Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Wife had yesterday off for Youth Day, a public holiday here in South Africa honoring the young people that died during the struggle to end apartheid. Fittingly, we chose to spend the majority of the day at the Apartheid Museum.

It was a sobering experience but one we are both glad we had. I'm actually reading Nelson Mandela's book "Long Walk to Freedom" right now and the museum really helped paint an even more vivid portrait of this country's struggle for equality.

One of the things that really stood out for me in the museum was the summary of South Africa's Bill of Rights...I just stood reading it in awe...and with envy...

•No one may be discriminated against on grounds of race, gender, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, culture or language.

• Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.

• Everyone has the right to life.

• Everyone has the right to freedom and security of person, including the right not to be detained without trial and not to be tortured.

• No one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour.

• Everyone has the right to privacy.

• Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.

• Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes freedom of the media.

• Everyone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and present petitions.

• Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

• Everyone is free to make political choices, which includes the right to form a political party and the right to free, fair and regular elections.

• No citizen may be deprived of citizenship.

• Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.

• Everyone has the right to fair labour practices, including the right to form and belong to trade unions and the right to strike.

• Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being.

• No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application.

• Everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.

• Everyone has the right to have access to health care services, sufficient food and water.

• Every child has the right to care, basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services.

• Everyone has the right to a basic education.

• Everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice.

• Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state and by another person where the information is required for the exercise of any rights.

• Everyone who is arrested has the right to remain silent, to be brought before a court within 48 hours and to be released if the interests of justice permit.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

amazing that a country that still legally discriminated against people for the color of their skin in the 1990's now allows gay people to marry because it is discriminatory not to... maybe the US could learn a lesson
- Julie