Social justice

Circumstances such as where a person is born, where they live or their gender and ethnicity should never determine their income or their opportunities for quality education, basic healthcare, decent work, adequate shelter, access to drinking water, political participation or living free from threatened, or actual, physical violence.

—Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Message for the 2014 World Day of Social Justice

Protest in solidarity with the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 in Melbourne.

Social justice is a philosophical,[1] political,[2][3] social,[4][5] and legal[6] movement in support of the rights of those who are marginalised, chiefly by poverty, but also (and increasingly) those who lack social privilege at any intersection.[7]

Historically, it is a concept that has existed since ancient times. One of the earliest influential western writings on social justice was penned by Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics volume V. This work discussed distributive justice.[8] The term "social justice" itself was coined in the 1840s by a Jesuit priest named Luigi Taparelli.[9] Partly due to its historical roots, the meaning of the phrase has been contentious.[1] However in modern times, the consensus is that social justice has a secular[1][2][3][5][6] definition:

Social justice involves creating a society based on principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognises the dignity of every human being. At its 2007 World Summit for Social Development, the United Nations proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice. Governments pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all. The day aims to consolidate the efforts of the international community to eradicate poverty, and promote full employment and decent work, gender equity, rights of indigenous peoples and migrants, and access to social well-being and justice for all.[10]

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