With 21st March being Human Rights day in our country, the theme for 2023 is, “Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future”.

We have BASIC RIGHTS from the day we are born, therefore they cannot be denied or removed from us. These rights are equal for everybody. No discrimination against your gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, pregnancy, marital status, social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, beliefs, disabilities, conscience, language or culture.

To illustrate, the average index for countries in 2022 is as follows:

  • Highest scoring for human rights violations = Yemen,  9.9
  • Lowest scoring for human rights violations  = Norway,  0.3
  • Ranking at 111 / 177 countries = South Africa, 4.5

In line with this, and in an attempt to restrain unsociable and unconstitutional conduct on social media, the HRCSA recently launched a social media charter at the Nelson Mandela University, on what they titled “A Call to Action: Defending Human Rights in the Era of Social Media”. It forms part of an array of activities planned for this year, under the Social Harmony National Effort (SHINE), aimed at developing social harmony through self-reflection and positive dialogue.

This Social Media Charter is intended as a guide to all users (including young children and parents).  Also, corporates and organizations wishing to develop in-house policies on the use of social media, will find the Charter of assistance.

As indicated above, it is indisputable that we have a lot of work to do, fellow citizens of this beautiful country. It can be as simple as starting with yourself. We need to be more sensitive and compassionate towards our fellow humans.

Even whilst maintaining our personal boundaries, people we come into contact with deserve to be respected and treated with dignity and kindness. Simple ways which cost us nothing. A kind smile, friendly greeting, acknowledgement, and making eye contact. It could make somebody’s day SHINE!