Human Rights Day 2022
The 21st of March, of every year is a day of commemoration for the South African Human Rights Commission (the SAHRC or Commission). The SAHRC is established in terms of Chapter Nine of the Constitution, and is mandated to protect, promote and monitor the attainment as well as the observance of the human rights set out in the Bill of Rights, Chapter Two of the Constitution. Thus, as the day now represents the culmination of the very rights that give all within South Africa the inherent equality, freedom and dignity they deserve.
Historically, the day marks and commemorates the sacrifice of the 69 people who lost their lives, whilst protesting repressive, Apartheid Pass Laws on the day in 1960. It serves as a historic memorial and reminder of the sacrifices made to unburden us of the shackles of Colonialism and Apartheid, enabling us to pursue a society that values human rights and construct a country where diversity is celebrated.
Human Rights Day is a day of reflection for all within South Africa. For the Commission, the protection, promotion and the monitoring of human rights is as important as ever. With the release of the 2019-2020 Trends Analysis Report highlighting a 13% increase in the total number of complaints received by the Commission from the previous financial year, it is clear that the attainment of human rights is key to enable a stable and prosperous constitutional democracy.
The theme for this Human Rights Day is: “The Year of National Unity and Renewal: Promoting and Protecting Our Human Rights”. It is a fitting theme following the widespread unrest in July 2021, the global pandemic and socio-economic pressures which continue to deepen inequalities in South Africa and the world over.
South Africa commemorates this day as a national public holiday, however, the Commission has planned a range of activities throughout the country during human rights month and will be commemorating the day with various activities across South Africa, with a view to raising awareness on various rights and responsibilities we bear. Later this year the Commission intends to announce plans for a sustained National Effort to forge social harmony through cultivating social cohesion, solidarity and healing.
Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission
Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 firstname.lastname@example.org