South African Embassy, Vienna
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Tel.: +43 1 320 6493
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Visa, SA Citizen Services
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Topnews, South Africa

01. March 2020


This year’s Human Rights Month marks the 60th anniversary since the Sharpeville Massacre which took place on 21 March 1960, where the apartheid police shot and killed 69 people in a peaceful protest march. Human Rights Month is commemorated annually in March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. The commemoration provides the country with an opportunity to reflect on progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights.

The official Human Rights Day commemoration event will take place on 21 March 2020 at the Colesberg Sport Stadium in the Northern Cape under the theme “The year of unity, socio-economic renewal and nation building”. Government calls on all South Africans to use Human Rights Month to foster greater social cohesion, nation building and a shared national identity. It is our duty as a nation to strive for inclusive socio-economic development, while ensuring that we combat scourges such as racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all related intolerances as well as gender-based violence and femicide, which are undermining our human rights culture. 

Weekly focus areas have been identified as follows to manage government communication throughout the month:

  • Week 1: Constitutional rights awareness
  • Week 2: Children’s rights and the responsibilities that accompany rights.
  • Week 3: Anti-racism
  • Week 4: Gender-based violence and femicide


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