Zimbabwe Marks Human Rights Day

Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in celebrating the World Human Rights Day on 10 December 2012 in Harare.  The celebrations commenced under a global theme, “Inclusion and the right to participate in public life” with a march-past through the city centre of Harare.  Hundreds of marchers converged at Harare Gardens to mark the day with solidarity messages that echoed - human rights promotion and protection are the responsibility of everyone.  

At the occasion, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Alain Noudehou said, “In Zimbabwe, we witnessed recently some good practices during the Universal Periodic Review process where the Government, civil society organisations, national human rights institutions, business and labour organisations coming together to make contributions on the progress of human rights promotion and protection in the country.”

The United Nations in Zimbabwe, through the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Framework (ZUNDAF) is providing support to education, health, and environment as well as initiatives and programs that encourage participation in public life.   

“Zimbabwe has come up with a Plan of Action to implement 130 recommendations after presenting its Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations Human Rights Councils Working Group”, noted Mr. David Mangota, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Justice.

To fulfil its international commitment and to ensure political, social and economic stability in the country, the Permanent Secretary said, “In 2012 Zimbabwe prepared and submitted status reports on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women; Convention on the Rights of the Child; invited the UN Human Rights High Commissioner to witness first-hand the human rights situation in the country; enacted Human Rights Law and established National Human Rights Commission to provide oversight into human rights practices.”

The theme for this year’s celebrations was in line with Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specifically exhorts states to support their citizens in participating in public life.  This includes participation in elections and electoral processes as well as access to public services which include being able to exercise functions in government, in parliament and local councils, and in the judiciary.  The concept also calls for participation in organizations such as: political parties, trade unions, professional associations, women's organizations, and any other organizations concerned with public and political life.

Read the Statement by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator