The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Human Rights Day 2016. This year’s commemorations are running under the theme “Stand up for someone’s rights today”.
As the world continues to fight for a world where human rights are a reality, ZADHR remains firm in its fight for the realization of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health for all Zimbabweans.
On this day, ZADHR bemoans the many incidences of police brutality that occurred in the recent past months in Harare against peaceful demonstrators and elsewhere in violation of people’s freedoms to associate and assembly. ZADHR is further aggrieved by assaults targeted at journalist legally carrying out their professional duties and call upon the state to exercise restraint and respect the role of the media.
ZADHR contends that human rights can only be enjoyed in a peaceful environment where fundamental freedoms and liberties of the human person are unconditionally respected. Where freedom abounds, health is easily realized, conversely disease and ill-health are often rife in environments with conflict and repression of human rights. Failure to provide quality healthcare is in essence a denial of the human person’s dignity.
Commemorating the International Human Rights Day is therefore an opportunity for the government and all stakeholders to join hands; and evaluate and appraise each other on the challenges facing the health sector and come up with strategies to improve healthcare provision. ZADHR therefore calls for increased cooperation between the government, civil society, business and other stakeholders in the fight for the enjoyment of the right to health and the realisation of human rights in Zimbabwe. The right to health like all other human rights underpins human dignity and human existence.
Finally, ZADHR wishes to pay homage to all health professionals and human rights defenders who have stood out in defence of the rights of Zimbabweans.