Sunday, March 20, 2011

Human Rights Day in South Africa

By Thireshni Sanasy

Today marks 51 years since the massacre in Sharpville, Johannesburg, where 69 innocent, unarmed, protesters were gunned down by police men and more than 300 others were injured. 

The massacre occurred after protesters appeared outside the Sharville Police station on the 21 March 1960.  Thousands of people gathered together in the aim to ban pass laws which made black South African's have to carry around a pass book, known as dompass (Dumb pass).  The dompass was a restraint on the black South African's movements.  However, the innocent protest became an incident South African's would never forget. After 35 years, the South African Human Rights Commission was launched in the aim to never allow any citizen of South Africa to relive such a tragedy due to the inequality of a human being.  

Nelson Mandela, a Man who made a difference.
Former President and Activist, Nelson Mandela in 1996, 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."

"Hurt" by South African Artist Jan Jordaan,
part of the UDHR IPP 
Today we not only take this day to commemorate those who fought for the freedom of the people of South Africa, but also to reflect on our own transition through time into a new era where we all SHOULD know our Rights.  

Art for Humanity aims to propagate Human rights through art, and school workshops are held to educate our future leaders on the importance of our Rights. 

AFH also has a portfolio which focuses on Human Rights. Universal Declaration of Human Rights International Print Portfolio (UDHR IPP).  

Most importantly US Human Beings have the Right To Know.... So know your Human Rights. go to: 

1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful to know that on days such as this, there is such a high profile nod towards a culture of human rights. Yet when I was trying to access human rights in connection with unfair dismissal from the Ed. Dept. and the shocking levels of unfair treatment, I could not even get an interview and I was told to 'contact the press'. There were TWO human rights organisations that I contacted. The one referred me to the other, and the other referred me back to the first. The press have shown no interest. Are human rights just a 'feel good notion' to be conveniently displayed when it is unchallenging to do so, or are they a living reality accessible to all?