Zero Discrimination Day

The Zero Discrimination Campaign was launched on World AIDS Day in December 2013. UNAIDS Launched the campaign in Support of Zero Discrimination Day. Choosing the butterfly as symbol for the day, the image of transformation being emphasized. Calling for a transformation, worldwide to achieve zero discrimination. To do away with all judgments made as a result of birth or environment and cease the dehumanizing act of discrimination.

What is the Purpose of Zero Discrimination Day?

Nothing quite summarizes the true meaning of Zero Discrimination day than the words of UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé. He believes “for all who seek a more just world, for all who strive for peace and prosperity—let us start by stopping the inequality and discrimination happening around us,”

Too many people are being treated unfairly and as a result of class or environment, they are treated in ways that are absolutely unacceptable. Ways no human should ever be treated. The aim of Zero Discrimination Day is to put an end to the dehumanizing behavior of discrimination and the hateful and violent acts performed as a result of beliefs, birthright or other irrelevant exterior factors.

The history of Zero Discrimination Day

UNODC has been attempting the contraction of attention to the HIV problem in various countries and among multiple population groups. They have been specifically focused on attending to the stigma and discrimination faced by those diagnosed and/or living with HIV. The biases they face on a daily basis are often directed onto them not only by strangers but family members and peers. There is a desperate need for the elimination of discrimination and for some normality to be restored.

The UN General Assembly set a target in 2011 of 50% reduction of HIV infection among people who use drugs. The target is to be met in 2015, and various active campaigns have been urging people around the world to take the step and say yes to #zerodiscrimination.

The private sector is playing a crucial role in the commemoration of Zero Discrimination Day in South Africa. As a result of a longstanding partnership with UNAIDS, Standard Bank conducts a very popular social media drive around the day.

Zero Discrimination Day is a call to people everywhere to promote and celebrate everyone’s right to live a full life with dignity—no matter what they look like, where they come from or who they choose to love. The butterfly symbol, a symbol of transformation is representative of this day, as a full transformation is needed, a worldwide mind shift to ensure the happy and appreciated lives of those who suffer discrimination on a daily basis.

How can you become involved in Zero Discrimination day?

UNAIDS website offers multiple ways to get involved in Zero Discrimination Day. Making various campaign materials available as well as social media platforms where everyone is free to express themselves, even the option to upload your video, sharing your experiences with others. Join the cause or start your own movement, even the smallest personal difference, the tiniest shift in the way you look at or treat someone can make a world of difference. For some materials and ideas check out:

[box] Written by: Ryette Dempsey

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