South Africans recently celebrated our very own Human Rights Day 🎉
This day was set to commemorate the Sharpvile Massacre and to celebrate our heroes who fearlessly fought for the rights we ever so badly brag about now 🇿🇦
Having said that, my question to you is a very simple one… Okay, it’s not that simple – I mean a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will do, but you know I’m gonna throw a few follow-ups, you know that right? Do you know your human rights?
I mean it is vital that we know our Human Rights, not only to know when they’re being violated – but also so we can take responsibility for our rights! So tell me, do you know your rights?
Let me do the honours, with special thanks to sahrc.org.za, for making sure we know we have the right to:
- EQUALITY – we are all equal and must be treated equally (irrespective of their race, gender, sex, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language or birth)
- HUMAN DIGNITY – our dignity has to be respected at all times.
- LIFE – we have the right to life and nobody has the right to take it away.
- FREEDOM AND SECURITY – we all have the right to freedom and cannot be jailed with a fair trial. Even after trial no one should be punished in a cruel and inhuman way. Prisoners also have the right to maintain contact with their loved ones (through visits) and should be kept in proper living conditions.
- PERSONAL PRIVACY – no one, not even the government has the right to access any of your private items (property, phone, laptop, etc) without following the proper legal channels.
- FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION – (we know this all too well, but do we?) we have the right to say, write and publish what we want, given what we say does not violate someone else’s rights or break any South African laws.
- FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION – we have the right to associate with which ever club, organisation, religion, political party, trade union – absolutely anyone we want to associate with.
- POLITICAL RIGHTS – did you know that we ALL have the right to form a political party? We also have the right to free, regular and fair political elections, where every adult citizen is allowed to vote and can do so in secret (as in no need to disclose who they voted for). Every citizen has the right to stand for office and hold office (if elected).
- EDUCATION – we all have the right to basic education (children and adults) and also to further education.
- HEALTHCARE, FOOD AND SOCIAL SERVICES – we all have the right to access all types of healthcare, sufficient food and water and social security.
- SLAVERY, SERVITUDE AND FORCED LABOUR – we have the right to choose who we work for, the type of work we do for them and we should be reimbursed for that work. Forced labour is a definite no-no 🙅🏾♀️
- CITIZENSHIP – we have the right to our citizenship and it can never be taken away from us.
- HOUSING – we all have the right to adequate housing and the government has no right to evict us from our homes, which we fully own.
- CHILDREN – all children have the right to parental care and cannot be abused, neglected or forced to work.
To think that there was once a time when not all South Africans had these rights makes me even more grateful for the fact that I am a part of the generation that can even brag about them.
Wow, I feel compelled to responsibly exercise my rights and make sure that more of us are aware of them❣️