International Human Rights Day 2016
International Human Rights Day is a United Nations campaign that takes place annually on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone’s rights!
Step forward and defend the rights of a refugee or migrant, a person with disabilities, an LGBT person, a woman, a child, indigenous peoples, a minority group, or anyone else at risk of discrimination or violence.
Eleven human rights and social justice organisations took part in the programme – presenting their projects and engaging the youth on important issues such as health, gender rights and social cohesion.
The organisations involved: Afrika Tikkun, Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender, Just Detention International, Khulumani Support Group, Lawyers Against Abuse, Lesedi la Batho, LifeLine Johannesburg, Out Well Being, This Ability and the Wot-if? Trust.
The day started with the launch of the NGOs forum, which was followed by the launch of the Art exhibition ’Youth standing-up for human rights’, in the presence of South African representatives from the South African Department of Justice, the Department of Arts and Culture and from the Department of Basic Education.
Ms Chalotte Montel attend the event and met with the artists of the exhibition, with some students from Alexandra and from the Lycée Français Jules Verne of Johannesburg, with Mrs Lefoka, representative of the South African Department of Basic Education, as well as with members of the different organisations who presented their projects on that day.
Ms. Charlotte Montel, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of France:
“The protection of human rights is among the founding values of the French Republic and lies at the heart of its foreign policy. As you may know, since 2009, in South Africa, France has supported 20 civil society organisations through the Civil Society Development Fund. This funding aims at promoting Human rights, especially those of marginalized groups with a specific focus on sustainable development of communities and social cohesion. It also aims at attaining gender equality based on the promotion of a strong rights-based approach on sexual and reproductive health rights for child-girls, young women and women, women empowerment and the reduction of discrimination and inequality.”
In the afternoon, Valued Citizens Initiative facilitated an open dialogue focused on Human Rights with high-school learners around the following question : ’what is to be a human rights activist?’.
This open dialogue was followed by a ’Human Rights Goûter’. The Market Theatre Laboratory then performed ’Lampedusa beach’, based on the poem by Lina Prosa, directed by Raissa Brighi and performed by the Lab’s first-year students. Earlier this year, the production won the Kopanang Award for theatre engaging with human rights issues.