Centre for Human Rights and UP Disability Unit commemorates Human Rights Day

BRADLEY TJONGARERO

On 16 March 2017, UP’s Centre for Human Rights (CHR) together with the UP’s Disability Unit and Law House commemorated Human Rights day at the Law Kiosk in the Law Building. The programme was interactive and educational, and was led by Sewela Masie, a research assistant at the Centre for Human Rights. The rights of people living with disabilities were emphasised under the event’s theme of “Inclusive Education”. William Aseka, a PhD candidate at the Centre for Human Rights, explained, “Inclusive education is so that we can be able to include. We appreciate that we have a diverse society so we look at it from that perspective, as we have a diverse society, we need to include everyone to be able to participate equally”.

One of the activities open to the audience was learning sign language. Sindile Mhlanga, a sign language teacher from Zimbabwe, taught the audience how to greet and introduce themselves in sign language. Throughout the event, participants shared their experiences about living with disabilities. Maria Ramaahlo, Head of the UP Disability Unit, addressed one of the key issues people with disabilities face at UP. She said that  people with disabilities often unwillingly forfeit their allocated parking spots due to unauthorised individuals using them and urged individuals to refrain from using parking spots allocated for those with disabilities. Ramaahlo also emphasised the importance of “putting the person before the disability”. Law House representative, Mamello Molotsi, a third year LLB student, gave a brief overview of the origins of Human Rights commemorations in South Africa with reference to the apartheid regime. Molotsi said that it is important to focus on people with disabilities because everyone is human and disabled people are as significant as those without disabilities.

 

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