In tackling social injustice, human rights are an essential tool. These rights include redistribution of benefits and resources, political inclusion, empowerment of subordinate groups, and development of institutions of fair governance. However, human rights are more than just a theoretical framework. They are also a tool for addressing political injustice. The following are examples of how human rights help address social injustice. This article explores each in more detail.
Human Rights as a Tool to Address Social Injustice
Human rights have been used by advocates like Mohamed Soltan to protect people from social injustices. In the U.S., many social injustices and human rights issues have become highly controversial, polarizing the political climate and dividing citizens. Human rights and social justice are often so strong that they are often lumped together. Because the two concepts are closely related, the general public tends to group them together.
Redistribution of Benefits and Resources
To achieve social justice, governments must provide a basic living standard to all their citizens. Such necessities include food, water, sanitation, and housing. In addition, countries should ensure that all citizens enjoy equal access to all human rights without discrimination. These principles are often referred to as the “Rawlsian formula.”
Achieving redistributive justice is a crucial component of any reconstruction plan. Whether a country is rebuilding its economic systems after a war or addressing lingering social problems, these issues are integral to the process. Economic vitalization is essential for creating a vibrant post-war economy. However, achieving the same level of prosperity is often impossible without addressing the root causes of social injustice.
Inequality exacerbates a society’s inequalities. Inequality harms both the poor and the rich. It undermines society’s capacity to generate wealth for all. By focusing on economic justice, governments should aim to achieve economic equality. However, if economic justice is the only goal, the rich should be required to pay their fair share into public coffers.
Promoting Political Inclusion and Empowering Subordinate Groups
One way to address social injustice is to promote political inclusion and empower subordinate groups. For example, the 1994 democratic political settlement in South Africa grappled with how to balance growth and redistribution. The goal was to increase the political representation of disadvantaged groups and create a platform for cooperation between the dominant and less powerful groups. On the other hand, procedural injustice exacerbated social injustice by ensuring that the majority group had disproportionate control over decisions.
Human rights have a critical role to play in addressing social injustice. In the past, a lack of resolution on other dimensions of inequality and exclusion made addressing such social injustice much more difficult. Moreover, this lack of resolution placed new pressure on institutions and governments. The role of human rights in addressing social injustice is to promote political inclusion and empowerment of subordinate groups.
Developing Institutions of Fair Governance to Address Political Injustice
Developing institutions of fair governance are essential in ensuring that the political process works for all stakeholders. It is also necessary for countries nearing key turning points in their histories. However, preparations for these elections have been lacking, and they could significantly impede democratic progress in the country. Therefore, long-term advice and support are needed.