New Public Service Announcements Instill New Life Into Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Students in a school in Accra attend a human rights education workshop, held by the Ghana Chapter of Youth for Human Rights International, with the guest speaker, International Development Director of Youth for Human Rights International.
With this week’s unveiling of thirty new TV public service announcements (PSAs)—each illustrating one of the 30 Articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights—Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International are stepping up their grass-roots efforts to make human rights an everyday reality. Translated in 17 languages, the PSAs are part of a global effort to promote the fundamental principles set forth in the Universal Declaration around the world. The new PSAs are a unique educational tool in part inspired by YHRI’s award-winning UNITED music video (TXL Films). UNITED has won twelve film festival awards, including at the International Gandhi Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain.
“The PSAs are something entirely new,” said Taron Lexton, the 22-year-old director of UNITED and the new PSAs. “They bring to life the very human rights you actually have right now.”
Some 450 actors and actresses appear in the messages. The time and effort involved in shoots was equivalent to what it takes to shoot a full, feature-length film. Five months of postproduction followed and, in the end, the thirty PSAs were produced—from start of scripting to finish—in seven months.
“The release of these PSAs constitutes a breakthrough for the teaching, preservation and advancement of human rights for all people everywhere,” said the Church of Scientology International’s Human Rights Director.
The need for broad-scale human rights education could not be more urgent. Across the globe today, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year as a commodity for exploitative labor or sex slavery, over 300,000 child soldiers—some as young as 8—are exploited in armed conflicts at any given time, and 115 million primary school-aged youth are out of school. Through these audiovisual presentations and other educational tools, Youth for Human Rights International seeks to reach millions of people to raise awareness and bring about global change.