Scientology Churches Call For End To Discrimination On Human Rights Day

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Youths in 40 Nations Speak Up for Human Rights, United Nations Declaration

When young people hear about hate crimes and discrimination happening in their areas, they want to take action and speak out

Thousands of youths in more than 40 nations, representing the Church of Scientology and the humanitarian group Youth for Human Rights International, organized and participated in Human Rights Walks, educational forums and interactive seminars December 10 in observance of the 62nd anniversary of 1948 ratification of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Centered on “Speak Up, Stop Discrimination” which is this year’s United Nations theme for Human Rights Day, events ran the gamut from a forum on human trafficking in Pasadena, California, to Walks for Human Rights in over 30 countries to seminars on basic human rights in Pakistan.

Those walking for human rights handed out thousands of Youth for Human Rights booklets that present the 30 articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration in words anyone can understand.

“When young people hear about hate crimes and discrimination happening in their areas, they want to take action and speak out,” says Tracie Morrow, Human Rights Youth Coordinator for the Church of Scientology International. “How can they be silent when they witness bullying in their own school or read about an imam attacked in New York solely because of his religion or an Ecuadorian immigrant murdered by a mob in a heinous hate crime?”

Morrow pointed to the State of Chiapas in Mexico as an example of what can be accomplished with human rights work. When a national survey by the Secretary of Education of Mexico found that 50 percent of high school students in Chiapas admitted to discriminating against others in school, a human rights violation, the government decided to take effective action on the issue. With information provided by Youth for Human Rights of Mexico, the state ratified a change to their constitution to include the full 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and make human rights education in school mandatory.

“The first Mexican state to take this step, Chiapas is setting an example for Mexico and the rest of the world,” says Morrow.

The Mexico Ministry of Education followed the Chiapas lead and printed 10,000 copies of YHRI’s booklet “What are Human Rights?” to mark Human Rights Day. International Human Rights Day events by Churches of Scientology and Youth for Human Rights were held on six continents, in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, UK, USA and Zambia.

The Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology is a proud supporter of Youth for Human Rights International – a secular nonprofit organization founded in 2001. YHRI’s purpose is to provide young people human rights education, specifically the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so they become advocates for peace and tolerance.

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Karin Pouw, Public Affairs