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The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) joins the Government the United Nations and other Development Partners, Civil Society and all Stakeholders join the rest of the world in commemorating the 2016 International Human Rights Day.

International Human Rights Day is commemorated globally each year on 10th December since 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first comprehensive documents providing for human rights that all human beings are entitled to. In 1950, the General Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

This year, 2016 is Africa Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women, to commemorate and celebrate significant milestones in Africa’s continental human rights history. The 2016 theme for the International Human Rights Day Commemorations is; Stand Up For Someone’s Rights Today!” This year, the International Human Rights Day  Theme calls on every one of us to recognise and stand up for someone’s rights be it women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, refugees, minority groups and many others who face marginalisation and violations of any of their  human rights. The commemorations represent an opportune time for all of humanity to Stand Up For Someone’s Rights Today!

The UDHR has thirty articles which touch on various rights that include the right to freedom, dignity and equality, the right not to be discriminated against, the right to life, liberty and security, freedom form torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, recognition as a person before the law, equality before the law, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly and association, the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living which include adequate food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, the right to education and the right to culture.

The Commission appreciates the positive impact of the implementation of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013 with an expanded Bill of Rights in Chapter 4 incorporating the rights of women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Similarly, the Commission recognises the role being played by different stakeholders in protecting and promoting the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The Commission notes however, that although Zimbabwe has a comprehensive Constitution, various laws still need to be aligned to the supreme law and much more still needs to be done to facilitate implementation on the ground and foster a culture of human rights. With this recognition, awareness campaigns on fundamental human rights and freedoms need to be accelerated along with sensitisation and engagements with duty bearers and other stakeholders on the need to respect, uphold protect, promote and enforce fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in our laws, our Constitution as well as regional and international human rights treaties ratified and acceded to by Zimbabwe.

Stand Up for someone’s rights today! be it at home, in the bus, at work, at school, in public places and everywhere.

ZHRC Press Statement on the International Human Rights Day Commemorations – 10 December 2016