March 23, 2017

Feature: The importance of human rights institutions in society

21 March 2017, 02:59 | Darnell Patrick

South Africa: Advancing Human Rights

Know your rights: 21 March is Human Rights Day

"I'm one person who doesn't wait for a specific day to do something every day is like a public holiday to me in doing good for the community", she says "I'm involved in the NGO called Lead a young woman so I'll be busy preparing for the event that we are having in Kagiso, Westrand on the 2nd of April, to help young girls in growing their self confident and self esteem", Motsoaledi said.

"The South African government said the objective of Human Rights Day is "... to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa.

"This will be done in celebration of his contribution to the struggle for liberation and human rights for all in the country".

Political parties and government are remembering the victims of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, where police shot dead 69 people during a protest against the country's pass laws, which were used to control the movement of blacks, coloureds, and Indians. "Human Rights Day 2017 is for us a burning reminder that for many, many of our compatriots, Human Rights is simply a definition on a website, it is a not a lived reality, it is not a fruit of freedom they have come to enjoy".

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The commemoration will this year be held under the theme: "The Year of OR Tambo: Unity in action in advancing Human Rights".

Zuma sang praises of the government's social security programme which in the main distributes social grants to more than 17 million people. The Commission's aim is to promote respect for human rights, promote the protection, development and attainment of human rights, and to monitor and assess the observance of human rights in SA. "He wanted black people to understand that they are equals with other racial groups", Zuma said. Go here to see your rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

Newly appointed Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission, Bongani Majola, recently gave a key note address at the opening of the Free State Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

Zuma was speaking at the official Human Rights Day celebrations in King Williamstown on Tuesday, where government also commemorated the 40th anniversary of freedom fighter Steve Biko's passing.

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