Zero Discrimination Day History
Zero Discrimination Day aims to celebrate individuality, inclusion and human rights while promoting tolerance, compassion and peace. Discrimination refers to the selective practice of unfairly treating a person or a group of people differently than others due multiple factors such as religion, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability amongst others. Despite laws and education, discrimination continues to be a wide-spread problem throughout the world.
Zero Discrimination Day was first celebrated by UNAIDS, the United Nations' HIV/AIDS Program, in December of 2013. The following year, the UN and other global organizations officially celebrated the day on March 1st, 2014 in an effort to promote
everyone’s right to live a full life with dignity regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin color, height, weight, profession, education, and beliefs..
Zero Discrimination Day Facts & Quotes
- The theme for Zero Discrimination Day 2016 was Stand Out.
- According to UNAIDS, globally, there are about 80 countries that still have laws that discriminate against same-sex relations.
- According to UNAIDS, approximately 38 countries worldwide impose travel restrictions on people with HIV/AIDS.
- Muslims comprise the second largest religious population in the world. Between 2006 and 2010, Muslims were discriminated against in 121 countries around the world.
Stigma and discrimination damage people and fragment societies. People should never have to suffer in fear and darkness. — Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS
Zero Discrimination Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Print out your favorite butterfly to represent Zero Discrimination Day and take a picture of yourself holding it to post on social media. Butterflies of all colors with different messages in different languages are available on the UNAIDS site.
- Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag #zerodiscrimination and posting photos, videos and articles in support of the cause.
- Watch a movie or documentary about HIV/AIDS. Some popular suggestions: Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Philadelphia(1993), Longtime Companion (1990), The Age of AIDS (2006) and AIDS, Inc (2007). People infected with AIDS/HIV have always been subject to discrimination and these movies/documentaries help understand more about the infection and the obstacles that those infected have encountered.
- Research the topic of bullying, a form of discrimination that is very common in North America. Learn some of the signs of bullying in order to help victims regain self-esteem and embrace individuality. According to the Violence Prevention Organization, signs such as fear of going to school or taking part in activities, bad dreams, being sad and anxiety from low self-esteem are exhibited by bullying victims.
- Donate to an organization that fights against discrimination. Many organizations such as the Impact Fund, Coalition Against Religious Discrimination and the Anti-Discrimination Network aid victims of discrimination while helping them to regain their rights and dignity.