As 2008-named the 60th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-came to a close, Youth for Human Rights International, Artists for Human Rights and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology of Pasadena celebrated an increased awareness of the Declaration and committed to further expand their promotional activities in 2009.
As outlined by one speakers Mary Shuttleworth, the President of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI)l, a key tool that will be used to achieve this are YHRI’s 30 powerful Public Service Announcements depicting each of the articles of the Universal Declaration. Ms. Shuttleworth stated how the UN reports that more than a billion people on the planet are without clean water; 25 million with HIV/AIDS in Africa have no access to health care; and 121 million children are denied a basic education. “The time to act to enforce human rights is now,” she said.
Held at Pasadena’s historic Braley Building, award winning artist, Pomm Hepner, presented her painting We Believe in Peace to Mayor Bill Bogaard and the citizens of Pasadena. Currently on display in the United Nations, We Believe in Peace was created to raise awareness of the need for global human rights. The Consul Generals for Philippines, Bangladesh and Honduras also received the art piece which features a quote by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, “On the day when we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on earth.”
Actor and Artists for Human Rights spokesperson, Erika Christiansen (Traffic, The Upside of Anger, Flightplan) also spoke, describing the purpose of her organization and the need for artists to use their influence to support the fundamental rights for all.
Following the ceremony, all attendees signed a proclamation renewing their commitment to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Church of Scientology International, which has a 50-year track record in the defense of human rights, provides sponsorship to YHRI and produces the human rights tools that YHRI broadly distributes. The President of the Church of Scientology of Pasadena Eden Stein, stated, “We are pleased to host this celebration in our beautiful building so we can remind ourselves that 60 years ago, all member countries of the General Assembly of the United Nations signed this declaration and agreed to uphold human rights.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all member countries to publicize the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Los Angeles, USA, with chapters around the world. Its purpose is to educate youth about human rights so they become valuable advocates of tolerance and peace. YHRI not only works hands-on with youth, but also with parents, teachers and mentors.