Zero Discrimination Day 2023: Theme, Date, History, Quotes & Significance

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The United Nations (UN) and various international organizations observe Zero Discrimination Day every year on March 1. The primary purpose of this day is to advocate for equal treatment and opportunities for everyone regardless of their race, gender, religion or any other characteristics. The purpose of this celebration is to encourage all member states of the United Nations to ensure fairness and equality both in law and in practice.

About Zero Discrimination Day

Zero Discrimination Day is observed every year on March 1, to recognize and respect the fundamental right of every person to live a full and productive life with dignity and respect.

The event emphasizes the importance of raising awareness and promoting inclusion, compassion and harmony, besides it makes a call to action toward ending all forms of discrimination. The day serves as a platform for global solidarity movements to bring about positive change for all.

This year, UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) is focusing on the theme “Save Lives: Decriminalize” on Zero Discrimination Day 2023.

The campaign aims to show how the decriminalization of key populations and people living with HIV can significantly save lives and ultimately contribute to eradicating the AIDS epidemic. By decriminalizing individuals from such communities, we can bring about a positive change in society and help build a more inclusive and compassionate world.

Zero Discrimination Day Theme
Zero Discrimination Day Theme

Zero Discrimination Day Date

March 1st marks the annual celebration of Zero Discrimination Day, which is primarily recognized by the United Nations and other international organizations.

The main objective of this observance is to foster a culture of equal treatment and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or any other characteristic.

This special day is aimed at promoting impartiality and equality both in theory and in practical implementation.

Also See: List of Important Days and Dates pdf with Themes and Key Points 2023

Zero Discrimination Day Meaning in Hindi

जीरो डिस्क्रिमिनेशन डे का अर्थ होता है ‘शून्य भेदभाव दिवस’। यह विशेष दिवस हर साल 1 मार्च को मनाया जाता है जो संयुक्त राष्ट्र (यूएन) और अन्य अंतरराष्ट्रीय संगठनों द्वारा आयोजित किया जाता है। इस दिन का मुख्य उद्देश्य समानता को बढ़ावा देना है ताकि सभी लोगों को उनके अधिकारों और अवसरों में समानता मिल सके। इस दिन को संयुक्त राष्ट्र के सदस्य राज्यों के सभी क्षेत्रों में लागू किया जाता है। 1 मार्च 2014 को, UNAIDS ने पहली बार शून्य भेदभाव दिवस मनाया।

Zero Discrimination Day Theme 2023

▪ Each year, the United Nations establishes a theme for Zero Discrimination Day, which is then promoted and embraced by all member nations in their respective territories.

▪ The themes of Zero Discrimination Days are designed to address prevalent issues related to prejudice or discrimination across the globe, regardless of any specific criteria.

Below are some of the themes of Zero Discrimination Day that have been observed in recent years:

2023: “Save lives: Decriminalise”

2022: “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day”

2021: “Zero Discrimination Against Women and Girls”

2020: “Changing Discriminatory Laws and Practices that Block People from Accessing Health and Other Life-Saving Services”

Zero Discrimination Day Logo and Symbol

The logo and Symbol for Zero Discrimination Day features a butterfly, which is often used by individuals to share their personal stories and visuals, aiming to eliminate discrimination and promote positive transformation.

Zero Discrimination Day Logo and Symbol

Zero Discrimination Day: History

On March 1, 2014, UNAIDS initiated and celebrated the first-ever Zero Discrimination Day.

This organization has been at the forefront of efforts to dismantle oppressive systems against individuals living with HIV/AIDS in UN member nations.

The day originally began as a campaign with the same name in December 2013. Michel Sidibé, who was then serving as the Executive Director, launched the occasion with a significant event in Beijing, where more than 30 business leaders pledged to eradicate workplace discrimination.

UNAIDS said, “Make some noise around zero discrimination, to speak up and prevent discrimination from standing in the way of achieving ambitions, goals, and dreams.”

The UNAIDS is known for its efforts to combat discrimination against individuals living with HIV/AIDS. In 2017, the UN Development Programme acknowledged and paid tribute to the members of the LGBTI community who are affected by HIV/AIDS and often face discriminatory treatment.

In 2015, Armenian Americans in California held a ‘die-in’ on Zero Discrimination Day to remember the victims of the Armenian genocide.

This day has been used by campaigners in India to draw attention to laws that promote discrimination against the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) community. Specifically, campaigners have focused on the Indian Penal Code’s Section 377, which was previously used to criminalize homosexuality in the country. However, this law was ultimately overturned by the Indian Supreme Court in September 2018, a significant victory for the LGBTI movement.

▪ Full Form - Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS
▪ Formation- 26 July 1994
▪ Type - Non-governmental organization
▪ Headquarters - Geneva, Switzerland
▪ Head -	UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima
▪ Parent organization - United Nations Economic and Social Council
▪ Objective of UNAIDS - UNAIDS aims to take charge, enhance, and assist in a broader approach towards tackling HIV and AIDS. This includes preventing the transmission of HIV, providing aid and support to those living with the virus, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV, and mitigating the impact of the epidemic.

Zero Discrimination Day: Objectives

Some of the major objectives of Zero Discrimination Day are to:

  • Raise awareness about the negative impact of discrimination on individuals and communities.
  • Advocate for policies and laws that promote equality and non-discrimination.
  • Promote a culture of respect and understanding for diversity.
  • Encourage individuals and communities to take action to reduce discrimination in all its forms.

Zero Discrimination Day: Significance

Numerous nations have inadequate justice systems and legal frameworks that have resulted in certain communities or groups being historically excluded from fundamental services and marginalized through disenfranchisement.

Such discrimination is based on a person’s faith, sexual orientation, gender, race, or income level.

Through Zero Discrimination Day and its corresponding movement, UNAIDS endeavors to increase awareness about biased laws and policies that deny individuals, their dignity, wealth, and power by subjecting them to marginalization.

Zero Discrimination Day Quotes

▪ “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” — Mahatma Gandhi

▪ “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” — Audre Lorde

▪ Wind does not discriminate—it touches everyone, everything. He liked that about wind.”
― Lish McBride

▪ “Our diversity is our strength. What a dull and pointless life it would be if everyone was the same.” – Angelina Jolie

▪ “Education, awareness, and prevention are key, but stigmatization and exclusion from family is what makes people suffer most.” — Ralph Fiennes

▪ “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

▪ “To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try” — Rosa Parks

▪ “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.” — Maya Angelou

▪ “HIV-related stigma and discrimination is pervasive and exists in almost every part of the world, including our Liberia” — Dr. Ivan F. Camanor, Chairman of the National AIDS Commission of Liberia

How to Celebrate Zero Discrimination Day

▪ There are various ways to promote the importance of ending discrimination and celebrating Zero Discrimination Day. Here are some ideas:

▪ Raise Awareness: Endeavor to raise awareness among people about the various forms of discrimination and their impact on individuals and communities. Share your knowledge and encourage others to join the campaign against discrimination.

Organize or participate in an event: Plan an event in your community to raise awareness about discrimination, such as a workshop, a panel discussion or a march. Alternatively, attend an event that is already being organized.

▪ Show your support on social media: Use social media platforms to share messages of support and encouragement to those who have been discriminated against. Use hashtags like #ZeroDiscrimination and #EndDiscrimination to spread the message.

▪ Supporting organizations: Take concrete action to end discrimination by supporting organizations working toward this goal, donating to their cause, or volunteering your time.

▪ Try to be an ally: Support individuals and groups facing discrimination by befriending them, listening to their experiences, and standing up for their rights.

Zero Discrimination Day Quiz

Q1. When is Zero Discrimination Day observed?
A. March 1
B. February 28
C. February 27
D. March 2

Answer –A. March 1

Q2 When was Zero Discrimination Day first observed?
A. 2009
B. 2015
C. 2014
D. 2020

Answer – C. 1March, 2014

Q3 Who is the founder of Zero Discrimination Day?
A. Michel Sidibe
B. Victor J. Clapham
C. Elizabeth Nyaruai
D. Peter Awoonor

Answer – D. Michel Sidibe

Q4. Which of the following groups of people are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and exclusion?
A. Refugees and migrants
B. LGBTIQ+ people
C. People living with HIV/AIDS
D. All of the above

Answer – D. All of the above

Q5. What is the theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2023?
A. Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls
B. Stand Out
C. Zero Discrimination against People Living with HIV/AIDS
D. Save Lives: Decriminalize

Answer – D. Save Lives: Decriminalize

Q6. What is the purpose of Zero Discrimination Day?
A. To raise awareness about discrimination
B. To promote equality and inclusion
C. To advocate for human rights
D. All of the above

Answer – D. All of the above

Q7. Who initiated Zero Discrimination Day?
A. United Nations
B. World Health Organization

Answer –A. United Nations

Q8. Which article of the Indian constitution abolishes untouchability?
A. 19
B. 17
C. 21
D. 27

Answer –B. 17

Q9. Which of the following are the criteria for discrimination?
A. Age
B. Race
C. Gender
D. All of the above

Answer –D. All of the above

Q10. When did India sign the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women?
A. 1980
B. 1913
C. 1978
D. 1985

Answer –A. 1980

Zero Discrimination Day in a Nutshell

Official NameZero Discrimination Day
Alsco called#zerodiscriminationday
Observed byUnited Nations (UN)
Type of the DayCultural
DateMarch 1
Related toUNAIDS, LGBT Pride
ObjectiveTo foster a culture of equal treatment and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or any other characteristic.
First celebrated onMarch 1, 2014
The day was launched byUNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What is the theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2023?

Answer: The theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2023 is Save lives: Decriminalise.

Q2. When is Zero Discrimination Day celebrated?

Answer: March 1st marks the annual celebration of Zero Discrimination Day

Q3. Why is Zero Discrimination Day celebrated?

Answer: The main objective of this observation is to develop a culture of equal treatment and opportunity for all individuals regardless of gender, race, religion or any other characteristics.

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