Today’s date marks a day in 1960 when the police in South-Africa shot and killed 69 people in a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws.Elimination of Racial Discrimination Although much of the legislation has changed since, millions of individuals and communities are still impaired by the injustice that racism inflicts.

Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, people around the world are reminded of the negative consequences of racial discrimination. The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights famously says that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.

Common public activities for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination are photo essays, online petitions and discussions, articles and other publications promoting the fight against racial discrimination. Every year the UN Secretary General holds a speech, and last year the UN streamed a live webcast from its headquarters, featuring UN leaders.

Although the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is not a public holiday it has great symbolic value all around the world.

Here’s what Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, said last year:

Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it. On this International Day, I call on Member States, international and non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and all individuals to engage meaningfully in the promotion of the International Year for People of African descent – and to work together against racism whenever and wherever it occurs.

Other significant days in March:

Holi – India 

International Women’s Day

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