JSMP calls for national action on social justice

JSMP calls for national action on social justice

JSMP’s Parliamentary Watch Coordinator, José Pereira

DILI, 21 february 2023 (TATOLI) – Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) calls on all relevant entities to take action now for a fair society. 

JSMP’s Parliamentary Watch Coordinator, José Pereira said that in order to ensure human dignity for every Timorese, crucial action must be taken by all entities. 

He said that the gaps between rich and poor grow at the national, regional, and global levels, saying that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. 

“We have a small group that has access to all kinds of resources, on the other hand, there are other groups of people living in poverty. Therefore, advocacy and all kinds of actions are needed to achieve the goal of ensuring social justice in a society like Timor-Leste,” Pereira told Tatoli in his office in Dili. 

He said that the government plays a crucial role in taking action and implementing appropriate social justice policies to ensure the well-being of the people: “The government program must ensure that every citizen has equal access to all kinds of resources, without discrimination, to fulfill the rights of the people.”

Pereira pointed out that of the country’s 1.3 million people, more than 40% live below the national poverty line: “It means that many people, especially the most vulnerable and the poorest haven’t had the opportunity to access any kind of resources in the country.”

“In order to ensure social just for all, the government must protect the workers’ legal rights to fair wages to prevent exploitation in society. So, social justice is a concept that holds all people should have equal access to wealth, health, well-being, privileges, and opportunity,” he added. 

Timor-Leste’s Public Defender, Cancio Xavier said that as a nation, the government and relevant authorities must govern according to the will and preferences of the people.

“The principles of ensuring just for all people, all parties must work together to achieve the people’s dream of leaving no one behind. While the government shall always uphold the public interest and interest of the people over and above personal interest,” he said. 

It’s said that for social justice to become a reality, four pillars must be built: human rights, access, participation, and equity. Social justice can’t be achieved without these four principles. 

Justice is the concept of fairness. Social justice is fairness as it manifests in society. That includes fairness in healthcare, employment, housing, and more. In a socially-just society, human rights are respected and discrimination is not allowed to flourish.

World Day of Social Justice was first observed globally in 2009, following a declaration at the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly that the Day is observed annually on February 20th.

This year’s theme will focus on the recommendations of the UN’s Common Agenda to strengthen global solidarity and to rebuild trust in government by “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice.”



Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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