Harlem Church of Scientology Hosts Youth for Human Rights’ Annual Summit

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At the United Nations

The Youth for Human Rights' 13th Annual International Summit was held over a three-day period beginning August 25 at the United Nations Headquarters; it culminated at the Harlem Scientology Community Center on Saturday, August 27th.

In attendance were Youth Ambassadors and Delegates from over 50 nations across the globe presenting their accomplishments over the last year in forwarding The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The highlight of Day 1 of the Summit was a video presentation featuring Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu congratulating the Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) on its vision and purpose in teaching the youth of the world about their human rights and inspiring them to become advocates of tolerance and peace.

He commended the YHRI on their programs and materials for their ease of use and comprehension, and for being "an excellent tool for human rights education".

The event Master of Ceremony was award-winning film maker Ronald Lang. Mr. Lang recently produced a film on human trafficking to start a movement against it by bringing awareness to this atrocious activity. Currently over 25 million people per year, including children, are being trafficked for slave labor, sex and organ harvesting. Ron said, “Human trafficking happens all over the world, even in my own backyard here in New York and we need to put an end to it.”

The final day of this International Summit was hosted at the Harlem Scientology Community Center where youth from all around the world came together to share accomplishments and ideas to further raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the coming year.

The event included entertainment by local artists, composed of a youth rapper, pop singer and Mariachi band.

Speakers included Carlyle Holder, the immediate past president of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ). Mr. Holder spoke on the current crisis of what he calls the “schools to prisons pipeline” plaguing our society and the fact that we are spending $70 billion to incarcerate our citizens each year. A cost equating to $30,000/year per prisoner versus our spending of only $10,000 per student each year on educating our youth.

In New York City alone, there were over 16,000 robberies, 1,400 rapes and 350 murders in 2015. Mr. Holder has increased awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by providing the materials to various groups to further increase awareness of Human Rights in their community.

The final statements were eloquently delivered by Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, the Community Mayor of Harlem. Her words of wisdom emphasized that the youth are the future and that no obstacle was too difficult to overcome achieving our goals. She said she has been reminded that the youth are not just our future, but "the youth are now".

At the end of the Summit members of the Youth Ambassadors, Delegates and several children from the neighborhood took a walk along 125th Street to read individuals their rights per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

When first asked “Do you know your human rights?” most people had no idea what they were. Ron Lang and a youth volunteer approached a young female vendor and asked her if she knew her rights.

She said she knows her Miranda rights but not her human rights. Ron said she continued to say that people don’t really take their rights seriously because they feel like their rights have already been violated throughout the years.

The volunteer then gave a copy of the free Youth for Human Rights booklet with the (30) Human Rights to the vendor and she immediately started reading the booklet. She then said, “wow, I really do have rights!”

Do you know your rights? www.YouthforHumanRights.org

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