In March 2017 South Africa commemorates Human Rights Month under the theme: “The year of OR Tambo: Unity in Action in Advancing Human Rights” to raise awareness and promote respect for basic human rights. On the 21st of March there will be a countrywide commemorative day – Human Rights Day. The national event will be held at Victoria Sports Grounds in King Williams Town. President Zuma is expected to deliver the keynote address. Objectives The 2017 Human Rights Month is anchored around the celebration of the life of struggle stalwart, OR Tambo and highlights the progress made in advancing human rights. As the country commemorates Human Rights Month, it is also a time to remember the contribution of Stephen Bantu Biko in fighting for the dignity of a black person. It is now 40 years since his passing. In commemorating the Human Rights Month, government messages and activities are geared towards: Fostering nation building and social cohesion through the observance of human rights. Supporting the ongoing national activities for the Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution. Combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including their gender-based manifestations, as envisaged by the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Raising human rights awareness through dialogues and public engagements. . KEY ACTIVITIES A number of activities will take place countrywide. Following are some of the key events preceding the Human Rights Day. Social cohesion dialogues – 3 to 20 March 2017 In an effort to bolster social cohesion, nation building, national identity, socio-economic development and an end to racism, Afro-phobia, xenophobia and homophobia, government through the Department of Arts and Culture will host a series of social cohesion dialogues (see schedule at the end of the document) . The main one will be held at the Steve Biko Memorial Centre in Ginsberg, King William’s Town. Wreath laying at the memorial grave site of Steve Biko Visit to the Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance To mark the 40 Years of the passing of Steve Biko, on Human Rights Day, President Zuma is expected to lay a wreath at the memorial grave situated at Steve Biko Garden of Remembrance in Ginsberg. Human Rights Day Commemorative event - 21 March 2017 The main event will be held at Victoria Sports Grounds in King William’s Town. The stadium is where the funeral of Steve Biko was held 40 years ago. President Zuma is expected to deliver the keynote address.
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