It is hard to think of a time when the demand for social justice has been clearer, or greater.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated inequalities, both within and between countries.
It’s being called the ‘great divergence’.
Economic and social divisions have increased.
Those who were disadvantaged before the pandemic have been worst affected - youth, women, informal and migrant workers, small businesses.
But none of this inevitable. It depends on the choices we make; the decisions we take.
The 2022 World Day of Social Justice comes at a point of inflexion. As policy makers are shaping our recovery from the pandemic.
Their choices will set the direction of change. And by choosing the right measures we can shape the recovery the way we want.
We need a response that focuses on people. That promotes social justice for all while protecting the planet we all depend on.
One priority must be formalizing the informal economy, where 60 per cent of the world’s workers still earn their living, often in poverty, with few rights or protections.
Other key steps must include:
- Universal social protection.
- Improving workers' protection and enterprises' sustainability.
- Promoting decent jobs and inclusive economic growth.
- And, creating a just transition towards a carbon-neutral global economy.
It’s an enormous challenge. But, we already have a roadmap to guide us.
The ILO’s Member States have unanimously adopted a Global Call to Action on COVID-19 recovery. It calls for a recovery that is human-centred, and based on principles of inclusivity, resilience, sustainability, and decent work for all.
To build on this call, later this month the ILO is convening a Global Forum to look at ways to turn this Call into strong, coherent action.
We are at a pivotal moment. Not just for COVID rebuilding, but for the future of our societies.
We have a rare chance to shape a recovery that also delivers greater social justice.
We must not miss this opportunity.