SOCIAL JUSTICE, DISCRIMINATION,
OPPRESSION, & EXPLOITATION

Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life. (Albert Einstein)

Social Justice

Social justice is the fair and just relation between the individual and society.

This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity and social privileges.

In Western as well as in older Asian cultures, the concept of social justice has often referred to the process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their societal roles and receive what was their due from society.

In the current global grassroots movements for social justice, the emphasis has been on the breaking of barriers for social mobility, the creation of safety nets and economic justice.

Social justice assigns rights and duties in the institutions of society, which enables people to receive the basic benefits and burdens of cooperation.

The relevant institutions often include taxation, social insurance, public health, public school, public services, labour law and regulation of markets, to ensure fair distribution of wealth, equal opportunity and equality of outcome.

Discrimination

In human social affairs, discrimination is the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction for or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which we perceive that person or thing belongs to rather than on individual merit.

This includes treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, ‘in a way worse than the way people are usually treated’.

It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to have an effect on the individual’s actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges available to another group, excluding individuals or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.

Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices, and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, even in ones where discrimination is generally looked down upon.

Oppression

Oppression is the socially supported mistreatment and exploitation of a group of individuals.

Social oppression is based on power dynamics, and an individual’s social location in society. Social location, as defined by Lynn Weber, is “an individual’s or a group’s social ‘place’ in the race, class, gender and sexuality hierarchies, as well as in other critical social hierarchies such as age, ethnicity, and nation.”

An individual’s social location determines how one will be perceived by others in the whole of society.

It maintains three faces of power: the power to design or manipulate the rules, to win the game through force or competition, and the ability to write history.

oppression

Exploitation

Exploitation is “the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work”; “unfair treatment of someone, or the use of a situation in a way that is wrong, in order to get some benefit for yourself”; “the process of making use of something so that you gain as much as possible from it”.

It is usually for financial or sexual gain and the exploited are looked upon as nothing more than a product.

The discriminatory, oppressive, exploitative behaviour of violence and crimes against humans, mostly usually because of a person’s ethnicity or race are found throughout history.

This discriminatory, oppressive and exploitation also occurs daily against billions of land and marine non-human animals as speciesism.

Based upon the principles of equality and solidarity, we must strive for Social Justice for all against discrimination, oppression and exploitation, in accordance with the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action which treats social justice as a purpose of human rights education.

We believe that non-human animals matter morally just as much as human animals and are victims too of discrimination, oppression and exploitation.

All life on earth matters and we must therefore strive to seek social justice protection for all human and non-human animals.

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