World Day of Social Justice 2021: 20th Feb 2021
Since 2007, February 20th has marked the World Day of Social Justice, a time for individuals, communities, and nations to celebrate and reflect on efforts to tackle a whole host of issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, and human rights. This key event celebrates the good work of individuals and organisations that have stood up for the most marginalised members of society; those who champion social good through actions and campaigns that better the lives of everyone.
As an underlying international principle for co-operation within and among nations, it is used to promote peaceful and prosperous societies. This contributes towards numerous global goals, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially SDG16- “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”. At MOAS, we strive to fight for the principles of social justice throughout our programmes globally, and particularly through our work promoting safe and legal migration routes.
The Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 26 November 2007 called for a World Day of Social Justice. This recalled the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen, and reaffirmed the basic framework for the promotion of national and global economic systems based on the principles of justice, equity, democracy, transparency, accountability and inclusion.
On this day it is important to highlight the many injustices faced by marginalised and oppressed individuals, groups and communities. Too often these injustices could be systematically solved, but when neglected can manifest into complex and deep-rooted problems which only increase societal fractures. Despite this, we should not just view the marginalised as circumstantial victims, but rather as agents of change that lead the fight against social injustices and offer collaborative and innovative solutions to social problems. Fighting for social justice continues to be integral to global relations and policies.
MOAS’ commitment towards social justice
This last year has highlighted even further the importance of social justice, and we have seen a response from not only the communities we work with and in, but across society. The work of MOAS this year not only continued this line, but also pivoted quickly to run projects to support and protect these groups from Covid-19, including our mask making projects in Malta and Bangladesh, launched to expand provision of protective measures to vulnerable communities. Another project aimed at reducing the gaps created by discrimination is our Remote Learning project, organised in collaboration with AWAS, the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers in Malta.
As social justice relies on fair and equitable distribution of wealth and privileges across the whole of society, ensuring an equitable access to education during the time of the pandemic was a priority for us. As the restrictive measures in Malta due to the COVID-19 pandemic were further widening the gap in migrant children’s education, because of the difficulty of accessing remote learning platforms and facilities in the centres, we launched the Malta Remote Learning Project to give these children access to remote education services through the purchase of technology for educational use by providing tablets and internet connections to vulnerable migrant families to help them maintain access to education throughout these difficult times.
In February, the distribution continued, as we delivered another 3 tablets and modems to the migrant families living in the HFO centre. The families were identified in collaboration with AWAS, the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers in Malta, to allow children to continue following their school lessons.
As part of the project, still in progress, MOAS would also like to create a “friendly area”, a multifunctional space inside the Hangar Open Center, equipped with computers, printers, projector, in which migrant guests staying at the center could access services such as CV preparation, job search or home search. Social justice is about ensuring equity for all and our Remote Learning Project synthetizes our commitment to ensuring equitable access to education.
Likewise our mission is also to make the access to Safe and Legal Routes equitable and accessible for all. Refugees and people who flee from poor countries or countries at war do not currently have the same possibilities as people from wealthier countries to easily access safe and legal pathways to migrate and reach safe countries. Our advocacy campaign aims at raising awareness on this topic so that actions can be taken to implement these kinds of safe migration channels.
At MOAS our work will always be focused on the most marginalised and vulnerable groups, through initiatives like our Remote Learning Project, promoting safe and legal routes, delivering Flood and Water Safety training in Bangladesh, and providing aid and relief in Yemen and Somalia. Social justice is everybody’s responsibility, and it will take a global effort to reach the goal of peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.
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