World day of social justice: Decent work is essential to prevent conflict and sustain peace

20th February is the World Day of Social Justice. As the UN reminds us “social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability”.

Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work is this year’s theme. As stated in the 2030 Agenda, sustainable development cannot be realised without peace and encourages Member States to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights. This is why peaceful and inclusive societies, as well as decent work, are key priorities for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Social Justice is at the core of SOLIDAR’s mission and work, which aims at guaranteeing fair outcomes for all through equal access to decent work, universal social protection, social dialogue, civic dialogue, and the respect for human rights.

 In the current context of increasing inequalities, precariousness, raising nationalism and attacks to multilateral institutions as well as doubts on the need to continue with the European integration project, social justice should be leading global and European policy making.

Almost one month ahead of the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, for its own health and survival, Europe needs to put social justice and solidarity at the heart of its policies, especially when it comes to:

  • Migration and asylum policy: by incorporating a rights-based approach based on a more efficient responsibility-sharing system and improved harmonization of protection’s standards among Member States. SOLIDAR members are mobilized to provide access to essential services, legal advice and awareness raising on their rights to migrant and refugees in Europe and on their trip to Europe.
  • Development cooperation policy: the revision of the European Consensus on development  should not be used to link development aid to migration control, security objectives, and/or foreign policy needs following a narrow “Europe first” approach but to promote decent work for all. SOLIDAR members work in more than 100 countries together with independent, representative and accountable community-based organizations and social movements, social economy actors (predominantly workers’ cooperatives), independent trade unions and local NGOs committed to promote decent work for all with a focus on freedom of association.
  • Social and employment policy: the European Pillar of Social Rights, if translated in legislative action (to ensure a decent minimum income for all workers in the EU, compulsory secondary education and a skills guarantee, a Child Guarantee) can bring back Europe’s people trust in the European Union.