The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is commemorated every year on the day in 1960 when police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire on a peaceful protest against apartheid’s “pass laws,” killing 69 people. Every year on March 21st, people all over the world celebrate the day in order to end ethnic discrimination between people from different countries, nations, societies, or communities. The United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared the day in 1966, urging the international community to redouble its efforts to remove all forms of racial discrimination. Every year on the same day, that is, the 21st of March, South Africa commemorates Human Rights Day, which has been declared a public holiday. This event is commemorated on an annual basis by people all over the world to remember all those who died fighting against the Apartheid government, fighting for democracy, and seeking equal human rights in South Africa. The aim of the day is to remind people of the negative effects of racial discrimination. It also encourages people to remember their obligation and determination to combat racial discrimination. On this day, many countries around the world host a variety of activities and events. A webcast from the UN headquarters on March 21 featuring special appearances by UN representatives was one of the previous events. Such gatherings are intended to assist young people in expressing their views, identifying ways to combat prejudice, and promoting tolerance in their cultures and lives. Young people may also express their views on human rights and ethnic discrimination at UNICEF’s online bulletin board for young people, Voices of Youth. Voices of Youth has contributors from all over the world, including Jamaica, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. Essays, photo campaigns, and written papers are among the other events that support the fight against racial discrimination. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a schedule of activities for the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in 1979. On that date, the General Assembly agreed that every year, starting on March 21, a week of unity with peoples fighting injustice and racial discrimination will be held in all States. South Africa’s apartheid regime has been abolished since then.
In countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is not a national holiday. On that day in 1960, police opened fire on a peaceful rally in Sharpeville, South Africa, against apartheid’s “pass rules,” killing 69 people. When the UN General Assembly declared the day a UN Day of Observance in 1966, it urged the international community to step up efforts to eradicate all types of racial discrimination. In 1983, it also urged all world governments and organizations to join a program of action to fight racism and ethnic discrimination. In 2001, it hosted the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Other Forms of Intolerance. The United Nations continues to combat all manifestations of racial intolerance. The day is commemorated every year to raise public consciousness about fair human rights and to draw attention to all of the current issues of racism in sports in different countries around the world. Sports were thought to be the most effective means of fighting racism and ethnic inequality by people all over the world. Olympic Games were also developed with the aim of promoting the harmonious growth of men of various races as well as resolving social tensions and disputes through sports. The 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action, the UN Human Rights Council, and the UNESCO Charter of Physical Education and Sport all endorsed and encouraged states to fight and eradicate prejudice through sports, in cooperation with intergovernmental organizations (international and regional sports federations, the International Olympic Committee, and others). Since its inception, the United Nations has been concerned about this problem, and racial discrimination is prohibited in all core international human rights instruments. It imposes obligations on states and mandates that discrimination in the public and private spheres be eliminated. States are therefore required by the principle of equality to take special steps to remove conditions that cause or contribute to racial discrimination. This event celebration gives young people the opportunity to express themselves and combat racism while also promoting diversity. To address human rights and the abolition of racial discrimination, a long debate among young people takes place on related topics. Other events, such as essay writing, photo exhibits, and the publication of related posts, are also planned to encourage and educate people about racial discrimination.