Everyone Should Have The Right To Live With Respect And Dignity

Hei everyone! Hope you all are well.

                          Photo: John Arvid Johnsen 

 Today March 1st, is Zero Discrimination Day globally.

The day is aimed at calling on people worldwide to affirm and reaffirm the right to live a life free of stigma or discrimination and the right to equality, respect and dignity irrespective of ones gender, race, sexual orientation, age, profession, beliefs, weight, disability, ethnicity, education, nationality, height, skin color and etc.  

The United Nations first celebrated Zero Discrimination Day on March 1, 2014 after UNAIDS, a UN program on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.

‘’Discrimination’’ refers to the selective practice of unfairly treating a person or a group of people differently than others due to multiple factors such as religion, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability amongst others’’.

Despite laws and education, discrimination continues to be a widespread problem throughout the world.

Here are some facts about discrimination:

  • Globally, there are almost 80 countries that still have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations or marriages.

  • About 38 countries worldwide impose some forms of restrictions on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. They are cast out from their own communities; living desolate and lonely lives. Even hospitals are hesitant in admitting and tending to patients with HIV/AIDS. People avoid any kind of physical contact with the infected and these patients don’t have access to basic medical assistance.

  • In a 2016 study conducted in the U.S. by the Pew Research Center, 61% of Americans believed that there was still progress to be made so that blacks had the same rights as whites. We read about how blacks are being treated in the U.S daily, on the news or social media.

  • Few countries practice ‘’Sharia’’ as a legitimate law for the death penalty for homosexuality.

  • 64% of patients suffering from mental disorder have experienced discrimination.

  • 65% of transsexual persons have reported unfriendly interactions in the health sector; refraining them from seeking health advice or facilities.

  • In some countries women are lagging behind men in the fields of education, employment or social status. They are underpaid and in many communities are not allowed to make major family decisions.

  • In many countries, laws are the direct result of people being treated differently, excluded from essential services or being subject to undue restrictions on how they live their lives, simply because of who they are. Such laws are discriminatory—they are denied human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    Source: Google  

Ending discrimination and changing laws is the responsibility of us all. Everyone can play a part in ending discrimination and can try to make a difference, in ways both big and small.

The Zero Discrimination Day 2019 Campaign challenges us to act against laws or people that discriminate in our country on a daily basis. Say something when a coworker is being discriminated or when a friend is being discrminated by another friend. Instead of saying ‘it’s just a joke,’’ I urged you all that if you hear something, do something; no matter who it is.

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 Happy New Month and have a blessed day! 

Winnie Tenne Cooper 

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