The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni cuts the ribbon to the booklets while Tafadzwa Mwale of UNIC (centre), Elasto Mugwadi ZHRC Chairperson (far left) and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs , Midlands Province Honourable Jason Machaya (far right) look on.
On Saturday 10 December, UNIC Harare launched Venda and Shangani versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), in an effort to make the Declaration accessible to a larger Zimbabwean population.
The booklets were launched by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni during Human Rights Day 2016 commemorations organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC). The commemorations were held in Gweru under the theme ‘Stand Up for Someone’s Rights Today.”
Speaking at this event, ZHRC Chairperson Elasto Mugwadi commended UNIC for translating and launching the documents. He said that distribution of simplified booklets on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights translated into vernacular languages is one of their strategies to enhance the visibility of the Commission and promote awareness of human rights and fundamental freedoms in line with Section 243 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said this year’s theme “gives everyone the duty and obligation to protect and promote the rights of others. These include refugees, persons with disabilities, women, children, indigenous minority groups, or anyone else at risk of discrimination, violence or other violation of his or her fundamental rights and freedoms.
“Let us start by ensuring that one knows that they have the same rights as everyone else,” she said.
Venda and Shangani are two of the country’s 16 languages. The other languages are Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana and Xhosa. In 2014, UNIC translated the Declaration into Shona and Ndebele.
The Human Rights Day commemoration was attended by over 1 000 people who included the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs , Midlands Province Jason Machaya, government officials, representatives of Civil Society, general public, media and other stakeholders.