Most youths in Matabeleland North say they are unaware of most of their basic human rights in the Zimbabwean constitution.
This came out during the belated International Human Rights Day commemorations held at Lukona Primary School, Ward 19, Bubi which were organised by Habakkuk Trust on Thursday.
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10 and this year’s theme is ‘Youths standing up for human rights’.
Speaking during the commemorations Habakkuk Trust Programmes Manager Khumbulani Maphosa urged young people to be well informed about their rights so they can know when they are infringed upon.
“It is very important for youths to know their rights so that when your right is being infringed upon you can do something about it,” said Maphosa.
He also urged community members not to hide crimes and human rights abuses that happen in their area and should report such cases to the police.
“Rape is a serious crime and when someone commits such a crime go to the police and report do not hide such crimes,” he said.
“We have some rights that can be infringed but do not require someone to be arrested so it is advised that you should go to the relevant authorities like the headman and chief to report.”
Speaking to CITE, Buhle Ncube said the only right she knew about was right to life and education because that is what she was taught at school.
“I know that I have the right to life and education because our teachers told us about those rights but I am shocked to know that I have a lot more rights that I am unaware of,” said Ncube.
“I did not know what I could do if someone infringes my rights, for example, the right to health but since Habakkuk Trust has taught us, I now know I can go to the police to report,” she said.
Another youth said this event is a good initiative but they wish such things could be done more frequently.
“I wish such events were not a once-off, we need to learn more about our rights,” said Nhlalo Moyo.