Message by the Hon. Colin E. Jordan, M.P.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector

World Day of Social Justice, 2024


February 20 is observed as World Day of Social Justice.  On this day we raise voices awareness of the fight against inequality, prejudice and any other unfair treatment.  Along with highlighting global social injustice, it recognizes the urgent need to address societal concerns and find viable solutions.

Social justice refers to the fair allocation of resources and access to opportunities, and the idea that all people should have the same rights and privileges in society.  It emphasizes fairness in how society or a country uses its wealth and social resources so each citizen can benefit.  The main principles of social justice include access to resources, equity, participation, diversity, and human rights.

Global Social Justice has been on the decline for years, according to Oxfam, 1% of the world’s population controls 63 % of the world’s resources.  Social justice is an important principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.

To realize the main goal of increasing social justice and decent work for all, Government, in 2018 established the Social Justice Committee to address matters of poverty alleviation, the role of the family in fostering cultural and societal norms and values, discrimination, access to education, integration of persons with disabilities, access to employment and providing a safe and secure environment for everyone. 

The Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector over the last five years have addressed some of the pertinent issues that affect our society through its legislative and policy initiatives.

The Employment (Prevention of Discrimination) Act, an Act to protect persons from discrimination related to employment was passed in 2020.  A national minimum wage and a sectoral minimum wage for security officers was established in 2021. In 2019, Barbados helped to craft the International Labour Organization, Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in workplace. It was ratified in 2022.  The National Insurance and Social Security Act was amended in 2023 to allow greater flexibility and encourage self-employed persons to participate in the NIS.  

On November 1, 2023 at the 349th Session of the Governing Body, this administration supported the approval of the initiative of the Director-General to establish a Global Coalition for Social Justice.

The Social Justice Coalition will bring together organizations and institutions, and focus on improving access to basic human rights, equality, dignity, freedom, and safety. Through the elimination of poverty, hunger, and social injustices, as well as reducing social tensions, social justice promotes more cohesive, productive, and efficient economies and communities. When these negative influences are removed, inclusion and more sustainable development will result. 

Let us do all we can to contribute to the development of a peaceful, just, and equitable society.


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