“It is easy to break down and destroy. Heroes are those who make peace and build.” Nelson Mandela
On July 18, the world celebrates Nelson Mandela Day. This is a day not only for honoring the former president of South Africa but for continuing his legacy of social justice, peace and human rights. This legacy is deeply rooted in his commitment to fighting inequality and carries on today.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, statesman and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997. During his life, Mandela fought for justice, democracy, and peace in many ways. It’s hard to imagine a righteous cause that he wasn’t involved in during his astounding career.
The United Nation proclaimed Nelson Mandela Day in 2009, four years before his death and in December 2015 - the General Assembly decides to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order 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 of particular importance. General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the "Nelson Mandela Rules" in order to honor the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above. Although not legally binding, these rules have been the basis for legislation and have influenced the fair treatment of prisoners around the world.
Barnard, Rita (2014). "Introduction". In Rita Barnard (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela.