Can Human Rights Education Reverse Japan Teen Bullying?
To counter teen bullying and its consequences, Scientology-supported human rights group introduces young Japanese martial arts students to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
With nearly 200,000 cases of school bullying reported in 2012, and bullying seen as a factor in a teen suicide  in January 2014, volunteers from Youth for Human Rights are working with Japanese schools to foster tolerance and understanding and reverse underlying attitudes that endanger Japanese youth.
Investigation into a recent teen suicide in Yamagata Prefecture found that before the young girl took her life, more than 100 of her classmates knew she was being bullied .
Bullying infringes against the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including Article 1: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood;” and Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written in 1948, surveys indicate most people have a limited understanding of their rights and the rights of others. The Youth for Human Rights What Are Human Rights booklet and public service announcements present these fundamental rights in terms youth can easily understand, bringing each of these 30 articles vividly to life.
Youth for Human Rights volunteers use these materials to conduct seminars and classes in Japanese schools such as a recent program for 143 young Judo students at a Kanagawa Prefecture elementary school.
The youngsters not only gained an understanding of their rights, they also learned about their responsibility to defend the rights of others. At the end of the program, students wrote their personal messages on a human rights pledge, showing how they plan to apply what they learned in the seminar.
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.
The Church of Scientology has published a brochure, 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 www.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.”