“Human rights violations are happening all over the world because of discriminatory laws and practices,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Laws must protect, not cause harm. All countries must carefully examine their laws and policies in order to ensure equality and protection for all people, without exception.”[i]
On Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS recalls the equal dignity and worth of every person, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is calling for action to change discriminatory laws and practices, which are a significant barrier for access to health and other services.[ii]
Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated by the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations. The day aims to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all of the member countries of the UN. The day was first celebrated on March 1, 2014, and was launched by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on 27 February of that year with a major event in Beijing.
In February 2017, UNAIDS called on people to “make some noise around zero discrimination, to speak up and prevent discrimination from standing in the way of achieving ambitions, goals and dreams.”
The day is particularly noted by organisations like UNAIDS that combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. “HIV related stigma and discrimination is pervasive and exists in almost every part of the world including our Liberia”, according to Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia. The UN Development Programme also paid tribute in 2017 to LGBTI people with HIV/AIDS who face discrimination.
Campaigners in India have used this day to speak out against laws making discrimination against the LGBTI community more likely, especially during the previous campaign to repeal the law (Indian Penal Code, s377) that used to criminalise homosexuality in that country, before that law was overturned by the Indian Supreme Court in September 2018.
In 2015, Armenian Americans in California held a ‘die-in’ on Zero Discrimination Day to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide.[iii]
Does it really matter what you are, look like, prefer. Just accept each other and try to get along and respect everyone else for being who they are. Acceptance starts with yourself and not others, better yet leave other people and their doings alone. (own emphasis)
#MISAONTHEMOVE #MISACARES #ZERODISCRIMINATION #BERESPONSIBLE #STAYSAFE