Activators have their say on Human Rights!

“Fundamental violations of human rights always lead to people feeling less and less human.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

‘’Human Rights are universal and invisible. Human freedom is also invisible: if it is denied to anyone in the world, it is therefore denied indirectly to all people. This is why we can’t remain silent in the face of evil or violence: silence merely encourages them’’ – Vaclav Havel

“Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.” Dalai Lama

Many centuries and decades later, the democratic South Africa is still a battlefield for back to back racial, tribal, sexiest, class and national outrageous hatred statements and actions. This continues to happen despite the fact that the country has dedicated the whole month of March to Human Rights. The day also coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

The horrific xenophobic attacks in 2017 makes Human Rights Day one of the most anticipated events as the whole world waits to see how South Africa redeems herself from global scrutiny of unjust killings. 

What Activators had to say about Human Rights

Durban based Human rights scholar and social change driver, Philisiwe Phelokazi Cenga appeals to all sectors of our society who must continuously invent creative ways of using the historical significance of Human Rights day not just as a reminder of the past, but also an opportunity for all citizens to deliberate on inclusive ways of moving the country forward.

‘’I am totally against the idea Human Rights day being used as another typical holiday where people stay home. I think it should be a vigorously run awareness campaign that lasts longer than just a day in March. I do not think it should be scrapped but maybe extended to a week and maybe focus on schools as well, especially in lower grade schools. You see, our rights should be one of those things that you grow up knowing like the back of your palm. So, maybe eventually, when those kids do grow up, they will become more conscious (and economically active) citizens,’’ she said

No one should impose human rights commemoration styles

Founder of Youth Inter-Active and social change driver Nkosikhona”Uthmaan/ Uzzi” Mpungose   suggests Human Rights day and month should be used as the national platform to reflect and take stock of the progress that the country has made and more importantly, used a platform to test social, economic and political unifying ideas

‘’I wouldn’t necessary want to impose a specific way of commemorating Human Rights Day. The fact that it is very much open to every individual choice reflects our democratic achievements. With that said, I think the emerging dominant narrative that says this should also be used as a reminder of our country’s journey in addressing challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment should also be given serious consideration,’’ he said

Scrapping Human Rights Day would be suicidal move

Human rights expert and social change driver Junior Sikhwivhilu lamented the popular current commemoration philosophy and call by some sectors of society that suggest that the human rights must be scrapped off as a holiday. 

‘’This is not true and not fair as a statement. South Africa cannot afford to invest in itself economically only but needs to invest socially specifically historically. The same people who say the day is a waste are the same people who hold views that South Africa should forget about the past, this is totally misinformed. Human Rights day is not a day to be taken lightly,’’ said Sikhwivhilu.

Social change drivers like Koko Chizama Zaka, Mkhuseli Madiba  and Ino Makoro Tshishonga will use Human Rights Day to give back to vulnerable members of society like orphans and homeless people.

On the other hand, South African Government Communication Information System (GCIS) South African Human Rights Commission has also confirmed that government will host various activities throughout Human Rights Month to remind all South Africans to continue working together to uphold the culture of human rights and take on the responsibility to build a society that respects the rule of law.

What does human rights day represents for you? What could be the best way of commemorating the day and why? Talk to us on our social network platforms 

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