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Press Statement Commemorating International Day For Tolerance
16 November 2019
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) joins the world in commemorating the International Day for Tolerance. This is a day set aside by the United Nations on 16 November to affirm the commitment to strengthening tolerance through encouraging mutual understanding for different cultures and peoples.
On the occasion of the International Day of Tolerance, the Forum, a broad coalition of human rights organisation in Zimbabwe, officially launches the tolerance campaign.
Our 2018 State of Human Rights report launched on 15 October 2019 documents high level intolerance leading an increase in the violation of human rights. In the New Deception Report released in August 2019 records a shocking increase in civilian violence. While we note that most of the violations documented are cases of organised violence, the participation of individuals and the rise in hate speech indicates dangerous levels of intolerance.
In launching the tolerance campaign, our main is to promote a culture of respect for one another and appreciation of diversity and inclusion.
Through a society that is tolerant, diversity is a feature that benefits all through inclusion in political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for equality rights and freedom from discrimination which essentially can be achieved through tolerance. Inherently, tolerance has the benefit of ensuring peaceful nations and societies in line with preventing violent extremism and conflict.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Declaration of Principles on Tolerance defines tolerance in Article 1 as respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our worlds cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is above all else, an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others.
For purposes of development, tolerance promotes peace, justice and strong institutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. Through tolerance, a community develops.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, leaders will have to give clear and decisive leadership towards a world of tolerance and respect for difference, and an uncompromising commitment to peaceful solutions of conflicts and disputes. No society can grow and prosper without tolerance. The Forum urges everyone across cultures and races from individuals to government entities to exercise tolerance for human rights and development.
The Forum, as a broad coalition of diverse human rights groups, takes this opportunity to encourage tolerance as a lifestyle that when well lived, fosters a culture of human rights.

About The Forum

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) is a coalition of twenty-two human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe. The Forum’s activities include transitional justice work, research and documentation, and public interest litigation. Learn more about us.

© 2023. Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.