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Combating Bullying International Day In Support of Victims of Torture

by Chad Andro Sunday, Jul. 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM

The United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed to remind people that human torture is unacceptable – and in many cases it is also a crime. On this day attention mostly goes to victims of war, prison and violent crimes, in countries of unrest predominately known for human rights violations. Youth for Human Rights Florida President Dustin McGahee points out that bullying is a form of torture here in the United States and across the globe, and a violation of Human Right #5, No Torture.

In England, a child is a victim of a violent attack every 20 seconds, with official statistics showing 1,719,000 under-16s were assaulted last year. Youth are three times more likely to be victims of violence than adults - and most of the attacks are perpetrated by other youth. Statistics exposed the fact that nearly one in four youth were a victim last year, and total offences against children topped the two million mark.

This generation of youth has varied ways to mentally torture someone they might consider an enemy. Eight out of 10 children in India have been through negative online experiences that include cyber-bullying or online harassment, and only 50 percent of the parents know what their children go through, according to a recent survey in India.

Although many states in the US have anti-bullying laws, the bullying trend has not slowed down. One middle school boy was set on fire by kids at school. A girl was savagely beaten into a medically induced comma. Another one hanged herself after being continually harassed. And while death is the extreme result, acts of bullying happen daily. Today, an estimated 90 percent of fourth through eighth-graders report being victims of bullying, according to the US Bureau of Justice. And although not as violent as the older youth, the lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those in the higher grades, according to a Gallup Poll.

“The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written as a solution to World War II, where intolerance and discrimination led to millions dying,” explains nineteen-year old Youth for Human Rights Florida President, Dustin McGahee. “Making laws doesn’t stop an elementary school student from terrorizing his school mate. As young children and young adults, we need to learn and understand the value of human rights, which means our own human rights and others human rights. We need to create a learning environment of tolerance more than we need Geometry.”

Youth for Human Rights Florida is a secular non-profit organization with the mission to educate about the 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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