Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day is a holiday observed annually on March 1st by the United Nations and other international organizations. It began in 2014 with the goal of promoting equality under the law worldwide. This day focuses on HIV/AIDS, hoping to combat the stigma surrounding the illness and aims at erasing laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. Each year, the UN chooses a specific focus to advertise and call for action. While the title of 2022’s Zero Discrimination Day has not yet been released, the UNAIDS is calling for action to end inequalities surrounding income, sex, age, occupation, health status, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, drug use, race, ethnicity, class, and religion.
Inequality has been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be demonstrated in the inaccessibility to treatment and vaccines. Structural and social discrimination can lead to inequalities in income, healthcare access, education, and employment. It can also lead to stigma and more discrimination.
All countries of the United Nations pledged in 2015 to reduce inequality in their nation. However, it is a promise that has yet to be fulfilled. In order to end these systemic issues, the UN has called for greater efforts to erase poverty as well as increase funding for healthcare, education, and social protection. With that said, governments must also step in to eliminate discriminatory laws, practices, and policies in order to ensure equality in the legal and judicial system.
Zero Discrimination Day is a signal for governments to remember their promise to provide inequity as it is also a reminder to us all. We can further assist by raising awareness about current injustices, holding our government accountable for fulfilling its promise, and educating ourselves on the inequalities others may be facing.
For more information, please visit the UNAIDS site at https://www.unaids.org/en/zero-discrimination-day
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