HUMAN RIGHTS DAY- 21 MARCH
COMBATING RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCES
Human Rights Day is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.This national day is both a stark reminder of the tragic Sharpeville massacre and a celebration of South Africa’s unique Constitution, which gives equal rights to all.
The Sharpeville Massacre
On Monday, 21 March 1960 police opened fire, without order, on a crowd that had gathered at the Sharpeville police station to protest pass laws, stipulations that required Africans to carry “pass” books and produce them for law enforcement officials on request; 69 unarmed people were killed and another 180 were injured.
The celebration provides the country with an opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights. South Africa is regarded as a beacon of hope on the continent, and internationally, in the promotion and protection of human rights.
Human Rights Day is a day for promoting human rights by engaging in activities that promote tolerance, equality and promotion of human rights and social cohesion in our schools and communities. South Africans are called upon to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.