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by Chad Andro
Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2010 at 3:29 PM
TAMPA BAY, FLORIDA - Every year 19 million youth flee their own country, seeking somewhere else that’s safe to live. Over 70% of them never make it. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. This is the message Youth for Human Rights International portrays in their PSA to help others understand Human Right # 14, “The Right to Seek a Safe Place to Live”, for creating awareness on United Nations Refugee Day, and every other day.
There are estimated 25,000 refugees entering Florida each year. There were 4,800 Cuban Refugees entering the United States in 2009, and an additional 3,351 Cuban Refugees have come into the US to date in 2010. Youth for Human Rights Florida, a chapter of the international organization, carries this message to educate others that everyone needs a safe place to live, but took it a step farther. The members joined a small group of Florida students dedicated to making a big difference in the world, in the student-created program, “Erase Genocide” and sent President Obama an envelope full of erasers asking him to take steps to “Erase Genocide”. As President Obama said, “We can't say 'never again' and then allow it to happen... I don't intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to the slaughter,” we wanted to see a change.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refuges (UNHCR) declared the 2010 theme, “Home”, in recognition of the more than 40 million uprooted people around the world, with an estimated 10 million of them are refugees of special concern to UNHCR. Youth for Human Rights President Dustin McGahee said, “Many of us across the world take our home for granted. And some teenagers actually leave home as they feel it is not a good place. Contrary to that, millions of kids who are refugees would love to have a home, and some risk their lives for that right.”
Refugees have many of their human rights violated. Last year for Refugee Day Youth for Human Rights Florida members sponsored the refugee camp, Bakavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with mosquito nets to prevent malaria, via the Nothing But Nets program. The group put into practice, Human Right #25, “Food and Shelter for All”. This year, with the erasers and letter sent to The President of the United States of America, again, they are working to make a change for people’s human rights.
Youth for Human Rights Florida is a secular non-profit organization with the mission to educate about Human Rights both in and out of the classroom. The uniqueness of the program lies in the educational materials created in collaboration with the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International. Its founder L. Ron Hubbard in fact stated: “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream”. Their educational materials include youth-designed video of the 30 Human Rights according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with a documentary, “The Story of Human Rights”, booklets and an educator’s guide.
For more information go to: www.youthforhumanrights.org
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