Discrimination continues to affect the lives of millions of people around the world. On 1 March, Zero Discrimination Day, people from all corners of the world unite to celebrate diversity and reject discrimination in all its forms. The support garnered for Zero Discrimination Day has created a global movement of solidarity to end discrimination, which remains widespread. Millions of women and girls in every region of the world experience violence and abuse and are unable to exercise their rights or gain access to health-care services, education or employment.
Discrimination at work, school and health-care and other settings reduces people’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in societies and provide and care for themselves and their families. Some 38 countries, territories and areas impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. Furthermore, legal and social environments are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection.
“Discrimination is a violation of human rights and must not go unchallenged,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.” People have shared songs, poems, thoughts and activities inspired by the butterfly, the transformative symbol of the campaign. People are also calling on their governments to make greater efforts to realize and protect human rights and eliminate discrimination.
“Some of the world’s most challenging problems can be solved simply by eliminating stigma and discrimination,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “As we collectively strive for a fairer world we can be encouraged by the enthusiasm for achieving zero discrimination.”
Among celebrities who have supported the campaign in the past are UNAIDS International Goodwill Ambassador David Luiz, who posted a special message on standing up to racism, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Toumani Diabaté and his son, Sidiki Diabaté, as well as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Ambassador and Sri Lankan cricketing star, Kumar Sangakkara, whose message was played on screens at venues hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. Governments, lawmakers and business leaders have also pledged their support to the campaign.
Source – http://www.unaids.org/