8 October 2010
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), Founder Mary Shuttleworth, Ed.D, joined government officials, diplomats and representatives of other NGOs at a conference hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—the largest regional security organization in the world.
Addressing the assembly, which gathered in Warsaw, Poland, Dr. Shuttleworth urged the representatives of the 56 OSCE states to mandate human rights education in their countries. “Youth for Human Rights International was started because surveys showed that people in countries around the world, including Europe, did not know what their human rights are,” said Shuttleworth. “The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as set forth by the United Nations in 1948.”
She then touched on the challenges that YHRI has encountered in its efforts to raise awareness of human rights. “As a non-governmental organization,” she said, “YHRI has faced difficulties mainly due to opposition from those with vested interests, who thrive in a cesspool of discrimination and ignorance. As stated by the United Nations in 1948, government support is needed to realize the goals of human rights education.”
Once again, Dr. Shuttleworth stressed the urgency of universal mandates for human rights education. “The mandate would give the legal structure to muzzle instigators of discrimination and facilitate obtaining resources for human rights education …ultimately facilitating peace and stability.”
Youth for Human Rights International has reached more than 50 million people to date through its series of award-winning videos and additional educational materials designed to enlighten young and old alike on their fundamental rights, and to fight human rights abuse through broad scale educational initiatives.