Thursday, March 21, 2024

''End The Stereotypes!'' - World Down Syndrome Day 2024

National Human Rights Day on Thursday, coincides with World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Down syndrome signifies the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome, and commonly results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics, or health.

PHOTO: World Down Syndrome Day website

According to the Down Syndrome South Africa Organisation, down syndrome affects about 1 in 500 births in the country. This means that approximately 1 in every 600 children is born with down syndrome, which is a high incidence rate.

The theme for 2024 is ''End the sterotypes.''

The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has called on South Africans to protect those with disabilities, from exploitation and abusive or degrading treatment.

“Government calls on South Africans to observe the day in line with the call made by the Bill of Rights that says: ‘The right to life is the most basic, the most fundamental, the most primordial and supreme right which human beings are entitled to have and without which the protection of all other human rights becomes either meaningless or less effective’.’’

“There are still many misconceptions about down syndrome and those who have it. Observing the day will dispel some of the common myths about down syndrome, including one that says children with down syndrome are born to older parents. We call on stakeholders and roleplayers to work together and bring about an attitudinal shift that will provide clarity to some of the myths.’’

“Persons with disabilities have the right to equal opportunities in all areas of life and have the right to be protected from exploitation and abusive or degrading treatment. They have the right to reasonable accommodation and environmental accessibility in the workplace. They have the right to live in a barrier-free environment and participate in community life,” concluded Dlamini-Zuma

You are also encouraged to wear mismatched socks or your craziest and most colourful socks, as part of Lots of socks campaign, and the idea is to start a conversation and raise awareness about those living with Down syndrome

Done By: Mitchum George

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