Because of the lack of education on AIDS, discrimination, fear, panic, and lies surrounded me.” – Ryan White
There is a notion that if you believe something exists in society, it will continue to exist. Discrimination is a state of mind that continues to be present in society, irrespective of all the laws that protect the citizens from it. When asked by a reporter why it was important for Justin Trudeau to have a gender-equal cabinet, 15 men and 15 women, Trudeau shrugged: “Because it’s 2015.” The crowd cheered. But, do you think the world has been able to end any form of discrimination?
Millions of lives are still affected by discrimination across the world. Though its the right of everyone to lead a life with dignity regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, height, weight, profession, education, and beliefs, yet discrimination is rampant across the globe. What’s shameful is that almost 80 countries, including India still have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations. Some 38 countries, territories and regions impose certain form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. It is estimated that around 35 million people were living with HIV in 2013. Another 2.1 million people became newly infected and 1.5 million died from AIDS-related illnesses.
Understanding this, the United Nations started the Zero Discrimination Day observance on March 1st, 2014, after the Zero Discrimination Campaign was launched on World AIDS Day in December 2013. The day was initiated as part wider efforts to spur solidarity towards ending discrimination. The theme for this year is “Open Up, Reach Out” that encourages all members of the international community to stay united under the banner of diversity and celebrate each other’s difference in an authoritative rejection of discrimination in all its forms.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “Discrimination is a violation of human rights and must not go unchallenged. Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.” Fiinovation has been strongly advocating against discrimination of all forms and believes that major problems of the world can be solved by eliminating stigma and discrimination. Fiinovation urges the people of the world to collectively strive for a fairer world, where one is encouraged to end discrimination and to build nations that are known for human rights. It is up to us to end violence and abuse on a daily basis and promote health care and education.
Let us share songs, poems, and thoughts that can inspire people to make greater efforts to realize and protect human rights and eliminate discrimination in all forms.
“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation