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Zero Discrimination Day 2024: History, significance, theme or more

Zero Discrimination Day 2024: The UN marks March 1 as Zero Discrimination Day to prevent all sorts of discrimination, whether it is social, political or borders. Get to know more about it here

Zero Discrimination Day 2024

Zero Discrimination Day 2024

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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Zero Discrimination Day is marked every year on March 1 by the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations. This day is observed by all the UN member countries and it aims to promote equality before the law. Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé launched Zero Discrimination Day in the major event held in Beijing and it was first celebrated on March 1, 2014.

March 1 is a day dedicated to ending all kinds of discrimination whether it is social or political hurricanes of hate, borders, barriers and fences. For a flourishing humanity, it is pivotal to avoid all sorts of discrimination.

In 2018, UNAIDS called on people to raise their voices against discrimination stopping it by achieving goals, ambitions, and dreams by making noise. 

Zero Discrimination Day globally provides an opportunity to educate people through events, seminars, workshops, and educational programmes and also about the negative effects of discrimination on the world.

Zero Discrimination Day 2024 Significance

Zero Discrimination Day plays a key role in promoting inclusion, equality, and tolerance across the globe. Discrimination impacts individuals deeply as it creates barriers to accessing education, healthcare, and job opportunities, which eventually leads to poverty and inequality.

As per UNAIDS, criminalisation derives from discrimination and structural inequalities. It robs people of the prospect of healthy and fulfilling lives holding back the end of AIDS and should work in the direction to end criminalisation to save lives. 

Zero Discrimination Day 2024 theme

Zero Discrimination Day 2024 theme is “To protect everyone's health, protect everyone's rights.” The theme emphasises building association links with human rights and public health in achieving the goal of eliminating AIDS by 2030.

LGBTI faces discrimination

The day is particularly noted by organisations such as UNAIDS to combat discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. As per the Chairman of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia, DR Ivan F. Camanor, discrimination through HIV-related stigmas is pervasive and exists in almost every part of the world including Liberia. The UN Development Programme paid tribute in 2017 to LGBTI people who face discrimination because of HIV/AIDS. 

Campaigners used this day to raise voices against laws discriminating against the LGBTI community during the previous campaign to repeal laws used to criminalise homosexuality in the country. However, before this Supreme Court overturned that law in September 2018.

According to UNAIDS, around 134 nations have criminalised or prosecuted HIV non-disclosure, exposure, or transmission, while 20 nations have criminalised or prosecuted transgender people. Not only this, 153 nations, criminalise at least one aspect of sex work and 66 have criminalised consensual same-sex sexual activities. 

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First Published: Mar 01 2024 | 7:33 AM IST

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