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Human Rights Newspaper for Youth Hits London

Young members of Youth for Human Rights International in Johannesburg, South Africa

Young members of Youth for Human Rights International in Johannesburg, South Africa

March 3, 2005

Youth for Human Rights International News (YHRI News) hits the streets in London this week. The newspaper aims to encourage youth to become involved in human rights initiatives through learning about human rights from other youth.

It is being distributed as part of Independent Local Newspapers, a series of eight titles that go to tens of thousands in upmarket streets, squares, residences and through newsagents in London.

Editor Alexis Matthes is 14-years-old. In her editorial, she encourages other young people to email her on what they are doing for human rights. “I would like to thank all the people in this world who are spreading human rights,” she says. “Even the little things count.”

The March edition of the new monthly newspaper features a human rights youth summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa, a 15-year-old who travelled to Sri Lanka to help tsunami survivors and “YHRI member of the Month” Natasha Jain from India.”

Natasha, 13-years-old, has already been introduced to the nation’s president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to whom she recited a youth version of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, learned by heart for the occasion. The president was so impressed he had his photo taken with Natasha, who has been interviewed by several newspapers and recently appeared on an Indian TV station that airs to 80 million people.

A few weeks ago, she also spoke to the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who asked her to keep him informed of her human rights actions. She now runs a course on human rights for other youth in her native New Delhi.

London was chosen as the first distribution point for the newspaper because of its international character: More than 300 languages are spoken in the city. Distribution in other key cities is planned.

Youth for Human Rights International was founded in 2001 by a member of the Church of Scientology in coordination with the Church’s Human Rights Department at the mother church in Los Angles. Copies of YHRI news can be viewed on YHRI’s website at

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