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Today, the 10th of December 2018, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) joins the Government of Zimbabwe, the United Nations (UN) family, citizens of Zimbabwe and the global community in commemorating International Human Rights Day. Human Rights Day is commemorated on the 10th of December each year in celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The 2018 International Human Rights Day commemorations are significant as they mark the end of a year-long campaign which began on 10 December 2017 to celebrate 70 years since adoption of the UDHR. The theme for the 2018 International Human Rights Day commemorations is:  #StandUp4HumanRights. The theme underscores the universal nature of human rights, the imperative to empower rights holders, and promotes ideals of equality, freedoms, justice, prevention of violence, sustainable peace and the duty of every person to exercise their rights with an obligation to respect the rights of fellow citizens.

In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 423 (V), inviting all States to observe 10 December of each year as International Human Rights Day. This year’s International Human Rights Day commemoration marks the end of year-long celebrations under the theme “#StandUp4HumanRights” that began on 10 December 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the UDHR. The thirty articles of the UDHR include all categories of rights that are now recognised in our Constitution.

The theme “#StandUp4HumanRights” gives everyone the duty and obligation to protect and promote human rights which are guaranteed in our Constitution and which imposes the primary duty to respect, protect, promote and fulfil rights and freedoms set out in the Declaration of Rights upon the State and its Agencies.  We must stand up for the voiceless in our societies. The voiceless include persons with disabilities, disempowered women, children, indigenous minority groups, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence.     

The Commission applauds the Government’s commitment to revive the economy and move the country forward with a focus on inclusive economic growth guided by Vision 2030. Enjoyment of many of the socio-economic rights such as the right to education, health, food, shelter and many others has a direct correlation with the state of the economy. An improved and functional economy increases the chances of citizens enjoying these rights fully. In this regard, the Commission urges the Government as the chief Duty Bearer, to urgently address economic challenges currently obtaining in the country. These include the high cost of basic commodities and agricultural inputs, unemployment, scarcity of fuel and high cost of medicines sold in foreign currency. Provision of potable water and sanitation to curb the perennial outbreak of cholera and other diseases will ensure that citizens everywhere fully enjoy their socio-economic rights. The ZHRC also hopes for a speedy completion of the alignment of the various pieces of legislation to the Constitution to enable citizens to fully enjoy their rights.

Contact details

Northern Region Office and Head Office

144 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare

Telephone: +263 242 2934102/3 or +263 242 251077/079/085 or +263 242 705268/426 or +263 242 703596/616 or +263 242 701811

Hotlines: 0771838654, 0771838656 or 0771838656,  


Southern Region Office

49 JMN Nkomo Street, between 3rd and 4th Avenue, Bulawayo

Telephone: +263 292 64170-73,

ZHRC Press Statement on the International Human Rights Day Commemorations on 10 December 2018