Monday, February 20, 2017

Social Justice: A Right

What common characteristic identifies the Latin American countries? It is undoubtedly inequality.
Inequality in the economic, social, and cultural spheres, results in a loss of human dignity and fundamental human rights inhabitants.  And has an even greater impact on indigenous minorities.

Inequality is not unique to Latin America but also exists in many other countries, particularly in the so-called "Third World".  And in recent times, millions of people in developed countries as well also suffer from discrimination and all kinds of abuse because of their status as migrants, refugees or undocumented persons. The world suffers from social injustice. For this reason, for the past 10 years we have commemorated the World Day of Social Justice on February 20th, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations. 

Equal opportunity and the observance of human rights are fundamental elements of social justice. And its basis lies in the equity that is essential for individuals to develop their full potential and to establish lasting peace. There is no peace without social justice.

Talking about social justice means "a respect for the human person, equality, the differences between people, and above all, human solidarity. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority," says the Catholic Catechism (no. 1928 and 1929 to 1948).

At present we live in a world characterized by the unfair distribution of wealth, which is in the hands of a minority, generating a scandalous exclusion. It is urgent to share in our communal spaces and work, testimonies consistent with our faith which help eradicate poverty and inequality. We must work in a variety of ways against the corruption that generates increasing marginalization and greater poverty.

States should establish public policies related to decent employment, quality education, housing and, given the current context of the scourge of corruption we are experiencing, punishment of those responsible for corruption, which include political and business leaders from different Latin American countries. A peaceful and prosperous coexistence must necessarily meet these demands, which various social groups are calling for.

"Justice is that in which the heart rejoices: when there is enough for everyone, when one sees that there is equality, equity, when each has their own. When one sees that there is enough for all they feel a great happiness in their heart," Pope Francis told us in his visit to Ecuador. Amen

Victor Mendoza Barrantes (Director of the Social Justice Commission of the Diocese of Chimbote, Peru, and member of the CCVI International JPIC Committee).  

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