For Immediate Release

Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Hosts Human Rights Day Forum and Awards Ceremony

Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., hosted the Youth for Human Rights International Human Rights Forum and released the new publication, Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights: Making Human Rights a Global Reality.

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In observance of UN Human Rights Day December 10 and the 64th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office and Youth for Human Rights International co-hosted the Youth for Human Rights International Human Rights Day Forum at Fraser Mansion in Washington, D.C. The Forum focused on human rights issues at home and abroad.

Jesse Morrow, Social Reform Director of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, led the forum and presented an overview of the Church’s human rights activities, the work of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in support of human rights, and the Church’s history as an outspoken advocate of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He released a new publication, Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights: Making Human Rights a Global Reality. The brochure was published by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the human rights initiative the Church supports.

Andrea Powell, co-founder and executive director of FAIR Girls, an international organization that helps free victims of sexual trafficking, described the work of her organization and spoke of violations of Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.” She and FAIR Girls Services Coordinator, Asia Graves, a survivor of sexual trafficking, brought home the point to those attending that human trafficking, which many believe occurs only in distant lands, occurs in cities throughout America including Washington, D.C.

Dr. David Simmons, adjunct professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center spoke about Article 21 of the UDHR: “1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”

Also speaking were Kwame Fosu, Policy Director at the Rebecca Project for Human Rights; Daniel Bradley, CEO of Dreams Works Inc.; and Niko Papaheraklis, National President of Youth for Human Rights International.

The event concluded with the presentation of the Youth for Human Rights International Human Rights Hero Award for 2012 to Andrea Powell and FAIR Girls. The award is presented annually to individuals whose work represents the vision set forth by Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights in its drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In her speech to the United Nations General Assembly on the 10th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Roosevelt said: “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home—so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.…Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

For more information on the human rights program supported by the Church of Scientology, visit the Scientology Website.

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L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.” The Code of a Scientologist calls on all members of the religion to dedicate themselves “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”

Scientologists on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document.

CONTACT:
Church of Scientology Media Relations
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