In a four-year study of religious discrimination around the world (2006-2010), Christians were the most-discriminated against group, experiencing harassment by the government and society in 168 countries. Muslims make up the second largest religious population in the world and were discriminated against in 121 countries worldwide between 2006 and 2010.
Zero Discrimination Day was first celebrated on 1 March 2014.
The support garnered for Zero Discrimination Day has created a global movement of solidarity to end discrimination, which remains widespread. Millions of women and girls in every region of the world experience violence and abuse and are unable to exercise their rights or gain access to health-care services, education or employment. Discrimination at work, school and health-care and other settings reduces people’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in societies and provide and care for themselves and their families. Globally, there are almost 80 countries that still have laws criminalizing same-sex sexual relations. Some 38 countries, territories and areas impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. Furthermore, legal and social environments are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection.
“Discrimination is a violation of human rights and must not go unchallenged,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.”
“Some of the world’s most challenging problems can be solved simply by eliminating stigma and discrimination,” said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “As we collectively strive for a fairer world we can be encouraged by the enthusiasm for achieving zero discrimination.”
Source: dosomething.org | un.org | unaids.org