Human Rights Day

March 21, 2017

Human Rights Day

The month of March sees South Africans coming together while we commemorate the sacrifices and the struggles we had to endure for the attainment of democracy on South Africa.

Annually on the 21 March our country is provided with the opportunity to reflect in the advancement and safeguarding of human rights.

This year’s celebrations will be taking place in Ginsberg, King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.

Theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Unity in Action in Advancing Human Rights”

“On the day, President Jacob Zuma will officially handover the memorial grave site of Steve Bantu Biko to the Biko-family. This is part of celebrating and promoting unity in line with the vision of OR Tambo.”

Why Human Rights Day?

On 21 March 1960, the community of Sharpeville and Langa townships launched a protest march to protest against pass laws. The apartheid police retorted by shooting and killing 69 of the protesters at Sharpeville. This calamity came to be known as the Sharpeville Massacre and it bared the apartheid government’s deliberate violation of human rights to the world.

The democratic government declared March 21 Human Rights Day to commemorate and honour those who fought for our liberation and the rights we enjoy today. Our Constitution is saluted as one of the most revolutionary in the world.

We celebrate Human Rights Day to emphasize our commitment to the Bill of Rights as cherished in our Constitution.

These rights include:

  • Equality – everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
  • Human dignity – everyone has inherent dignity and have their dignity respected and protected.
  • Freedom of movement and residence – everyone has a right to freedom of movement and to reside anywhere in the country.
  • Language and culture – everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice.
  • Life - everyone has the right to life.


For more information on Human Rights Day, follow the conversation on social media: #HumanRightsDay


Source:                   South African Government:           http://www.gov.za/speeches/human-rights-day-2017-15-nov-2016-1354