By: Jameel Oudah (From Adam’s center for defending rights and freedoms)
Translated by: Ali Maash
The general committee of the United Nations has submitted the international declaration of human rights which consists of thirty articles on December the 10th in 1948. The articles of this declaration have put a firm foundation for forming international agreements which could help to firmly establish the human rights on civil and political levels or on the economic, social and cultural levels.
Now, the question is: what is the relationship between human rights and the foundation of the concept of social justice? And how can these rights contribute to achieving the values of equality and justice among human beings.
Undoubtedly, the right of equality is generally considered the most important human principle that nations and peoples yearn to abide to, and it also considered one of the fundamental intrinsic elements upon which the international declaration of the human rights has been built.
The right of equality is unanimously considered one of the oldest and the most important, adhesive and genuine to the human race; for it is the core of all rights. For that it is unfair for any human society to be built on gender, race or religious discrimination. According to (René Cassin) the godfather of human rights; this declaration is the beginning of a long route to deep-rooting the principles of equality and justice among the human beings.
Article (1) of the international declaration of human rights states the main principle of rights equality among all human beings. From the view point of social specialists, this principle is regarded the cornerstone in relation with the top important principle of justice which directs the attention to what is just or unfair egalitarian; which is based on biological factors beside psychological, social, cultural and spiritual needs along with the individual contribution in others luxury.
The equality in rights indicates that the idea of social justice is inseparable from the idea of human rights. Thus, social justice is an essential credit of man emerging from his own merit as an individual qualified to have a number of social, economical and political rights as it is confirmed in the international declaration of human rights and in a wide range of other covenants, conventions and international agreements such as the international covenant of social and economical rights along with the agreements that concerns child, woman and minority rights. The idea of social justice is attached to the concept of achieving humanitarian needs of human beings due to, the humanitarian of any man is incomplete and his dignity is not achieved, unless he is able to satisfy his humanitarian needs.
Determining the concept of social justice and the best mean to achieve it, is often subjected to a big controversy. The outline of the concept of social justice is in constant change because the idea itself is a result of a changeable system of values and culture. Although the huge variation in defining social justice, and the uncountable definition of it, a big number of academic researches and scientific books agree on availability of certain elements to achieve social justice such as: equality, anti-discrimination, equal opportunity, equal distribution of resources and duties, social security and providing public goods.
One of the common approaches in defining social justice is equal opportunity and the chances of equal life; which mean that you have an equal chance of having a good education and job just like anybody else as in having equal chances of enjoying a decent life. Everybody should be protected against life’s risks such as illness, accidents, residence loss and unemployment..etc.
On the occasion of the world day of social justice, the United Nations secretary-general said: “social justice is a primary principle of peaceful coexistence within the nations and between them as prosperity is accomplished under its shadow. Since we will work on achieving gender equality or reinforcing the rights of both original nations and immigrants, we can raise the principles of social justice to a higher position. When we remove the barriers nations face whether if they are age, race, ethnic descent, religion, culture or deficiency, then we would have accomplished a big part in uplifting social justice”.
This means that social justice includes satisfying man’s basic needs and sharing material resources on the basis of equality as it targets giving opportunities to everyone to obtain basic services in the field of health and education besides providing security to both deprived individuals and groups. Basing on the previous, social experts consider justice and social justice as main defense mechanism to every type of oppression and a foundation to the most equitable human resources development.
As a result we can say the case of social justice that human rights principles are trying to seek and achieve is:
The one that power and money are not involved in injustice, oppression, deprivation and exploitation, as poverty, marginalization and social isolation are vanished as well as unacceptable social differences among individuals, groups and states within the country.
The one that everyone enjoys even economical, social, political and environmental rights as well as enjoying equal freedom. And where the present generations overtake the rights of future generations; where a sense of fair, solidarity, a joint liability and social contribution is prevailed.
The one that each individual of the society has an equal chance to develop their abilities and to release their potential energies where those abilities and energies are well employed to serve in progressing and developing the society.
The one that society is not under economic misuse and is not depending on other societies whereas enjoys a clear independence and domestic control over political, economical and social decisions.
The United Nations secretary-general said on that same occasion on February the 20th 2014: “we have to do more in order to empower individuals in the sake of providing the opportunities of a decent work, to support people through providing social security, and to secure listening to the voices of poor and marginalized people. We have to work on continuing our efforts to achieve the millennium development goals and to write down a new development plan for the era after 2015 as we make social justice a foundation tool in achieving an equal and everlasting prosperity to everyone”.