HARARE – The promotion and protection of human rights is both an individual and collective responsibility which people should be reminded of, a top Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) official has said.
Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi, ZHRC commissioner, said unless people demand respect for human rights, defend them and the right of others to exercise them, human rights will remain words without value.
“We have a duty to this current generation and an obligation to future generations of upholding and religiously fighting for the respect of individual and collective rights of all,” Mugwadi said.
This year’s theme “20 Years: Working for Human Rights” marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the mandate of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day.
The day was set aside to bring to the attention of the world to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
Mugwadi said the commission would be putting emphasis on the future of Zimbabwe and identifying challenges that lie ahead.
The commissioner also indicated that citizens anticipate that the government delivers on the needs of the people particularly on ensuring access and enjoyment of the basic rights to education, health, water and freedom.
Mugwadi said by actively engaging children to learn about human rights issues and what they entail, they are guaranteed of a better future.
“Our children must learn from a young age to respect each other, in spite of differences in thinking, upbringing, belief or culture.
“This forms the basis for an even, better, progressive and sustainable development of the country,” Mugwadi said.
“In the same vein, this casts an important responsibility not on just the teachers in the schools but for parents as well, who come into contact with these children to help nurture and grow the culture of promoting and protecting these rights.
“Full knowledge and enjoyment of human rights capacitates growth within our children and society at large.”