Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
YOUTHS have been urged to be human rights defenders by refusing to be used to violate other people’s rights through violence, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) said yesterday.
In a statement to mark International Human Rights Day, the ZHRC said young people have a significant role to play in the protection and promotion of human rights.
This year’s commemorations were held on Tuesday under the theme: “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.”
The ZHRC said rights come with certain responsibilities and obligations and young people should exercise their rights responsibly.
“For instance, young people must shun all forms of violence and refrain from being used to oppress other people, engaging in political violence and other acts inconsistent with human rights principles and values of respect for human dignity, honesty, justice, fairness and equality,” reads the ZHRC statement.
The commission said it is advocating for youths across the political divide to push their parties towards embracing human rights.
ZHRC said youths should positively change the national narrative towards enjoyment of rights.
The commission challenged youths to be exemplary. “Similarly, in exercising their claim to socio-economic rights and entitlements, young people ought to be human rights ambassadors by being hardworking. They must be exemplary role models, refrain from abusing drugs and alcohol, shun delinquent behaviour, lead dignified lives, avoid inappropriate sexual relations and early marriages and instead channel their energies to eliminating harmful cultural practices. Society expects young people to lead efforts to eliminate all forms of violence in both private and public places,” reads the statement.
ZHRC said it will continue working with youth-based national organisations under its theme of special interests’ [email protected]