Last June, the Church of Scientology and Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI)
released a series of public service announcements to bring to life the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 30 or 60-second video spots.
Appealing to young and old, these powerful PSAs have now aired on more
than 2,200 TV stations, to 280 million people in 60 countries around
the world. They have also been playing in colleges, movie theatres,
concerts and cable stations throughout New England.
To spread its message further, YHRI representatives embarked on a world
tour covering 60,000 miles last July and August. The tour, “30 Days-30
Events-30 Rights,” began and ended in Los Angeles and visited Canada,
eight countries in Europe, seven in Asia as well as Australia, New
Zealand and the Fiji Islands. Events were held in each country, where
YHRI met with government leaders and officials, human rights
organizations, educators, media, students, religious groups and youth
“The keynote of our campaign is education,” stated Gerard Renna “A
young person who understands his human rights is starting life with the
right values. He will treat people with respect, and he will not
tolerate violations of these rights. By teaching youth about human
rights, we are creating a generation of human rights activists.”
Additionally 2006 saw the launch of the Human Rights Hero Awards in
countries all over the world to recognize outstanding achievements in
the promotion of human rights. Local winners were also awarded in
Boston and a New England delegation attended the New York event last
August. The awards culminated in an international ceremony held in the
United Nations headquarters in New York last August. Awardees ranged
from a former Army colonel from Uganda who is spearheading activities
to bring an end to the use of child soldiers, to a 12-year-old student
in Israel who has taken it upon himself to educate his entire school
using the YHRI educational tools.
The Church’s Human Rights Department and YHRI have continued to tackle
one of the worst human rights abuses-human trafficking. Now a $9.5
billion a year criminal enterprise, it is the fastest growing with an
estimated 600,000 to 800,000 victims trafficked across international
borders, according to a United Nations news statement of November 2005.
Several human trafficking conferences were held or participated in last
year, and YHRI also produced an informational flyer about human
trafficking for children.
“Working hand in hand with other human rights organizations, we plan to
increase public awareness of this appalling human rights abuse. We
cannot allow slavery in the 21st century,” said Gerard Renna.
By the close of 2006, 80 Youth for Human Rights groups or chapters
existed in 36 countries. The New England chapter is directed by Kelly
Riley, a professional singer/songwriter who volunteers her time to help
get out this important message and get Youth for Human Rights clubs
For more information about starting a chapter you can visit Ms. Riley’s
website http://youth-rights.blogspot.com or
For more information, contact Gerard Renna at 617-266-3841 or Kelly Riley at Kelly-riley(at)usa.net.