HUMAN RIGHTS: Walk The Talk

2013-03-06 05:10

The month of March has been selected as Human Rights Month in South Africa. It is a time for paying tribute to the many different organisations and conscience driven individuals who fought for liberation in South Africa and laid the foundation for a democratic and a just society.

Apartheid divided the entire social order in South Africa, segregating people according to racial groups.

The aim of Human Rights Month is to promote greater consciousness of human rights, and to encourage the continuing struggle to ensure that all people have access to life’s basic needs.

Human rights are the essential rights which every individual is entitled to, and are considered to be universal rights regardless of race, class, religion, creed or gender.

It is a sad reality that many significant issues of racism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination and prejudices continue to face people all over the globe.

Civil and Human rights and other basic rights intolerance that confront individuals and communities around the globe continue to harm and damage human necessities and remain an obstacle in our struggle for peace, justice, equality, meaningful human development and a life of dignity for all.

The cries for self-determination, equality and dignity heard in South Africa before 1994 are being heard in Palestine, Syria, Zimbabwe, amongst others today.

As International Women’s Day and Human rights day approaches, let us join hands and contribute constructively to the story of human rights.

The issue to address the rights of women is an important and an urgent one. To tackle the issue correctly and head on, campaigns, speeches, studies and reports must decode into real action and delivery.

As we honour and celebrate the achievements of women all around the globe, unfortunately, women in Palestine are being subjected to Israeli mechanisms that deprive them of their basic rights in a way that can only be described as violence. For decades, women have been incarcerated and subjected to brutal, inhumane, and degrading treatment; check points, strip searches, curfews, roadblocks, harassment by Israeli soldiers, house demolition, starvation and the killing of their husbands, children, and other family members are part of their daily lives.

Also, pregnant and ill women are unable to reach healthcare facilities in time due to delays at check points, thus resulting in the death of many women.

Should any South African with a conscience who experienced apartheid or not, views the film Jerusalem: East Side Story will be definitely moved by the injustices, suffering and pain that the Palestinian dispossession had caused.

Reflecting on the resistance effort against the former apartheid government in South Africa and the freedom we enjoy to-day, every effort of solidarity in the resistance against Israel’s oppressive regime is important.

In order for the Palestinians to achieve their freedom, it is the obligation of every individual to be the voice of the voiceless, to help the helpless and to commit themselves to helping in bringing about a free and just Palestine. It is hard to imagine a person who claims to be just, merciful and kind who, after becoming aware of the suffering of the Palestinians, does not work to change such conditions and alleviate such sufferings.

Global leaders should demand that apartheid Israel must do what the oppressive regime in South Africa did under former President F.W. de Klerk and negotiate with all the Palestinians the indigenous people of the land.

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