Human Rights are Universal
22 June 2018
The African National Congress notes with concern the decision of the United States government to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Commission.
This came against the backdrop of criticism of the United States policy of inhuman treatment of migrant children, forcefully separating them from their parents. We share the pain of the affected families and children, because of our experience in South Africa before the dawn of democracy wherein thousands of children were separated from their parents and detained under state of emergency regulations by the brutal apartheid regime.
The ANC applauds the decision of the US administration to reverse this barbaric policy and we call on the US government to reconsider its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Commission and urge it to stay the course of advancing the universal human rights.
The ANC's attention has also been drawn to recent acts of blatant anti-Semitism by fellow South Africans on social media and graffiti on walls. This is clearly against the spirit and letter of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which discourages hate speech, against any group, based on race, religion, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
Our disagreement and abhorrence of the violence and human rights meted against the Palestinian people by the State of Israel, at no stage should be used as an excuse for hate speech against Jewish or any other people.
The ANC confirms its commitment to the universality of human rights. We are reminded - as we celebrate the centenary since of his birth, the words of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela:
"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity."
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