French Scientologists Celebrate
UN Human Rights Year of Learning
Scientology volunteers across France are concluding the United Nations International Year of Human Rights Learning and celebrating Human Rights Day 2009 after a year of weekly human rights education events in Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Vannes, Clermont-Ferrand, and Nice. The young activists dedicated more than 5,000 man-hours to the cause and estimate they promoted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a document drafted by a UN Committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1948 to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, to more than 48,000 people in France in 2009.
In addition to gaining support from individuals for human rights education through petition drives, the youth distributed human rights booklets at music concerts, discussed actions to counter racial discrimination on a radio program and created their own song and dance performances to call attention to the UDHR article on Freedom of Expression. The volunteers also supported UN General-Secretary Ban Ki Moon’s call for a global ceasefire on the International Day of Peace, by distributing booklets at the Esplanade des Droits de l’Homme (Esplanade of Human Rights) where a monument commemorates the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration.
“Human rights are something everyone needs to know,” said one volunteer. “That way you make sure everybody’s human rights are respected, including your own.”