Human Rights Day in South Africa

In South Africa, every March 21st is Human Rights Day. This holiday was created to commemorate the establishment of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). The purpose of the SAHRC is to promote basic respect for human rights, to promote the protection of rights, and to monitor the observance of human rights across all of South Africa.

This day was first launched in 1996 and has been observed ever since. The holiday is marked by activism and human rights campaigns that aim to highlight the importance of human rights.

The History of Human Rights Day in South Africa

In 1960, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) proposed an anti-pass campaign that began on March 21st. All African men were to participate without their passes and present themselves for arrest. Campaigners gathered at police stations in townships, and the police were occupied with dispersing them.

However, at the Sharpeville police station, a confrontation broke out. During the altercation, the police opened fire, resulting in the death of 69 people and wounding 180 others. On the 36-year anniversary of this event, the SAHRC was launched on March 21, 1996.

Facts About South Africa

Once again, we’ve rounded up a number of fascinating facts about the country where a holiday is celebrated. In this holiday article, we’re going to discuss a couple of facts about South Africa.

  • South Africa has 11 official languages.
  • South Africa has one of the world’s youngest populations by age.
  • The first human heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1967.

Observing Human Rights Day

On this holiday, people visit one of the three main memorial sites of the Sharpeville Massacre, and flowers are placed on the graves of those who lost their lives. This is also a good day for people to familiarize themselves with the history of South Africa and what many South Africans endured during the time of the massacre. It’s also a good day for people to learn about their human rights and how they can protect them from this day forward.

Where is it celebrated?
South Africa (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
March 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
March 21 Friday
Last year (2023)
March 21 Tuesday