During tea time on Friday my colleagues and I discussed our plans for the weekend and also for the public holiday, which was yesterday (coz we are cool like that and sometimes hang after hours or gym together). I casually asked some of them what their human rights were.
There were too many uhmms and unsure statements being made. And I must admit that evens me, I do not know all my human rights … coz why would I page through the BILL OF RIGHTS nje?
However, we knew this day was to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre. Way back, on the 21st of March 1960, a group of people offered themselves up for arrest for not carrying their passbooks. The same day 69 people died (8 women, 10 children) and 180 were wounded when police fired on a crowd that had gathered for this protest. This day is a reminder of the price that was paid for our human rights.
I feel so ashamed of myself that people died for the rights that today I get to enjoy but don’t even familiarize myself with. I recently signed a document I had no business signing, because I didn’t read the fine print. While doing research on this topic, I realized that my human rights have been violated on a few occasions without me even being aware.
I know very well that I have the right to remain silent and that anything I say can and will be used against me in a court of law … because I watch movies.
Basically, Human Rights are rights that everyone have simply because they are human!
Allow me to let you in on a few of your rights:
Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefits of the law.
The State or any other person may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds including, race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
Did you know that there is such a thing as “fair discrimination”? Also, discrimination can be directly or indirectly. (Ek het seker maar n peanut brain but really – MIND BLOWN)
- HUMAN DIGNITY
The right to dignity is at the heart of the right not to be tortured or to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way.
Did you know that prisoners do not lose their rights in prison?
The right to life. You have the right not to be killed.
Did you know that I am against abortion, but for euthanasia? (You may say that I have double standards and that’s fine coz you have the right to your own opinion and I won’t infringe on that)
This includes the right not to have their person or home searched, their property searched or possessions seized and the privacy of their communications infringed.
Did you know that even if someone’s diary or cell phone is unlocked, it is not an invitation for you to snoop? Not only are you infringing on the owner’s human rights but you are violating them psychologically and that is not on!
You Also have the right to:
- Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion
- Freedom of Expression
- Freedom of Association
- Political Rights
- Freedom of Movement and Residence
- Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession
- Labour Relations
- Health Care, Water and Social Security
- Language and Culture
Please look it up, I’m not about to spoon feed anyone.
Now that we know whats what… should our rights be violated, how do we go about reporting such an incident?
I really need to know. #AskingForAfriend
Please remember that with all these rights comes responsibilities!