Examples of Social Justice Issues Facing the World (2022)

Equal human rights for all seems like it would be simple enough. However, there are vast social justice issues that plague countries around the globe. Learn what social justice is and how it has morphed over the years, as well as explore several examples of social justice issues affecting our world both historically and today.

Examples of Social Justice Issues Facing the World (1) Examples of Social Justice Issues Facing the World

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Global Social Justice Issues

When you look at social justice, it is all about equality. To be socially just, every individual must be treated equitably and fairly by society.

Unfortunately, around the world, this utopian ideal is far from reality. Social injustices can happen at small and global scales, in schools and by whole diverse groups. Whether it is the segregation of an entire cultural group or bullying in the hallways of a school because of your sexual orientation, social injustice is everywhere.

Changing Face of Social Justice

With the modern era, the face of social justice has changed. While rallies and marches are still prevalent, the Internet is also used to bring social justice issues to light. This can be seen through movements like #blacklivesmatter and the #metoo movement against sexual harassment. These campaigns work to expand issues into bigger movements that rally activists together.

Now that you know what social justice is and how it's changed, it's time to take a look at a few historical and modern examples.

Racial Discrimination

While several global organizations are looking to provide equal rights to all, racial discrimination is still a hot topic. There are laws in place around the world, but incidents still happen to illustrate that racial discrimination has not been irradiated. Here, explore a few specific examples of racial discrimination.

Slavery

An ultimate example of racial discrimination was slavery, which was abolished in America in 1865. African Americans and people of color were forced into servitude on homes and farms, and they were treated deplorably.

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You would think that slavery was a non-issue in current culture. However, it is still a social injustice issue found around the world. As of 2017, according to Free the Slaves, 40 million people around the world were still trapped in some form of slavery, including marriage slavery and forced labor.

Stereotyping

Stereotyping is something that can happen to any racial group. While there is positive and negative stereotyping, both can have consequences in a society. For example, since 9/11, Muslims have faced discrimination and prejudice in America, sparked by fears of terrorism and acts committed by the Taliban.

Segregation

A famous historical example was the segregation of Black Americans in the U.S. via Jim Crow laws. Black Americans were required to use specific schools, houses, and medical services, among other institutions and facilities, that were separate and of lesser quality than white Americans.

Another famous example of segregation was apartheid in South Africa. Many civil rights movements were founded on the unequal treatment and segregation of a cultural or racial group.

Ageism

Discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes. The number of birthdays that you have accumulated is another example. Ageism, where the elderly are discriminated against, creates negative stereotypes of the elderly being weak, feeble, or unable to change. A few examples include being denied work and or being seen as a burden to society.

Denied Work

Many times, the elderly are forced into retirement or looked over for work. For example, workers that are over 60 years of age may be asked to retire from their career. They may be laid off to bring in younger, less experienced workers. Those who do contractual work, like farming, may be looked over because of their age, leaving them with little way to support their families.

Seen as a Burden

An older individual might also be seen as a burden by their family and their society. For example, many neighborhoods tailor themselves to younger generations through playgrounds and new-age restaurants. Those of advanced age may be put into a nursing home or retirement community the moment that society sees them as being no longer useful. However, Senior Lifestyle has shown that children who grow up with an older individual can benefit tremendously.

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Sexuality and Gender

Beyond discrimination based on age, other hot topics both currently and historically are gender and sexuality. In recent years, gender has morphed into a complicated topic that goes beyond the binary designations of male and female. Explore how these issues can affect work life, school and even your home.

Wage Gap

When it comes to wages in the workplace, there is a noticeable differentiation between men and women. According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), in 2018, the gender pay gap from men and women for the same job was 82 percent. Stated simply, women make 82 percent of what men make doing the same work. This can be further broken down into a pay gap for minority men and women.

LGBTQ Oppression

When it comes to oppression and human rights, individuals of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) community face several forms of social injustice and oppression. For example, same sex marriages are outlawed in some states and countries. Additionally, transsexual students often face discrimination and bullying within school settings.

Education System

Globally, steps are being made to close the education gap between male and female students. However, there are still several areas around the world where girls may never set foot into a classroom at all. UNESCO notes that more than nine million girls never go to school, compared to only six million boys in areas of Africa.

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Child Welfare

Social workers and human rights activists are working tirelessly to combat issues relating to children and their welfare. Despite their efforts, there are still several problems children face that are harmful to their health and mental wellbeing.

Forced Child Labor

Laws are in place around the world to ensure a safe work environment for children. These laws were drafted from historically harsh and dangerous working conditions for children. While many would like to believe that child labor is a thing of the past, it persists in some areas around the globe.

As an example, India still has children working in forced labor, producing carpets, clothing, footwear and yarn. Not only are conditions unhealthy and unsafe, but the work hours are also very long.

Child Abuse and Neglect

Thousands of children globally are being neglected. They're also being physically, sexually and emotionally abused. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that as many as a quarter of adults have been abused as children. This abuse has both social and economic impacts that include mental health problems.

Civil Rights for Exceptional Students

Many laws have been passed over the years to help enable students with special needs, like those with autism or ADHD. This wasn't always the case, however. Prior to laws like No Child Left Behind and Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), many children were simply neglected in their education or they were shuffled into special schools and asylums if they had learning disabilities.

While the world is making progressive steps toward equality for exceptional students, many point out how labeling and stereotyping a child based on their disability can have lasting, negative effects. Additionally, many countries around the world lack any adaptive services or special education for exceptional children.

Poverty and Economic Injustice

Poverty and economic injustice is a pressing issue for human rights and social justice. Not only do men, women and children in the U.S. and abroad lack access to housing and food, but many also lack access to the basic human necessity of clean water. Dive into social injustice issues created by poverty.

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Lack of Resources

When you think of poverty, you might think of having little food or maybe living in a homeless shelter. However, the sad truth is that many individuals don't have access to food, clean water, schooling, healthcare or even sanitation at all.

According to The World Counts, more than 485,000 children die from lack of food, shelter or clean water each year. Within the U.S. alone, more than two million children lack clean water, especially Native Americans.

Quality Healthcare

Poverty and disease go hand in hand. Access to quality healthcare is harder when your income is lower, but access to quality food is diminished too. This means heart disease and diabetes are more likely among impoverished individuals.

While there are programs in America for those in poverty, these programs are far from perfect. This means that many poor individuals will go without basic care. Globally, among poorer communities, finding access to healthcare or doctors is nearly non-existent. The World Bank and WHO state that nearly half the world lacks essential health services access.

Social Justice Warrior: Not Always a Good Thing

Looking at the term "social justice warrior," you would think that it is a good thing. According to its most basic definition, a social justice warrior is someone who fights social injustices around the world.

However, the term itself has taken on a negative connotation recently because of the types of people who are called social justice warriors. These are typically online bloggers or activists who jump on the bandwagon of the most recent social injustice. They then get into overzealous debates that appeal to emotions over logic.

A social justice warrior is seen as a self-righteous individual, someone who is looking for online attention rather than promoting the actual cause.

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Human Rights for All

Creating human rights for all isn't as easy as one might think. Rather, it is a long, involved process with new social justice issues coming to the surface daily. When it comes to social justice, explore examples of courage to see how you can make a change. You can also explore customs, traditions and values from different cultures, like the meaning of the Kwanzaa holiday, to better understand others. From there, you can choose a social justice topic for an essay that dives deeper into the idea.

Jennifer Betts

Staff Writer

FAQs

What is an example of a social justice issue? ›

There are so many social justice issues out there that you can help with, such as voting rights, refugee crises, workers' rights, economic justice, healthcare, hunger, education, gun violence, and more. And these issues often overlap with each other and touch the people we care about.

What are social justice issues in the world? ›

Racism, equity, education, healthcare, immigration, and LGBTQ+ rights are just some of the social justice battles that are still being fought in the US in 2022.

What is the meaning of social justice explain with an example? ›

“Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. Social workers aim to open the doors of access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in greatest need.” National Association of Social Workers.

What are three examples of social injustice? ›

Three common examples of social injustice include: discrimination, ageism and homophobia.” According to Quora.com, “Social injustice issues would be things like unfair labor practices, racial discrimination, discrimination due to gender, orientation, ethnicity, age.

What makes a social justice issue? ›

Social justice is a type of justice rooted in the idea that all people should have equal rights, opportunity and treatment. Definition of social injustice: Social injustice is when actions are taken that infringe upon a group's rights, marginalize their opportunities or treat them unfairly.

What are some justice issues? ›

Types of Social Justice Issues
  • Race.
  • Gender.
  • Age.
  • Sexual Orientation.
  • Religion.
  • Nationality.
  • Education.
  • Mental or Physical Ability.

Is education a social justice issue? ›

While at first social justice centered mostly on wealth and property, it now encompasses more areas such as the environment, race, gender, and education.

What are the 4 types of social justice? ›

Distributive | Procedural | Restorative | Retributive | So what? There are four types of justice that people can seek when they have been wronged.

Which event is an example of justice in a society? ›

Which event is an example of justice in a society? Someone who commits a crime is punished in the same way as another person who commits the same crime.

What is social justice for students? ›

Social justice is about distributing resources fairly and treating all students equitably so that they feel safe and secure—physically and psychologically.

What are ethical issues of social justice? ›

Ethical issues may arise when social workers are engaged in social justice activities. These ethical issues can include challenges to boundaries, creation of perceived or actual conflicts of interest, concerns regarding client privacy and confidentiality, and perceptions of unprofessionalism.

What are two social issues that could lead to social injustice? ›

Social injustice issues often include things such as racial discrimination, unfair labor practices, gender-related discrimination, age, ethnicity, and orientation. These can also include healthcare inequality, quality of public schools in areas with poor or low income, and death penalty.

What are four social issues? ›

Some of America's most pressing social issues are refugees and immigration, poverty and economic insecurity, racial discrimination, climate change, and rising healthcare costs.

What are four social injustices? ›

This is Expert Verified Answer
  • bribe and corruption - it is the most heinous crime that can happen in the society. ...
  • education system- the reservation system provides inequality in the field of education.
  • racial discrimination - discriminating people on the basis of their class , creed and color leads to social injustice.
19 Sept 2020

Is climate change a social justice issue? ›

Climate change is a threat to everyone's physical health, mental health, air, water, food and shelter, but some groups—socially and economically disadvantaged ones—face the greatest risks. This is because of where they live, their health, income, language barriers, and limited access to resources.

What are some social justice issues for kids? ›

These characteristics include race (racism), age (ageism), gender (sexism), religion, and sexuality (heterosexism). Social justice issues happen on a global scale, meaning they affect people all over the world. They can also take place in one particular country or city.

What is the social issue? ›

A social issue is a problem that affects many people within a society. It is a group of common problems in present-day society and ones that many people strive to solve. It is often the consequence of factors extending beyond an individual's control.

What is an example of injustice in school? ›

Fitting things in such as discipline in the classroom could be something that schools fit in the curriculum. Another example of injustice in schools and education is teachers assigning students homework every day.

What are the different types of social justice? ›

It's the responsibility of social workers to understand how big picture issues impact our clients and take action to support the communities we serve.
  • Voting rights. ...
  • Climate justice. ...
  • Healthcare. ...
  • Refugee crisis. ...
  • Racial Injustice. ...
  • Income Gap. ...
  • Gun Violence. ...
  • Hunger and food insecurity.

How do you write a social justice essay? ›

6 Tips For Writing A Social Justice Essay
  1. Brainstorm creatively. The quality of your paper depends a lot on the quality of your topic. ...
  2. Narrow your topic. Once you identify a topic you want to write about, it's time to narrow its scope. ...
  3. Have a purpose. ...
  4. Highlight your strongest argument. ...
  5. Be specific. ...
  6. Consider collaboration.

Why social issues are important? ›

Globally, subjects including climate change, immigration, and women's rights impact people around the world. Social issues are important research topics because they help people understand that there are many ways to think about and approach the same problem, and they teach essential critical thinking skills.

What are some examples of justice? ›

An example of justice is someone being set free from prison after dna evidence shows they are innocent. Justice includes the notion of upholding the law, as in the work of police, judges and the court.

What are the social issues in the community? ›

Poverty, unemployment, unequal opportunity, racism, and malnutrition are examples of social problems. So are substandard housing, employment discrimination, and child abuse and neglect. Crime and substance abuse are also examples of social problems.

Is abuse a social justice issue? ›

Therefore, child abuse should be regarded as a social justice matter that requires the efforts of not only governments but also other actors in society. Social justice ought to promote equality, non-discrimination, and respect for human dignity for all including children.

Why is it important for students to learn about social justice? ›

Why Is Social Justice Education so Important? There are many benefits to a pedagogical model that incorporates social justice education. Students gain a greater understanding of power dynamics, develop respect for cultures different from their own and learn how to affect positive change in their communities.

Why is hunger and food insecurity a social justice issue? ›

Eliminating hunger requires addressing its root causes in poverty and social disparities. Poverty and hunger are experienced at disproportionately higher rates for people of color, women, LGBTQ communities, immigrants, and other marginalized groups.

Why do we need to teach social justice? ›

Over time, students learn to look at current and historical events – even their own actions – through the lens of social justice. They spot discrimination and inequality. All this leads to better decision-making as adults. Opponents say social justice enforces a standard of ideas for what is fair or not fair.

What are the 5 principles of social justice? ›

The Five Principles of Social Justice
  • Access. Access to resources is a fundamental principle of social justice. ...
  • Equity. It's easy to confuse the terms 'equity' and 'equality,' but those things which are equitable are not always equal. ...
  • Diversity. ...
  • Participation. ...
  • Human Rights.
30 Jul 2020

What are the 6 types of justice? ›

Types of justice
  • Distributive justice.
  • Environmental justice.
  • Injustice.
  • Occupational injustice.
  • Open justice.
  • Organizational justice.
  • Poetic justice.
  • Social justice.

What are the three 3 types of justice? ›

In this lesson, you will first explore the concept of justice by identifying and then analyzing three types of problems that raise issues of distributive, corrective, and procedural justice.

What is an example of justice in ethics? ›

Rules that prevent smoking in residents' rooms are enforced without exception as dictated by the principle of Justice, thereby restricting individual autonomy. Therefore, Justice demands that one's right to exercise Autonomy is limited when it affects the safety and well-being of another person.

How can social justice help fight poverty? ›

National and local agencies focus on social protection, public benefits, and entrepreneurship. Poverty is something that can be addressed through social protection payments, skills training, and access to credit. To meaningfully address both justice and poverty, we need to bridge this divide.

What is social justice in community development? ›

Social Justice: for radical community development social justice aims to. create worth, equal rights, opportunities for all and the elimination of. inequalities reinforced by poverty. ( Commission for Social Justice, 1994)

How do schools promote social justice? ›

Fostering a classroom community of conscience

The first way to promote social justice in the classroom is to create a community of conscience. This environment ensures that students' voices, opinions and ideas are valued and respected by their instructor and peers.

How do I teach my child social justice? ›

Luckily, there are a variety of tools and strategies you can use to help guide social justice lessons and conversations with your child.
  1. Expose Your Child to Diversity. ...
  2. Make the Most of Teaching Moments. ...
  3. Engage in Charitable Giving and Related Discussions. ...
  4. Talk About the News. ...
  5. Teach Anti-Bias Lessons.
11 Apr 2019

What is the role of education in achieving the ideal of equality and social justice? ›

Promoting the social and economic wellbeing of individuals and making them goal oriented and goal achieving in a highly competitive and diverse world.

What is the biggest social justice issue? ›

Poverty and economic injustice is a pressing issue for human rights and social justice. Not only do men, women and children in the U.S. and abroad lack access to housing and food, but many also lack access to the basic human necessity of clean water. Dive into social injustice issues created by poverty.

What are some justice issues? ›

Below are just a few of the broad topics that are being addressed through social justice work in the United States and around the world today.
  • Climate Change. Humankind has affected the global climate in dangerous ways. ...
  • Racial Equality. ...
  • LGBTQ+ Rights. ...
  • Affordable Healthcare.

Is education a social justice issue? ›

While at first social justice centered mostly on wealth and property, it now encompasses more areas such as the environment, race, gender, and education.

What makes a social justice issue? ›

Social justice is a type of justice rooted in the idea that all people should have equal rights, opportunity and treatment. Definition of social injustice: Social injustice is when actions are taken that infringe upon a group's rights, marginalize their opportunities or treat them unfairly.

What are some social problems today? ›

Additional social issues
  • Healthcare in the United States.
  • Human rights in the United States.
  • Violence against LGBT people in the United States.
  • Domestic violence in the United States.
  • Gender inequality in the United States.
  • Wealth inequality in the United States.
  • Income inequality in the United States.

Which event is an example of justice in a society? ›

Which event is an example of justice in a society? Someone who commits a crime is punished in the same way as another person who commits the same crime.

What are the types of social justice? ›

Types of Social Justice Issues

Social justice issues can be delineated into two categories, which are interrelated and often co-dependent: Inter-Social Treatment and Unequal Government Regulation.

What are the social issues in the community? ›

Poverty, unemployment, unequal opportunity, racism, and malnutrition are examples of social problems. So are substandard housing, employment discrimination, and child abuse and neglect. Crime and substance abuse are also examples of social problems.

What are some examples of justice? ›

An example of justice is someone being set free from prison after dna evidence shows they are innocent. Justice includes the notion of upholding the law, as in the work of police, judges and the court.

Is climate change a social justice issue? ›

Climate change is a threat to everyone's physical health, mental health, air, water, food and shelter, but some groups—socially and economically disadvantaged ones—face the greatest risks. This is because of where they live, their health, income, language barriers, and limited access to resources.

How do you write a social justice essay? ›

6 Tips For Writing A Social Justice Essay
  1. Brainstorm creatively. The quality of your paper depends a lot on the quality of your topic. ...
  2. Narrow your topic. Once you identify a topic you want to write about, it's time to narrow its scope. ...
  3. Have a purpose. ...
  4. Highlight your strongest argument. ...
  5. Be specific. ...
  6. Consider collaboration.

How many social issues are there? ›

India suffers from a host of social issues ranging from poverty to gendered violence.

What are social issues essay? ›

It refers to an unwanted situation that frequently results in problems and continues to harm society. Social issues can cause a lot of problems that can be beyond the control of just one person. Through an essay on social issues, we will learn why they are harmful and what types of social issues we face.

What are the main causes of injustice? ›

Racism, economic inequality, and class discrimination are some of the root causes of social injustice, but social injustice can affect anyone. When a group with wealth, power, or authority gives preferential treatment to its own group over members of another group, social injustice occurs.

Videos

1. Climate Change is a Social Justice Issue | Adriana Laurent | TEDxUBC
(TEDx Talks)
2. Social justice -- is it still relevant in the 21st century? | Charles L. Robbins | TEDxSBU
(TEDx Talks)
3. Understanding Social Justice
(Whatifalthist)
4. How to explain the problem of 'critical social justice' to your friends
(Counterweight Media)
5. What Is Justice?: Crash Course Philosophy #40
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6. World Day of Social Justice
(Staffordshire University)

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