Social Injustice Definition and Meaning

Social injustice is a worldwide problem. It occurs in all countries and regions of the world. It is expressed in different ways and with different levels of severity, and generates social and political conflicts that can lead to wars, genocides or revolutions.

The only way to fight against social injustice is through coherent and consistent political action to attack its causes and achieve social justice.

Here are some examples of social injustice in the world against which we must, as citizens in the exercise of our rights, claim, protest and fight.


Discrimination is the segregation of a person or a group of people because of their skin color, religious belief, ethnicity, political ideology, gender, sexual inclination, physical disability, among others.

Discrimination situations are those in which a person or a group is systematically denied access to education, work, health services, political participation, among other things. Discrimination generates situations of inequality.


Inequality is a consequence of social injustice. It generates situations in which a privileged group controls, monopolizes or limits access to education, work, services, health care or opportunities of different kinds.

Gender violence

Gender violence is characterized by being directed towards a person or a group of people due to their sex. In our societies with a macho tradition, gender violence affects women above all.

There are situations of gender violence assaults, rapes, forced prostitution, labor discrimination, physical and sexual violence, castration, human trafficking, harassment and sexual harassment.

It can occur in any area of ​​life, home or public roads, work or school, and negatively affects the social, physical and psychological well-being of the person suffering from it.

Human trafficking

Human trafficking refers to the trafficking or trade of human beings. It is considered an illegal and punished international practice. It is carried out, above all, by organized world crime.

In general, human trafficking is for labor, mental, and reproductive slavery; for sexual exploitation or forced labor; for removal of organs or any other form of slavery that goes against the will, welfare and rights of the person. Millions of people a year are victims of trafficking in the world.

Labor exploitation

Labor exploitation involves the violation at different levels (and in very different ways) of workers’ rights.

Workers who are abused, ill-treated or threatened by their employer suffer labor exploitation; that they receive in payment an amount less than just; that are in situations similar or equal to slavery.

Persecution of minorities

The persecution of persons or groups of persons belonging to minorities (ethnic, sexual, religious, etc.) constitutes a social injustice, since it implies a violation of the individual freedoms of persons.

This type of behavior is typical of dictatorships or totalitarianisms, such as Nazism, in Germany, the Castro regime in Cuba, or communism in the Soviet Union. Situations such as persecution, torture, forced labor, discrimination, segregation, mistreatment or stigmatization are examples of social injustice.

Military use of children

Children used for military or military activities are a form of extreme social injustice. Children recruited at an early age are forced to participate, either as combatants, or in supportive tasks, such as messengers or watchmen, in wars. In the most serious cases they are used as human shields.

This is a practice of dire consequences: it can leave physical consequences, such as mutilation, malnutrition or illness, as well as psychological or moral consequences.

Human rights violation

The State must respect, protect and guarantee the human rights of its citizens. However, when it deliberately or not fails to comply, whether due to carelessness or omission, it creates worrying situations of social injustice.

In this sense, the forced eviction of people from their homes, hunger, water pollution, an insufficient salary to lead a dignified life, the denial of fundamental rights such as access to information, constitute human rights violations. basic services or health care; the segregation of individuals or minorities, generating exclusion in school or work, among many other things.

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