Today, February 20th 2015, is the World Day of Social Justice. The General Assembly of the United Nations has pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all.
As an institute, SIID promotes a vision of international development as a struggle for social justice and a space for activism and engagement. Our mission is to examine and explore the multiple, lived experiences of development and the struggles for a more just global settlement.
Issues of social justice are core to all of our research themes, and to mark the occasion of World Day of Social Justice, the SIID network have written a series of blogs, drawing upon experience from their own research.
Tom Goodfellow, Lecturer in Urban Studies and International Development, tackles the issue of affordable housing in his blog, in relation to the wave of urbanisation and ‘real estatisation’ in the global South:
“The idea of housing as a basic human right is now well established in international law. Yet despite its recurrence in multiple legal instruments since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the fact it has gained momentum through the resurgence of ideas of ‘the right to the city’, it seems rarely to be taken seriously.
Unlike right to life, the right to asylum or the right to freedom of conscience – and much like the right to education or the right to work – the right to housing needs qualification to be truly meaningful. A pressing question for social justice across the world today is therefore how not just how to realise the right to housing, but the right to housing that is decent, affordable and secure.”
Doctoral Students at the University of Sheffield have also provided insights into their how research addresses issues of social justice:
- James Chamberlain from the Department of Politics has written on the subject of the privatisation of the Zambian coppermines, and the socio-economic impact on local communities.
- Sarita Panday from the School of Health & Related Research tells us of her research into the role of Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV) in Nepal in helping women in the country achieve basic human rights.
- Aysegul Can from Town & Regional Planning looks at the multiple forms of social exclusion felt as a result of gentrification in the city of Tarlabasi, Istanbul.