Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

By Kennedy Mwanzia. Kennedy creates web content and writes blog articles online. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Please read his essay and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Injustice is defined as the absence of fairness in human interactions. Injustice, wherever it is perpetrated leads to unmerited outcomes and untold suffering to the victims of unfair treatment. There are several causes of injustice today.

First, sheer malice is probably the most predominant cause of unfairness and prejudice all over the world. Most of the suffering that is occasioned by injustice can be attributed to the desire by some heartless human beings to cause suffering and upset people. Many acts of injustice are not inadvertent occurrences, but premeditated heinous deeds which are deliberately executed in order to cause pain to other people.

Another cause of injustice, in the contemporary world, is selfishness. For instance, there are instances where massive poverty and hunger have been caused by greedy leaders who misappropriate public funds for their own selfish needs to the detriment of the citizens.

Flawed decision making can also cause injustice and human suffering. For example, mass incarceration and extermination of government critics in undemocratic societies have led to the unnecessary suffering of innocent civilians.

Human neglect has also led to cases of human injustice. A case in point is where parents abdicate their parental responsibilities, leaving their children to fend for themselves. This is unfair for the young souls who fall prey to sexual perverts and economic exploitation as a result of parental neglect.

Moreover, malfeasance on the part of government officials can also lead to unfair treatment of innocent individuals.

Indeed, there are countless incidents of injustice all over the world. For instance, poverty affects millions of people in many countries, while a few individuals in those nations are profusely affluent. According to the World Bank, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the globe has reduced significantly. However, there are about seven hundred million people who live on less than $ 1.90 per day globally. Much of this poverty is not due to an act of God as some people think. As a matter of fact, massive corruption by Government officials, poor national planning, and profligate expenditure by Governments on superfluous projects are the main causes of poverty, especially in Africa.

Another sickening form of injustice today is child neglect. There are millions of children in the world who face starvation, child labour, abandonment, sexual abuse and other debilitating forms of injustice.

Furthermore, it is surprising and annoying to realize that slavery is still around in the twenty-first century. This form of injustice manifests itself in forceful labour, compelled sexual acts and fraudulent human trafficking. Indeed, estimates put the number of contemporary slaves at between twenty to seventy million people globally.

Hunger is another disturbing form of injustice in the world today. According to the Global hunger index, fifty-two countries in the world experienced extremely alarming hunger in the year 2017. South Asia and Africa South are the most affected regions in the world. Adverse weather conditions, poor farming methods, inadequate government investment in agriculture and massive post-harvest losses are the major causes of hunger in Africa.

To add insult to injury, there are millions of unnecessary abortions, which are procured every year in different parts of the world. Willful abortion is, without doubt, a form of murder, a gross type of injustice and a blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life. Rough estimates indicate that around fifty-six million deliberate abortions occur every year in the world. This figure is mind-boggling.

Homelessness is another form of injustice today. It is dehumanizing for a human being to live without a home. It is even worse when a family finds itself homeless. Most cases of homelessness are caused by conflicts, lack of affordable housing, poverty, mental illness, excessive alcoholism and drug abuse. Whatever the cause, it is against the expectations of natural justice for a human being to live like a wild animal without a respectable residence.

In addition to the above, it is unfortunate that the world has witnessed countless incidents of violence over the years. During the Second World War, for instance, the German Nazists brutally murdered over six million Jews. This undoubtedly was one of the darkest chapters in World History and a poignant form of injustice to the Jewish race.

These agonizing incidents have made some human rights activists equate injustice with discrimination. This is due to the fact that discrimination on any basis, such as race, gender, or disability is profoundly unjustifiable wherever it is perpetrated. Indeed, injustice is universally unacceptable. Legal scholars have affirmed time and again that justice delayed is justice denied.

However, pinpointing instances of injustice is not good enough. As a matter of fact, Edmund Burke acknowledged that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. The fight against injustice is a necessary battle that can be fought and won by undertaking several measures.

First, we all need to recognize cases of injustice whenever they occur. Engaging in denial and hoping that instances of injustice will go away is wishful thinking.

Whining about injustice is not enough either. We need to do something about it. For instance, we can air our displeasure with acts of injustice through the social media. We can also donate our time or resources to fight certain forms of injustice such as child abuse. Voting out unjust leaders and participating in peaceful demonstrations can also make a valuable contribution to the battle against injustice.

Perhaps the most important measure to curb injustice today is by preventing unjust practices before they occur. Indeed, wise people say that prevention is better than treatment. For instance, proactive measures taken by leaders can prevent hunger and malnutrition.

Injustice can also be curbed by passing appropriate legislation. For example, liberal democracies have progressive constitutions and other laws which outlaw all forms of discrimination and social injustice.

Moreover, the empowerment of women economically and politically is another measure that can combat injustice in every society. Poverty makes women vulnerable to diverse forms of injustice such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. Furthermore, making women economically productive and educating them about their fundamental rights can go a long way in fighting against injustice.

Human beings also need to embrace cultural diversity and tolerance if the war against injustice is to bear any fruits. We need to dispel unfounded myths, discard racial prejudice, and abandon personal biases in order to overcome injustice.

Albert Einstein once stated that in matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, because issues concerning the treatment of people are the same the world over. No society can enjoy tranquility and progress if it tolerates injustice. Additionally, Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer and abolitionist, summed this up by asserting that “where justice is denied, poverty enforced, and ignorance prevails, neither people nor property is safe”.

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