President Cyril Ramaphosa is today leading the 2023 Human Rights Day commemoration currently taking place in De Aar, in the Northern Cape Province where he will deliver the keynote address.
The theme for this first commemorative day on the annual national calendar is “Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future”.
The history of Human Rights Day is grounded in the Sharpeville Massacre that took place on the 21 of March 1960, where apartheid police killed 69 anti-apartheid protesters.
Human Rights Day also honours 35 people who were killed on 21 March 1985 when apartheid police targeted community members after a funeral at Uitenhage/Langa.
As part of the democratic dispensation, South Africa observes March as Human Rights Month to promote respect for basic human rights for all and restore and uphold human dignity in line with the Bill of Rights.
This period also honours those who fought for liberation, and celebrates the many rights guaranteed under the Constitution, and which are the basis for building a united and inclusive, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous society.
Government, social partners and constitutional institutions such as the South African Human Rights Commission are guided by the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The National Action Plan provides the basis for raising awareness of anti-racism, equality and anti-discrimination issues and developing collective responses.
“De Aar in the Northern Cape has been selected as the site for the national Human Rights Day commemoration as part of government’s rotation of national days that ensures that communities in all provinces are able to be part of such occasions,” the Presidency said in a statement.
Source: South African Government News Agency