From all of us at CCH - Happy Human Rights Day - 21 March 2018
Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960, and the events of Sharpeville. On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass laws. This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights. It became an iconic date in our country’s history that today we commemorate as Human Rights Day as a reminder of our rights and the cost paid for our treasured human rights.
What are human rights?
Human rights are rights that everyone should have simply because they are human. In 1948, the United Nations defined 30 articles of human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It established universal human rights on the basis of humanity, freedom, justice, and peace.
In 1948 the Nationalist Party came to power in South Africa and formalised segregation in a succession of laws that gave the government control over the movement of Black people in urban areas. Legally, no Black person could leave a rural area for an urban one without a permit from the local authorities, and on arrival in an urban area, the person had to obtain a permit within 72 hours to seek work.
What are your rights?
In terms of the Bill of Rights everyone has a right to life, equality and human dignity. All persons have a right to citizenship and security. Persons and groups are entitled to freedom of assembly, association, belief and opinion, and expression. "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others" - Nelson Mandela
Source: Parliament of South Africa
Today is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known as Harmony Day in Australia. Today and every day, we are LISTENING. Listening to voices that are too often silenced, patronised and ignored. People of colour, your experiences are valid and so are your feelings. People in positions of power and privilege, listen and amplify voices of those who are not. 🗣👂🏻⠀
[Image description: An illustration of Wiradjuri man Joe Williams wearing a tee shirt with the Aboriginal flag on it and a black fist. Text reads: "Stop telling people of colour their experiences are illusions".]⠀