25 Mar, 2019

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High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Her Excellency, Ms Thenjiwe Mtintso, speaking at the event
The South African High Commission in Malawi, in collaboration with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), on 21st March 2019, organised a panel discussion as part of the South African Human Rights Day that is commemorated annually.

According to the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Her Excellency, Ms Thenjiwe Mtintso, Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960 and the events of Sharpeville, saying on that day, 69 people died and 180 were wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd that had gathered in protest against the Pass Laws.

“This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, rising in unison to proclaim their rights. It became an iconic date in our country’s history that today we commemorate as Human Rights Day as a reminder of our rights and the cost paid for our treasured human rights,” she said.

The High Commissioner said they decided to hold the panel discussion under the theme ‘What responsibility does the youth have ensuring that a Human Rights Culture Strives in a Society?’ so that young people are able to know the value of promoting human rights.

Representing the youth, National Youth Council of Malawi Program Officer-Youth Reproductive Health, Mr Aharn Kossam, said young people have to be conversant with human rights issues, saying they need to be champions in promoting human rights.

He said there are a lot of policies and strategies about youth which are not properly implemented, saying young people should wake up and fight for the implementation of all those strategies about them.
In his closing remarks, LUANAR Vice Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, thanked South African High Commission for choosing LUANAR once again, saying this is an indication of a good relationship between the two parties.

He said it was good those students were part of this important function and that they were able to contribute to the discussion concerning them as young people.

Since 1995, Human Rights Day has been a public holiday celebrated in South Africa and it shares the day with the anniversary of the infamous Sharpeville Massacre.