In 2009, the United Nations set aside July 18 – Nelson Mandela’s birthday – to celebrate the human rights lawyer, prisoner of conscience, international peacemaker and first president of a free South Africa.
The Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated to recognise Mandela’s values and dedication to conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children, as well as the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice.
On this day, people are encouraged to make a difference in their communities by taking action and inspiring change.
This was widely respected and displayed on social media in honour of the anti-apartheid hero and freedom fighter.
South Africans dedicate 67 minutes on Nelson Mandela Day in service to humanity. This signifies Mandela’s 67 years of human rights campaign.
The city of Johannesburg called on its residents to spend their 67 minutes to pick up litter from any street.
In 2015, the U.N. extended the scope of Mandela Day to to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service.
This was the focus of the message from the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, on Nelson Mandela Day.
“Prisoners remain part of society; they deserve respect, they warrant dignity, and they demand human rights,” he said.
UNODC (@UNODC) July 18, 2017
Hundreds of people in Cape Town embarked on a walk marking Mandela Day and the launch of the Walk Together campaign led by The Elders group founded by Mandela.
Below are some reactions to this years Nelson Mandela Day
MBS (@KoinangeJeff) July 18, 2017