Scientology Churches Celebrate Children's Rights on 20th Anniversary of International Children's Day
November 21, 2009
Scientology Churches and their members, from Australia to Zimbabwe and Canada to the Ukraine celebrate the rights of children by demanding action by private citizens and governments on International Children’s Day. Twenty years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet millions of children still die each year from preventable causes.
· If the Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees freedom from want, why do almost 16,000 children die of malnutrition—one child every five seconds?
· If children have the right to life, why did nearly 10 million children die in 2006 before they reached their fifth birthday?
· Why did an estimated 2 million children lose at least one parent to AIDS in southern Africa in 2003, a number expected to rise to 18 million in the year 2010?
· Why have an estimated 20 million children been forced to flee their homes because of conflict and human rights violations?
· How could 10,000 children be killed or maimed last year by landmines? Why have more than 2 million children died and 6 million been permanently disabled or seriously injured through armed conflicts?
· How come 300,000 boys and girls under the age of 18 have been pressed into service as child soldiers?
· And why do one million children suffer from sexual exploitation every year?
Churches of Scientology believe the answer lies with each of us, that only when people know their rights and freedoms will they insist on their enforcement, not only for themselves but for others.
That is why Scientology Churches partner with Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) and United for Human Rights (UHR) in distributing the documentary The Story of Human Rights.
Released in June 2009 The Story of Human Rights is an educational tour de force, making the subject of human rights, its history and ramifications understandable to a very broad audience, used to getting their information as entertainment in this multimedia age. The film lays the responsibility for implementing human rights where it belongs—with each one of us, to fight for our own rights and the rights of others.
The Story of Human Rights explains that although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, “…it did not have the force of law. It was optional. And despite many more documents, conventions, treaties and laws, it is still little more than words on a page.”
The film ends with a hard-hitting appeal to the individual: “Those who fight today against torture, poverty and discrimination are not giants or superheroes. They are people—kids, mothers, fathers, teachers—free-thinking individuals who refuse to be silent, who realize that human rights are not a history lesson, they’re not words on a page, they’re not speeches or commercials or PR campaigns. They are the choices we make every day as human beings. They are the responsibility we all share, to respect each other, to help each other and to protect those in need.”
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard once wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.” Understanding human rights is the first step in bringing this about.
To sign a petition to mandate human rights education in schools in your country or to watch The Story of Human Rights online, visit www.humanrights.com. To learn more about the human rights education initiative of the Church of Scientology, visit the Scientology site.