“Behind every strong woman is herself.”
Kikki and Franki is a company with employees that strongly believe in equality, freedom, and peace in our country. Today, we want to speak about the history and importance of Human Rights Day in South Africa.
What are human rights?
“We are entitled to live free and equal.”
Amina J Mohammed
Human rights are the basic rights and freedom that belong to every human being. Basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect, and independence. These values are defined and protected by law. We are all entitled to our Human Rights, because of the simple fact that we are human.
Our basic rights as South Africans are:
· Right to Equality
· Freedom from Discrimination
· Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
· Freedom from Slavery
· Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
· Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law
· Right to Equality before the Law
· Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal
· Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile
· Right to Fair Public Hearing
· Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty
· Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence
· Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country
· Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution
· Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It
· Right to Marriage and Family
· Right to Own Property
· Freedom of Belief and Religion
· Freedom of Opinion and Information
· Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
· Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections
· Right to Social Security
· Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions
· Right to Rest and Leisure
· Right to Adequate Living Standard
· Right to Education
· Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community
· Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document
· Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development
· Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights
History of Human Rights Day
“To deny people their rights,
Is to challenge there very humanity.”
Human Rights Day in South Africa is linked to the 21st of March 1960, which is when the Sharpeville massacre occurred. On this day, 69 people died, and 180 people were wounded when the police fired at a peaceful protest against the Pass Laws. All the people that protested did not have passes with them and they presented themselves for arrest. The Pass Laws was a passport system that divided people by their race and to allocate migrant labour. This protest was all about ordinary people, including children, fighting for their rights.
The Pass Laws that were being protested against played a huge role during apartheid. The Pass Laws gave the government power to control the movement of black people in urban areas. This prevented black people from being able to work in urban areas without a legal permit from the local authorities. Every pass included:
- A photograph of the citizen
- Place of origin
- Employment record
- Tax payments
- Encounters with the police
Earlier, in 1956, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria singing “wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo – you strike a woman, you strike a rock”.
The Pass Laws only officially ended in 1986.
When Human Rights became a public holiday
“Human rights are not a matter of opinion.”Anonymous
When South Africa had its very first democratic elections, Nelson Mandela was elected as our first democratic president. As president, he declared that the 21st of March would be a public holiday that we now celebrate as Human Rights Day. It is a day that all South African citizens get the opportunity to reflect on their rights and to protect their rights and the rights of others from being violated. Despite race, gender, or religion, human rights belong to everyone, equally.
Responsibilities to every right
“We must stand, and be ready to speak up
For anyone who is suffering from any type of abuse.
Not just children, but the elderly, the disabled, the HUMAN.”
With our rights, we also have responsibilities. It is our responsibility to report any violated rights that we are aware of.
Our basic responsibilities as South Africans are:
- Responsibility to treat others equally
- Responsibility to give fair treatment to all people
- Responsibility to respect others
- Responsibility to understand the freedom of other people
- Responsibility to protect others from torture and degrading treatment
- Responsibility to ensure fair treatment in a court of law
- Responsibility to fight for the rights of others in court
- Responsibility to respect the privacy of others
- Responsibility to protect our families
- Responsibility to take care of our property
- Responsibility to respect others belief systems
- Responsibility to respect the choices and opinions of others
- Responsibility to only spread true information and facts
- Responsibility to ensure peace in our communities
- Responsibility to take part in the elections
- Responsibility to work hard in our workplace
- Responsibility to allow others to rest
- Responsibility to get an education for ourselves and ensure that others get education as well
- Responsibility to accept others as they are in the community
- Responsibility to avoid the violation of any of our rights or the rights of others
With every right, comes a responsibility to all people.
Happy Human Rights Day
“Celebrate each other.”Anonymous
Human Rights Day is a day of celebration! It is a day where we remember how our rights were fought for, and how we have the blessing of living with them. On top of that, we get to make sure that the people around us know their rights and are living with them!
Here are a few ways you can celebrate Human Rights Day today:
- Human Rights Day is all about understanding different people and their cultures, faiths, beliefs, and religions. A way to do this, is to simply to start at home. We can sit down with our loved ones and share our knowledge about different cultures, what they find disrespectful, how they celebrate and the laws in their cultures, beliefs, or religions. We do not have to agree with a person’s lifestyle in order to love them. In the end, we are all human, and we all have equal rights.
- History is such an important factor in Human Rights Day. Another way to celebrate this public holiday is learning more about it. With internet access, we can really dig deep into understanding why this day is so important. Another way to learn about the history of Human Rights Day is by visiting a museum. This is a fun and insightful way to gain knowledge and really appreciate what was fought for all those years ago.
- Human Rights Day can also be a day of revelation. We are all human, we all have an identity and a purpose in this world. We were created for such a time as this. A way to celebrate this day is to simply remember that we are worthy, we do have rights, and that we are important. Realizing this is a celebration in itself!
Another relaxing way to celebrate this day is to simply go outside and indulge into all that our beautiful country has! Go for a picnic, or a walk on the beach, or just sit in a garden and enjoy a cup of coffee. Sometimes, it is the small things that really make us appreciate our rights as human beings and will help us see how important it is to protect the rights of others.
Happy Human Rights Day
“Celebrate each other.”Anonymous
We hope you have an incredible Human Rights Day!
The Kikki and Franki girls