1 March is Zero Discrimination Day

Discrimination still affects many people in different environments, from schools to workplaces and hospitals. Zero Discrimination Day aims to enhance diversity.

While on the one hand the world becomes more “connected” thanks to the development of technology and communications, on the other hand the fear of differences and the consequent discrimination remain widespread. Gender, nationality, sexual orientation and religion are only few of the countless pretexts for discrimination.

Rifugiati siriani
Refugees fleeing Syria © Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Zero Discrimination Day, the 2019 theme

For instance, only in four countries out of ten the number of girls attending secondary schools is equal to that of boys, while 75 countries have laws criminalising relationships between people of the same sex. In order to promote diversity and teach the respect towards differences, Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated on 1 March, established by the United Nations.

Aimed at enhancing individuality and the peculiar differences characterising each and every one of us, the 2019 edition is dedicated to promoting positive changes in national laws and policies to ensure that these encourage equality, inclusion and protection. “Human rights violations are happening all over the world because of discriminatory laws and practices,” says Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Laws must protect, not cause harm. All countries must carefully examine their laws and policies in order to ensure equality and protection for all people, without exception.”

Lavoratori con sindrome di Down
Workers with Down’s Syndrome

Embracing diversity

“When the most marginalised and vulnerable face discrimination and abuse, all of us are diminished,” according to former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The United Nations is strongly committed to upholding human rights and dignity for all.”

On Zero Discrimination Day, people are encouraged to enhance and embrace diversity and recognise people’s different talents and competences enriching and strengthening communities. Diversity is a precious resource and accepting and embracing it only lead to more benefits for our society.

Opera di Ricardo Cavolo
Drawing by Ricardo Cavolo for Zero Discrimination Day

The hashtag to be used throughout the day is #ZeroDiscrimination. People can post their images, drawings, music, and videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aimed at depicting their own story of overcoming discrimination. Many artists, designers and illustrators have created original works on the issue.

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