World Day of Social Justice - Compassion International

World Day of
Social Justice
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World Day of Social Justice: Opportunity for All

The World Day of Social Justice, first observed in 2009, is held annually on February 20 to support global efforts in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and gender equality, and access to social well-being and justice for all.

The underlying principle for World Social Justice Day is global solidarity to advance opportunity for all.

What is Social Justice?

Social justice is the idea that fair and just relations between an individual and society are proper, desirable and beneficial. It is a relatively recent concept rooted in Anglo-Saxon political cultural and born of struggles surrounding the Industrial Revolution and socialist views on society.

Social justice is necessary to the achievement and maintenance of peace within and between nations. It serves, according to Ban Ki-moon, eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, as "a foundation for national stability and global prosperity."

A socially just world cannot be achieved in a culture that disrespects human rights and freedoms. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that all people are entitled to a social order in which their rights are respected and their freedoms can be fully realized.

Injustice is the mirror reflecting the need to include a strong social dimension to globalization.

Social Justice and the Sustainable Development Goals

Social development is a means to achieve social justice — solidarity, harmony and equality. It works to remove barriers that divide people. Social development relies heavily on broad-based economic growth within the context of sustainable development to be successful.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 and also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, is the international community’s plan for ending poverty, reducing inequality, protecting the planet, promoting inclusivity and creating sustainable economic growth. It’s the global "to do" list for social justice through social development.

a solemn looking boy wearing a red shirt stands in the center of a road.

World Day of Social Justice Prayers

Lord Jesus, help us recognize our biases, faults and contributions to injustice in the world. Shape us into solutions for the problem, and help us eliminate cruelty inflicted upon our brothers and sisters. Amen.

  • Pray for those who live in the terror of war. May the Lord blanket the hearts of the violent with peace.
  • Pray for those marginalized by society — the elderly, immigrants and the addicted. Pray that every person may flourish and enjoy a fair portion of the blessings and riches of life.
  • Pray for the effectiveness and success for those who have committed themselves to establishing equal protection under the law and equal opportunities for all.
  • Pray that governments around the world take active and aggressive steps to protect the rights of the marginalized, victimized and exploited. Pray for the elimination of institutionalized systems of inequality and oppression.

Isaiah 58:6 (NIV)

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?


A Child's Life is Worth Protecting


Children living in poverty are the most vulnerable to being exploited. They lack basic needs, lack education, frequently have to fend for themselves and often are undocumented citizens. They may be born into servitude, sold into the sex trade by a family member, kidnapped from their village at gunpoint or taken from the streets without anyone noticing. The ways poverty preys upon children are numerous.

We work with government and cultural systems to promote the idea that children should be cherished and given every opportunity to flourish. We combat injustice and exploitation by expanding the circle of caring adults actively participating in a child’s life. When a child in our program is exploited, traumatized, abused or victimized, we act immediately.

We help with legal resources to represent and defend a child’s rights or to help find a missing child. We work to restore the child to emotional, physical and spiritual health by providing medical care, counseling and safe shelter for the child.

Our commitment to vulnerable children in poverty means we also can offer foster care for children living in violent circumstances, intervention for adolescents struggling with alcohol, sexual activity or truancy, counseling to empower parents to protect and provide for their children, and job training and income opportunities for parents so their children are able to stay in school.

Social justice is about providing opportunity for all, and a child's life is worth protecting. Make a donation today to provide an opportunity to help free a child from a life sentenced to dependence, scarcity and marginalization.


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