Leaders and Civil Society Honor 10th Youth for Human Rights Day

Washington D.C.
10 June 2013


The flag of the United States of America waved over Capitol Hill in honor of the 10th Youth for Human Rights Day celebration honored by governors, senators and mayors as well as ambassadors to foreign countries.

The Mayor of Los Angeles proclaimed Youth for Human Rights Day for the City of Los Angeles in 2004. Every year since then, more and more dignitaries such as mayors, governors and senators have joined in promoting Youth for Human Rights Day for their constituents acknowledging progress made while highlighting the need for Human Rights Education.

President of Youth for Human Rights International, Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, explained, "Too many young lives have been lost through bullying and child abuse. Children must know their rights and have the courage to report abuses. Too early to teach human rights? Please don't be too late!"

The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace.

This 10th YHRI-Day celebration, was coordinated by Niko Papaheraklis, President of the YHRI Washington DC Chapter, and YHRI Ambassador, Susan Monaghan, and hosted by the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington D.C.

The event was as dynamic as it was diverse. From youth to adults, non-profit groups to distinguished dignitaries including ambassadors for countries packed the hall. There was never a dull moment. Our spectacular performances ranged from the talented Greek singer, Sofia Keramari, to our prodigal youth performers - steel drummer Alex (age 7), singers Kianna and Alysia (ages 11 and 12) - and our gifted emcee, Audra, (age 10).

His Excellency Hubert John Charles, Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, spoke on migration and human rights from a Dominican perspective. Shirin Nariman, Executive Director of Human Rights & Democracy International, addressed the need for Human Rights Education. The awardees included Dottie Laster, CEO of Laster Global Consulting, for her valuable work in raising awareness about Human Trafficking and the new Ruth Villatoro documentary, "The Cantinera" (Cantineradocumentary.com). Judith Lahai, CEO of Family Empowerment Services, was acknowledged for outstanding work especially in relation to HIV/AIDS.

Proclamations and recognitions acknowledging Youth for Human Rights Day were received from:

  • Governor Martin O'Malley of the State of Maryland
  • Governor Jay Inslee of the State of Washington
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein of California
  • Congresswoman Maxine Waters of Los Angeles
  • Congressman Mike Honda of San Jose
  • Congresswoman Janice Hahn of Compto
  • Congresswoman Linda Sánchez of Los Angeles
  • Congressman Henry Waxman of Santa Monica
  • Congresswoman Karen Bass of Los Angeles
  • Congresswoman Doris Matsui of Sacramento
  • Senator Curren Price of Los Angeles
  • Senator Carol Liu of Glendale
  • Assemblyman Steven Bradford of Inglewood
  • Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Burbank
  • Assemblyman Chris Holden of Pasadena
  • Assemblyman Isadore Hall of Los Angeles
  • Mayor Vincent C. Gray of the District of Columbia
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of the City of Los Angeles
  • Mayor James T. Butts of the City of Inglewood
  • Mayor Annise D. Parker of the City of Houston
  • Mayor Frank Quintero of the City of Glendale
  • Mayor Dave Golonski of the City of Burbank
  • Mayor Bob Buckhorn of the City of Tampa
  • Mayor Steven T. Placido of the City of Alhambra
  • Mayor Larry R. Nelson of the City of Artesia
  • Los Angeles City Council member Bernard Parks
  • Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry

YHRI continues to expand Human Rights Education teaching human rights and responsibilities through easy to use and easy to understand materials. Educators are encouraged to order complimentary copies of our materials from our websites.

Youth Delegates are now preparing to discuss important issues with dignitaries, officials, educators and community leaders, focusing on the vital role of Human Rights Education, during this year's upcoming annual YHRI International Human Rights Summit to be held in Brussels from September 6th to the 8th, 2013 (www.HumanRightsSummit.eu).