Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Human Rights Day

Photograph to Promote Awareness of Human Rights
Photo Credit: 
Matthew Willman
Today, in South Africa, we celebrate Human Rights Day. Sure, it's great that we have a Public Holiday in the middle of the Week, but just a quick reminder why we celebrate ...

People lying wounded in the streets of Sharpeville
Photo Credit: AFP
March 21, 2012, marks 52 years since 69 unarmed protestors were killed by South African police outside a police station in Sharpeville, south of Johannesburg. The Sharpeville Massacre is commemorated by Human Rights Day, a public holiday in South Africa, which honors those whose lives were sacrificed in the fight for Democracy. It is also a day to reflect on the progress that has been made in ensuring Basic Human Rights for All South Africans, as enshrined in our Constitution.

Nelson Mandela
In 1996, President Mandela, in a statement on Human Rights Day, said: “21 March is South African Human Rights Day. It is a day which, more than many others, captures the essence of the struggle of the South African people and the soul of our non-racial democracy. March 21 is the day on which we remember and sing praises to those who perished in the name of democracy and human dignity. It is also a day on which we reflect and assess the progress we are making in enshrining basic human rights and values.

But, Don't Forget that with Every Right comes Responsibility.

So, now that you have been reminded what today is all about, go out and enjoy your day-off ... although, take a moment to reflect on Human Rights and how far we've come to have these Rights. 

If you are unaware of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and are Q-rious to find out, click here.

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