Scientology: How We Help—Supporting Human Rights in South Asia
The first annual South Asia Regional Human Rights Summit has launched teams of young human rights advocates back to their homes in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka empowered with the knowledge and resources to raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Youth delegates and their mentors from countries throughout Southern Asia convened in Chennai, India, February 27 to March 3, 2013, for the first South Asia Regional Human Rights Summit, part in the 10th annual Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour.
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) youth delegates traveled four days by train from Nepal and by bus from Uttar Pradesh, the northernmost state in India. Others flew in from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for the regional summit, an outgrowth of the International Human Rights Summit cosponsored each year by Youth for Human Rights International and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International.
Since 2004, annual Human Rights Summits have been held in Brussels, the official seat of the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council; Geneva, home of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council; and at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Summit participants learn particularly of violations of the human rights of youth: children and teens are subjected to bullying, forced to become child soldiers, or sold into heavy labor or sexual trafficking. According to the UNESCO Director-General, “Half of the world’s population is under 25. The challenges they face are steep. They are hardest hit by the world’s inequalities and injustices. Too many live in poverty, unable to realize their potential. Too few are gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to find employment in rapidly changing job markets, where the capacity to learn and adapt is essential.”
Youth for Human Rights International empowers youth through educational resources that bring the subject of human rights to life. Regional summits are designed to make it possible for many youth delegates, unable to travel to distant venues, to attend, network, learn skills and formulate plans to advance human rights education, thus forwarding the goal of widespread education and full implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document, in their countries.
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 Church of Scientology published Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights: Making Human Rights a Global Reality, to meet requests for more information about the human rights education and awareness initiative the Church supports. To learn more, visit Scientology.org/HumanRights.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” and the Scientology religion is based on the principles of human rights. 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.”