarity and to re-build trust in government.

This in turn will help in providing an opportunity to foster dialogue with Member states, youth, UN organizations and other stakeholders.

With the dialogue taking place, it will facilitate actions being taken that are needed to strengthen the social contract that has been broken by rising inequalities and weakened institutions that are meant to protect the rights of workers.

Many of the world’s population, through no fault of their own, are deprived of basic facilities, such as homes, jobs, healthcare, education, and nutrition, among other essentials hence this day is observed to elevate awareness about social inequality and break down barriers based on gender, age, color, region, religion, tradition, or disabilities.

Access to justice is a fundamental right for everybody including persons with disabilities, Article 13 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities specifically addresses access to justice, directing State parties to ensure effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others, including through the provision of specified accommodation, to facilitate their effective role as direct and indirect participants (art.13(1)).

It further prescribes positive measures to be taken for the fulfillment of the rights of persons with disabilities regarding justice.

For example, State parties are to promote appropriate training for those working in the field of administration of justice, including police and prison staff (art. 13(2)).

The day can be well celebrated by persons with disabilities through trainings which will inform them of their rights because they cannot seek remedies for injustices if they do not know what their legal rights are, or how to exercise them under law.

The country needs to realize that lack of accessible information or modes of communication limits the ability of persons with disabilities to report crimes or their effective participation in legal proceedings.

BY MARGARET MUGO

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