World Day of Social Justice: 20 February

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This year marks the tenth anniversary of the observance of World Day of Social Justice. The UN designates specific days, weeks, years and decades as occasions for international awareness and action on issues requiring attention and response. “We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability,” says the United Nations. This year’s theme is  Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice.


There are an estimated 150 million migrant workers among the 258 million international migrants looking for decent work opportunities.

Migrant workers face exploitation when instead of good, well-paying jobs they find themselves without a contract, housed in overcrowded and poor conditions, indentured to labour in construction, late-night cleaning, or restaurants. Such conditions are often termed “modern slavery”

The Australian food industry has been rocked recently by serious accusations of ‘slave labour’, with claims immigrant workers are being abused and exploited across Australia to deliver fresh produce to supermarket shelves and an investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Commission Channel (ABC) program Four Corners last week screened a program on the exploitation of domestic workers, Behind Closed Doors

This video shows the risks of slavery in supply chains and the need for consumers to pay more for slavery-free goods.


World Day of Social Justice provides us all with an opportunity to stop and reflect on how our actions, such as purchasing cheap goods without questioning the conditions under which such items were produced, contributes to injustice.

The Slavery footprint exercise encourages users to learn about goods commonly produced with slave (exploited) labor. Take the exercise here

iStock: Used under licence

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