Peace and security are necessary prerequisites for social harmony as well as political and economic development. It is a truism that peace in any country is dependent on social justice and the availability of economic opportunities.

It would not be far from the truth to say that as Indian citizens, we are being manipulated into slowly but surely losing our humanity. Social and economic inequality manifesting in conspicuous consumption by a few,  side by side with the poverty of the many, exacerbated by infrastructure deficits and dysfunctional schools and healthcare all over the country have led to deep feelings of injustice and hopelessness among our youths. Lack of opportunity, shameless corruption and a capricious political culture have destroyed institutions and entrenched a climate of impunity. Add these together and the cocktail that results is unprecedented insecurity and an attitude of self-help by citizens.

Social injustice impedes growth and development, hampering or even halting improvement in living standards, fair distribution of income, creation of opportunities, and the elimination of inequalities. The inadequacy of economic growth, imbalances in economic structures, and imperfections in education and training systems contribute to, and are aggravated by, unjust conditions in the world.

The most extreme form of exploitation in employment is slavery. Most groups which are exploited in employment are underprivileged groups, such as indigenous populations, women, children, immigrants, the illiterate, and the lowest levels of national society, the aged, and the disabled. Such groups may not have the knowledge or other means to combat exploitation and may sink into a state of apathy and resignation.

Poorer people suffer most from environmental problems in a wide range of areas — food, transport, factories and fuel. Other groups also bear an unjust burden of environmental problems, including ethnic communities, women, children, and people in developing countries and future generations, not to mention non-human species.

Society is so stratified that many groups and individuals find themselves unable to make a significant contribution in the job market. This is more apparent in minority groupings of age (both the youngest and the oldest), sex (most often women), and race.

Violence against women is a problem around the world. It affects women of all races, ethnic groups, classes and nationalities. It is a life-threatening problem for individual women, and it is a costly problem for societies. Because women are ‘easy’ victims, they experience a great deal of direct behavioural violence in every society. The use of violence against women as a form of control is not only pervasive, but varied in its expression. Such variations reflect social and cultural differences which have resulted in battering, rape, dowry death, selective malnourishment, female infanticide, gang rape, forced prostitution, homicide, sexual harassment, international sexual trafficking and slavery, sexual degradation, child prostitution, violent pornography, child sexual abuse, abuse of widows and elderly women and many more.

Security is one of the basic needs; it can also be seen as a basic value in our modern societies where more and more systems are developed to guarantee security. Security is a highly valued goal, which may be difficult to reach because of different threats and risks in personal lives and in near and global environments.

Law can be a double-edged sword: although it may serve to reinforce prevailing social and economic relations, it can also be a powerful tool of those seeking to resist, challenge, and transform those relations. At the local, national, and global levels, states, elites, and citizens increasingly turn to law as an important tool for bargaining, enshrining, and challenging norms, policies, and their implementation. By its nature, law is a device that provides a particular language, structure, and formality for naming and ordering things, and this characteristic gives it the potential to become a force independent of the initial powers and intentions behind it, even beyond the existence of independent and effective legal institutions. Law is thus simultaneously a product of social and power relations and a tool for challenging and reshaping those relations.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I agree when you said that “the most extreme form of exploitation in employment is slavery.” It also happens here in the Philippines where most of the victims were those people who live in poverty. In my experience, some of the employers here took the advantage of their employees when they know that their employees don’t have enough knowledge about labor laws. It’s quite a relief that there are labor lawyers here that is willing to help you on labor issues.

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