Circling the Globe Once More in the Name of Human Rights
Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour sets out for the 16th time. The goal: to make human rights a fact by raising awareness and understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“I believe in the incredibly powerful tool of education in effecting change,” says Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, President of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) in an episode of Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network.
She has visited some 90 countries in the name of human rights. And since 2004, on 15 annual tours, she has inspired government officials, civic leaders, nongovernmental organizations and educators to bring human rights education to the youth of their countries because the first step to achieving human rights for all is understanding what these rights are.
Shuttleworth believes in meeting with people in their own countries to observe the issues and challenges that they face firsthand and encourage and contribute to their efforts. The first of these tours took place when she was invited by several government officials, religious leaders and educators to come to their countries. And her first world tour proved to her this was a vital activity as she realized two things: that people from diverse levels of society and religious and educational backgrounds agree with the concepts expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And that they did not know these rights.
“It’s not a question of what it will cost to teach human rights but what it would cost not to.”—Dr. Mary Shuttleworth
On each tour, Shuttleworth meets with heads of state, UN officials, religious and community leaders and educators. She gains an understanding of the issues in each country by visiting schools, shelters, and orphanages. She attends and organizes conferences and establishes partnerships and affiliated groups and chapters in each location she visits.
The 16th annual tour, which launched February 22, is visiting 10 countries:
- South Africa
- The United States
The Youth for Human Rights World Tour will be featured at the following conferences:
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination conference at the headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva
- 7th Youth for Human Rights Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Taiwan
- 5th Youth for Human Rights Latin American Regional Conference in Mexico
- The U.S. National Youth for Human Rights Conference in Washington D.C.
- 7th Youth for Human Rights South Asia Regional Human Rights Conference in Nepal
She plans to meet with officials of the African Union, UN ambassadors, national human rights commissions, and ministers of justice and education in various countries.
Dr. Shuttleworth believes the importance of human rights cannot be overemphasized.
“It’s not a question of what it will cost to teach human rights,” she says, “but what it would cost not to.”
For more information on Youth for Human Rights and the history of the YHRI World Educational Tour, watch “Shining a Light on Human Rights,” an episode of Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network, or visit the website of Youth for Human Rights International.
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