Zero Discrimination Day is a UN-recognized international day celebrated on March 1 every year to spread the message against discrimination. The United Nations (UN) as well as other international bodies observe Zero Discrimination Day to encourage equality under the law and in practice in all UN member countries.
This day aims to encourage people to treat everyone with respect and equality. In particular, this day aims to end the stigma that people with HIV/AIDS face. Here, we have shared information about everything you need to know about Zero Discrimination Day.
About Zero Discrimination Day
The UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) launched Zero Discrimination Day on February 27, 2014. This day is celebrated on March 1, every year, to encourage people to treat people infected with HIV/AIDS with dignity and respect. Zero Discrimination Day aims to spread the message that everyone deserves to be treated equally.
Here, we have shared a brief overview of Zero Discrimination Day:
Zero Discrimination Day
Zero Discrimination Day Theme 2023
Save Lives: Decriminalize
To end the stigma around people affected with HIV/AIDS and encourage equal treatment towards them.
Zero Discrimination Day Theme 2023
Every year on Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS set a new theme which initiates a conversation about treating people with HIV/AIDS with equality. This year, the Zero Discrimination theme 2023 is “Save Lives: Decriminalize”.
Last year, the Zero Discrimination Day theme 2022 was “Remove laws that harm and establish laws that empower”. The UNAIDS emphasises the importance of eliminating discriminatory legislation. Similarly, the Zero Discrimination Day theme 2021 was “End inequalities”.
Zero Discrimination Day Themes (2014-2023)
Check out the previous years’ themes on Zero Discrimination Day shared here.
Zero Discrimination Day Theme
Save Lives: Decriminalize.
Remove laws that harm and establish laws that empower.
End to discrimination against women and girls.
Act to change laws that discriminate.
Make some noise for #zerodiscrimination
Stand out for #zerodiscrimination
Open up, reach out.
Join the transformation.
Zero Discrimination Day - History
Zero Discrimination Day is an initiative of UNAIDS, the organisation that conducts global campaigns for HIV/AIDS. We have shared more about the history of this day here:
- Zero Discrimination Day was launched on February 27, 2014, by then-Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe.
- In December 2013, Zero Discrimination began as a campaign with the same title.
- UNAIDS, the organisation that has supported the cause of eliminating oppressive practices against individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the UN member nations, first honoured this day on March 1, 2014.
- On the official declaration of Zero Discrimination Day, more than 30 corporate leaders signed a vow to end workplace discrimination.
Zero Discrimination Day - Significance
Zero Discrimination Day is a significant occasion as it raises public awareness about forms of discrimination, and also persuades systems to legally stop it. Here are some other reasons why this Zero Discrimination Day is considered significant:
- Several countries still have regulations that are derogatory against women or children. For example, laws do not grant women the very same rights to marriage and election as they do to men. Zero Discrimination Day raises awareness about these issues.
- The LGBTQ community does not have the very same rights as the heterosexual community and is often stigmatized for HIV/AIDS. Zero Discrimination Day starts a conversation about ending the stigma around the disease and the community itself.
- Many countries have faulty judicial and legal frameworks, which have historically resulted in the isolation of a few ethnicities or sections of people from critical services, marginalisation, and oppression. Zero Discrimination Day challenges these frameworks.
Zero Discrimination Day 2023 - Activities
- Zero Discrimination Day can be observed simply by taking part in different activities, sharing tales or pictures, and discussing it in your local networks.
- The United Nations organises multiple campaigns and events to commemorate everyone's right to live a dignified and honourable life, regardless of their age, gender, faith, class, ethnicity, nationality, weight, height, or occupation.
- You can become a volunteer to spread the message of ending the stigma against HIV/AIDS on Zero Discrimination Day.
FAQs on Zero Discrimination Day
Q1. What is Zero Discrimination Day?
Zero Discrimination Day is a day to emphasize the right of all individuals to enjoy healthy and respect. This day especially aims to end the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and the people infected with it. Zero Discrimination Day was established by UNAIDS in 2014.
Q2. When is Zero Discrimination Day celebrated?
Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated every year on March 1. The United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) launched this day on February 2014. Zero Discrimination Day was celebrated for the first time on March 1, of the same year. All United Nations partner countries observe this day to end the stigma around HIV/AIDS.
Q3. What is the theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2023?
Zero Discrimination Day theme 2023 is “Save Lives: Decriminalize”. This theme highlights the need to decriminalize homosexuality and end the stigma that it causes HIV/AIDS. Each year, the United Nations sets a new theme on Zero Discrimination Day to send a message about equality.
Q4. Who established Zero Discrimination Day?
UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) is responsible for establishing Zero Discrimination Day. In February 2014, the Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe declared this day for the first time. Subsequently, Zero Discrimination Day was celebrated for the first time the following year, on March 1, 2014.
Q5. What was the theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2022?
Zero Discrimination Day theme 2022 was “Remove laws that harm and establish laws that empower”. This theme was all about removing laws that harm people affected with HIV/AIDS and establishing laws that strengthen them instead. On Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS emphasises the critical need to act decisively against discriminatory laws.