October 28, 2021

Taking a stand on International Justice Day

World Day for International Justice is observed annually on 17 July every year. International Justice Day recognises the emerging system of international criminal justice including respect for constitutions, revision of punitive laws, effective litigation, documentation of violations and alignment of laws to human rights principles.

This year’s theme is A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy. The digital economy is transforming the world of work, making things better at the same time forcing people, businesses and organisations to continuously adapt to digital transformation. It is crucial to protect labour and human rights in the modern era of digital technologies. This year’s commemoration supports international efforts to search for solutions to achieve sustainable development, poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, universal social protection, gender equality and access to social well-being and justice for all. The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the dangers of the digital divide – revealing inequalities in access to education, information and technology and how these will further leave behind those already marginalised with access to basic needs like water, healthcare, shelter, education.

What is Justice?

Justice is a concept of what is ethical, rational and right based on equity and fairness. When it comes to the administration of the law, justice takes into account the inalienable and inherent rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law of their civil rights, without discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, wealth, or other characteristics. It includes social justice, which upholds and fights for the rights of groups and communities.

How is justice served?

Justice is served when proper punishment or fair treatment is given by the legal system, taking into account the laws set, prior case decisions, evidence provided and respect for human rights at every stage of prosecution.

How is justice denied?

For LGBTI people, justice is continuously denied if they opt to live fully in their truth. LGBTI people continue to face real discrimination in all areas of life. The criminalization of same-sex partnerships infringes on privacy rights. LGBTI people continue to be harassed, assaulted, evicted, fired or refused a job on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Law enforcement may ignore or be ignorant of the law. GALZ is thankfully for the support of some partners in the legal fraternity and in civil society in our fight for equal treatment before the law, however, there is still work to be done to fight baseless arrest, detention and inhumane treatment.

How can you help uphold justice?

  • Report abuse or crime
  • Do not take advantage of others
  • Know your rights
  • Learn the Constitution

GALZ is an association of LGBTI people, a voluntary membership organisation established in 1990 to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer community in Zimbabwe. Visit www.galz.org or email info@galz.co for more information.

Source: GALZ