Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated on the 1st of March every year by the UN and other international organization. On this day people put lights on issues like discrimination. The day aims to promote equality, diversity and recognizes that everyone counts. It shows that everyone’s right to live a full life with dignity regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, skin color, profession, education, and beliefs.
The first time zero Discrimination Day was celebrated on March 1, 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe on 27 February of that year with a major event in Beijing.
What Is The Purpose of Zero Discrimination Day?
It highlights how people can become informed about and promote tolerance, compassion, peace and above all, a movement for change. Zero Discrimination Day is helping to create a global movement of solidarity to end all form of discrimination.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination is generally unfair or disadvantageous treatment towards a person based on the group, class, category to which the person is perceived to belong.
These include Age, color, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender, marital status, religion, caste, religion, sex. Discrimination is the treatment of an individual or group in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.
Zero Discrimination Day Facts
- According to UNAIDS, globally there are about 80 countries that still have laws that discriminate against same-sex religion.
- In at least eight countries, the death penalty is still implemented for same-sex sexual relations.
- According to UNAIDS, there are about 38 countries globally impose travel restrictions on people with HIV/AIDS.
- The theme for Zero Discrimination Day for 2019 is “Act to change laws that Discriminate”.
- Seventeen countries criminalize transgender people.
- Only nine countries globally provide recognition for non-binary gender.
- At least 100 countries have laws that criminalize the possession of drugs for personal use.
- In 49 countries there is no specific law against domestic violence.
- In 45 countries there is no legislation to address sexual harassment.
In many countries, laws result in people being treated unequally. Such laws are discriminatory- they deny human rights fundamental freedom.
Laws such as as-sex work, same-sex sexual relations, the abusing of drugs for personal use and the non-disclosure, exposure or transmission of HIV-may discriminate by criminalizing conduct or identity.
some of the rights that people can use to contest discriminatory laws include the following;
- right to equal treatment before the law.
- right to an education.
- right to economic opportunities.
- right to privacy.
- right to dignity.
- right to health.
- right to association.
- right to a fair trial.
What we can do?
Actions for individuals
- Highlight discriminatory laws
- Be an ally, call out discrimination when you see it.
- Start a petition to change the law.
- Demand change from your parliamentarian or human rights organization.
- Donate time, money and expertise to an organization working for law reform.
Actions for Civil society organization
- Start a campaign to change the law.
- Provide support for people who experience discrimination.
- Conduct awareness-raising sessions on human rights in the workplace.
- Convey a request to remove discriminatory laws to your representative in parliament.
- Adopt and promote a policy that prevents and protects against discrimination.