Written by on March 21, 2024

Written By: Tasha Siziba


South Africa commemorates Human Rights Day, celebrated under the theme “Three Decades of Respect for and Promotion of Human Rights”

This day is a reminder to South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.

Human Rights Day commemorates 35 individuals killed by apartheid police on 21 March 1985, who targeted community members after a funeral at Uitenhage/Langa.

The 1960s saw widespread protest against apartheid and racism, with Sharpeville and Langa townships participating in a march against pass laws

The tragedy came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it exposed the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.

In addition to celebrating the rights enshrined in the Constitution, this time recognizes those who battled for liberty and promotes a prosperous, unified, inclusive, and non-racialized society.

As the supreme defender of our Human Rights, our modern Constitution is something we proudly celebrate on Human Rights Day.

These rights include:

Equality, Privacy, Freedom of religion, belief and opinion, Freedom of expression, Political rights, Freedom of movement and residence, access to adequate housing, Health care, food, water and social security and Education amongst others.

In order to honour and remember those who battled for our freedom and the liberties we enjoy today, the democratic government declared Human Rights Day on March 21.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has acknowledged that while there is still progress to be made government has made strides in the advancement of human rights.

Ramaphosa says since the dawn of democracy, government has shown its commitment to democracy, the rule of law and to the protection of human rights.

Speaking at the National Conference on 30 Years of Human Rights taking place in Ekurhuleni, the president outlined the pieces of legislation that have been passed that give effect to the Constitution.

To ensure that the future of our nation is bright, it is our collective duty to promote these values in our schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and relationships with our spouses and kids.

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