Grassroots Efforts Driving Global Human Rights Movement
United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights, sponsored by the Church of Scientology, is empowering advocates to push for reforms worldwide
Empowerment and reforms were the focus of a global human rights education effort this month through concerts, marches, school programs and seminars in areas as diverse as Oregon, Italy, Burundi, Bangladesh and Brazil.
Spearheading the effort were two leading nonprofit advocacy groups, United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights International, both sponsored by the Church of Scientology as part of its efforts to draw attention to the critical importance of human rights worldwide.
Among the numerous activities inspired by the educational outreach was an initiative by one social work supervisor in Minneapolis. She ordered the United for Human Rights Education Package to introduce the 16 clinical social workers she mentors to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its application to their clients.
"These human rights materials make our education program so much more effective."
Other initiatives inspired by the programs include the following:
- In Burundi, a Youth for Human Rights Group sprang up under the leadership of an NGO that contacted Youth for Human Rights International. After reading about the group on its websites, they requested permission to officially launch Youth for Human Rights Chapters in their country.
- One university in Oregon contacted Youth for Human Rights International requesting permission to stream the group’s public service announcements at their extended campus. It also requested to stream and host the videos in a web-based Spanish course so students, teaching assistants, instructors and course development staff can use the materials in their educational activities.
- In Albania, two students who attended the 3rd annual Asian Human Rights Summit in Taiwan in May returned home ready to introduced a number of initiatives in their native country, learned from youth delegates from Taiwan, Nepal and Japan.
- In Bangladesh, the recently formed local Youth for Human Rights group organized and held workshops for more than 100 university students. Workshops for hundreds more are planned.
- The head of a foundation in Kitwe, Zambia, created an educational program called “Know your Rights” to be launched across that nation. The program intends to partner with churches, religious groups, cooperative societies and schools, and use the Youth for Human Rights materials to teach the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to youths and adults, with educators in at least 10 provinces volunteering to train with these materials.
- A lecturer with a Madagascar university ordered a set of United for Human Rights educational materials to use in his mentoring of a group of young people dedicated to peace and human rights.
- A graduate student in Nigeria wrote to United for Human Rights after receiving the group’s educational materials, expressing his own commitment to make sure that this message reaches his community. He plans to use them in his volunteer work, teaching an undergraduate human rights in world politics course and in a project to promote a culture of peace and human rights in secondary schools.
- In Brazil, a professor of sociology thanked United for Human Rights for the quality of its educational materials, which he said have made his human rights education program so much more effective.
- Four city councils in Italy used these materials in an event attended by the region’s primary school children and their grandparents. Called “From Roots to Wings,” the program involves the grandparents in activities to impart their wisdom to future generations.
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.
To learn more, visit Scientology.org/HumanRights.
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