"Save the child,and you save the nation."
L. Ron Hubbard
Founder of the Scientology Religion
Intolerance and bigotry have to be learned.
So too can human rights be instilled at an early age.
It is with our children, and educating them on human rights and the importance of diversity and tolerance, that a brighter future lies.
The need to honour and apply human rights, by both governments and individuals, cannot be understated. Yet very little education in this field is concentrated on the future, and on those who will need it most: our children.
Seeing this as an urgent need, Scientologist and educator Mary Shuttleworth, in coordination with the Church of Scientology International's Human Rights Office, founded Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) in August 2001. YHRI's mission is to teach youth around the globe about human rights, helping them to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.
Her first task was to find a way to present the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in a form that would be understandable to the very young. In March 2002 Youth for Human Rights released the booklet What Are Human Rights? containing a simplified version of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights written especially for children. Instantly popular with teachers, government officials, community and religious leaders, not to mention the children themselves, the work has already been translated into 19 languages.
One of the most exciting projects Youth For Human Rights has taken on is the production of UNITED, a music video with a moving human rights message. UNITED shows a handful of children fighting for their rights - and winning, not through violence, but in a spirit of friendship. Directed by 19-year-old Taron Lexton, the entire 150-strong multi-ethnic cast including well known TV and film personalities all donated their time and talent in the cause of human rights for youth. All told, 3,000 people took part in this production. The 5-minute film features cameo appearances from soul legend Isaac Hayes, movie actress Erica Christensen ("Traffic") and TV actresses Catherine Bell ("JAG"), Jenna Elfman ("Dharma and Greg"), and Lynsey Bartilson ("Grounded for Life").
UNITED has won praise from the Deputy Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in New York, who described the work as "Brilliant. An important contribution to human rights education."
If you want more information on Youth for Human Rights or would like to participate contribute to any of their programs please contact Mary Shuttleworth, the program's director at: YouthHumanRights@aol.com
- November 21, 2009: Scientology Churches Celebrate Children's Rights on 20th Anniversary of International Children's Day
- October 28, 2009: Scientology-Sponsored Youth Group Helps Prevent Death From Malaria for Congo Refugees
- October 15, 2006: Committee on the Rights of the Child Sees Human Rights Education is a Top Priority
- June 3, 2006: Youth For Human Rights International - Ghana Human Rights Tour
- December 21, 2005: San Diego Youth Group Takes on Gang Violence as a Human Rights Issue
- October 28, 2005: Youth for Human Rights International – Addressing the Major Human Rights Issues Affecting Youth
- October 27, 2005: Compassion for Children in Africa Everyone’s Duty
- October 20, 2005: October Marked the 2nd Annual International Youth Summit 2005
- August 23, 2005: Human Rights Watch Announces Photo Essay on Plight of Uganda Children
- August 12, 2005: Kofi Annan Calls for Real Change to Secure Human Rights for Youth
- July 28, 2005: Youth for Human Rights International Promoting Human Rights Education at Panafest 2005
- March 3, 2005: Human Rights Newspaper for Youth Hits London
- March 1, 2005: The Parental Consent Act of 2005