World Day of Social Justice
World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually on 20th February. This day promotes national activities in accordance with the World Summit for Social Development, which aims to eradicate poverty, promote full employment and decent work, pursue gender equity and promote access to social well-being and justice for all. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), which Saint Lucia is a member of, recognizes that social justice and social development are crucial for maintaining peace and security within and among nations, and promoting human dignity.
The 2018 theme for World Day of Social Justice is: Workers on the Move. The Quest for Social Justice
This year’s theme for World Day of Social Justice focuses on the increasing number of international migrants seeking decent work opportunities. It is estimated that there are 150 million migrant workers internationally, of which 66 percent are men, and 44 percent are women. Many persons migrate from their country of origin due to lack of employment opportunities or fair remittance for their labour. A 2005 study on emigration in the Caribbean by Docquier and Marfouq, found that 10 – 40 percent of Caribbean citizens have migrated in search of better employment opportunities to other countries. This has had both positive and negative effects on both the countries of origin and the countries to which the persons have migrated. While the Caribbean countries have lost many of their highly educated citizens, they have also benefited from the remittances sent to the friends and family in the Caribbean, of these persons who have left to pursue better opportunities and higher wages, as this money is spent locally. The negative impacts however are that there are fewer qualified persons to meet the needs of society in the Caribbean, as the countries develop and require more specialised personnel to join the workforce.
What Can You Do?
Emigration has both positive and negative impacts on all societies, including the Saint Lucian society. The United Nations (UN) will be hosting a conference at the UN New York Headquarters on 20th February on the theme for World Day of Social Justice this year. This conference will include a testimony by Melissa Noel, an award-winning multimedia journalist, on the topic: Migration and separation: Stories of the barrel children in the Caribbean. This segment of the conference will take place at 1:30pm UTC, which will be the same time in Saint Lucia. Persons may view the conference via the UN Live Broadcasting website: United Nations Live and On Demand.