World Day of Social Justice Honors Haiti Social Activism

The World Day of Social Justice began in 2009 at the behest of the United Nations. The General Assembly believed the ideals of social justice, in theory and practice, needed to be accorded global recognition to further progress in developing democracies around the globe.


The World Summit has created a corpus of ideas that encompass principles of social justice defined by social-policy advocates. These principles are based on a society's progress in the areas of human rights, solidarity, accords, and parity within and among government institutions locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

In pursuit of a just and equitable "society for all", governments have pledged to create a structure of actionable guidelines. If transgressed, it will lead to legal sanctions against the renegade state. For developing economies, it is incumbent on emerging-nation governments they foster principles of equality and social justice, honoring basic human rights and freedoms.

Among emerging democracies, Haiti struggles with the controversial legacy of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide, who promoted a pro-democratic agenda during his political career, continues to threaten the government of Haiti, a dysfunctional and corrupt body. Several social activists affiliated with Aristide's pro-democracy party, Fanmi Lavalas, have had their lives ended by agents of all presidential regimes since 1994.

Social activists, who lost their lives calling for the return of Aristide (now permanently retired from politics), include Father Jean-Marie Vincent, vocal critic of the Haitian military (1994); Sanel Joseph, demonstrator against the GOH (2005); and Jean-Marie Samedi, critic of the Préval regime (2010).

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