ZERO DISCRIMINATION DAY
Every year on March 1st, Zero Discrimination Day celebrates the right of everyone to live their life with dignity, including living a full and productive life. The day also highlights inclusion, compassion, and becoming a movement for change to end all forms of discrimination.
When someone is treated differently based on their age, race, religion, social status, or gender it’s called discrimination. Sadly, people with sickness and disabilities are also discriminated against. Even in the advanced civilization in which we live, discrimination is still a huge issue. This is largely due to the fact that it is human nature to categorize people.
In most cases, discrimination is a learned behavior. Discrimination also occurs when there is a lack of understanding. Another reason people discriminate is that they are insecure about themselves. Discriminating against another human being allows them to feel more powerful. Pride is another primary reason that humans discriminate against one another.
If someone has been discriminated against, they are encouraged to find a support system and maybe seek professional help. In many instances, discrimination is illegal. For instance, in this country, it is against the law to deny housing because of someone’s disability.
If the law has been broken, the person who is discriminated against should contact the authorities. This is why it’s important for countries to have laws in place to protect against discrimination. Many countries, including the United States, have many laws that do this. In developing countries, discrimination laws are not as common.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ZeroDiscriminationDay
Many countries host events that highlight the need for discrimination laws. Schools, universities, businesses, and other organizations take part in the day, too. To participate:
- Learn about the different types of discrimination.
- Research countries that don’t have strong discrimination laws and how it affects its citizens.
- Think about a time you have been discriminated against and write about it or discuss it with others.
- Read books in which characters were discriminated against including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thief, and Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back.
- Learn about famous people who have fought against discrimination including William Wilberforce, Desmond Tutu, Susan B. Anthony, George Orwell, and Helen Keller.
- Talk to your children or young people about how wrong it is to discriminate.
Share this day on social media with #ZeroDiscrimination.
ZERO DISCRIMINATION DAY HISTORY
The first Zero Discrimination Campaign was held on World AIDS Day in December of 2013. The following year, Michel Sidibé, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), launched the first Zero
Discrimination Day. Since then, it has been held on March 1st every year. Past themes for the day have included:
2020: Zero Discrimination Against Women and Girls
2019: Act to Change Laws
2018: What If
2017: Make Some Noise
2016: Stand Out
2015: Open Up, Reach Out
2014: Join the Transformation
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