Human Rights Day 2011: Church of Scientology Spearheading Human Rights Education 

Civic, religious and community leaders met at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office April 5 to celebrate Youth for Human Rights Day.

April 5 is Youth for Human Rights Day and no better place to commemorate the occasion than at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. The Office was opened in September 2012 at Fraser Mansion in D.C.’s Dupont Circle to facilitate implementation of the Church of Scientology-supported humanitarian and social betterment programs both nationally and internationally.

The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International, which is supported by the Church of Scientology, is to inspire youth to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace through education in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The capability of these youth advocates was evident throughout the event with entertainment provided by talented young musicians and singers age 7 – 12 including a stunning performance by a 7-year-old steel drum virtuoso of “Mediation on the First Prelude of S. Bach” by Charles Gounod.

Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, President of Youth for Human Rights International, just returned from the 10th annual Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour through Mexico, Jamaica, Switzerland, Russia, India, Taiwan and South Africa, was the evening’s keynote speaker.

Niko Papaheraklis, President of Youth for Human Rights D.C., provided an overview of his organization’s work, including their distribution of more 11,000 human rights educational booklets on Presidential Inauguration Day 2013.

Special guest speakers included His Excellency Hubert John Charles, Ambassador of Dominica to the United States; Dottie Laster, immigration attorney certified by the Department of Justice to train law enforcement officers on the issue of human trafficking; Judith Lahai, Founder and CEO of Family Empowerment Services and Co-Founder of Saving Lives Through Alternate Options; and Shirin Nariman, Executive Director of Human Rights & Democracy International, Inc.

The event was crowned with an awards presentation by Dr. Shuttleworth who bestowed the Youth for Human Rights Award of Excellence on Judith Lahai and the 2013 Human Rights Hero Award on Dottie Laster.

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 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 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.”