Thursday is World Zero Discrimination Day. On this day, the United Nations (UN) urges countries and governments to change laws that are discriminatory.

According to the UNAIDS in many countries there are still laws that result in people being treated differently.

They are excluded from receiving essential services or subjected to undue restrictions on how to live their lives, simply because of who they are.

The UN’s representative in South Africa, Mbulawa Mugabe, says such laws violate people’s human rights.

“I think for South Africa, this is important because the country has one of the renowned and progressive Constitution’s based on a number of grounds – race, age, sexual orientation among others. And also the Constitution recognizes for instance same sex marriages and this is unique in Africa.”

Mugabe adds: “But even though we have these laws in the statute books, we also know that in reality, we know that there’s discrimination in fact including violence against, for instance LGBTI community, men having sex with men and in fact even people who inject drugs. So these are some of the problematic areas that we are seeking to address.”