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Scientology: Helping Secure the Human Rights of Political Refugees

Human Rights seminar hosted by the National Church of Scientology of Spain trained a corps of political refugees to deliver human rights education.


Recognizing the challenges faced by political refugees, the National Church of Scientology of Spain in Madrid hosted a human rights training program to educate them on their rights.

Ivan Arjona, Director of the Church of Scientology European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights conducted the seminar.
Ivan Arjona, Director of the Church of Scientology European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights, conducted the seminar.

Conducted by Ivan Arjona, Director of the Church of Scientology European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights, the program was organized by la Fundación para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad (Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society) in coordination with Asociación FOARE, a nonprofit that helps political refugees in Spain, and Fundacion VIDA, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) with consultive status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 

The seminar educated attendees on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Although adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948 as the international standard of human rights, the UDHR bears no force of law. For example, Article 14 of the UDHR states, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Yet in recent years, record numbers of refugees seeking asylum have taxed countries throughout Europe to cope with the influx and polarized various nations in their reaction to the situation.

Using the educational materials of Youth for Human Rights (YHR), by the end of the daylong seminar, those attending had not only gained a better understanding of their own rights, they also realized how simple and vital it is to share this knowledge with others. 

All attendees were given a set of the Youth for Human Rights materials and many committed to educating others and were presented with the YHR Educator Package that contains every element they need to conduct this training.

The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support United for Human Rights and its program for young people, Youth for Human Rights. These groups 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 Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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