Human Rights Education For Genocide Month

With the possibility of genocide in the current civil unrest in Libya, Genocide Month, April 2011, is a reminder that the mass murdering of a group of people is not just history of the past, but still an existing human rights problem of today.

After the horrors of World War II where an estimated 6 million Jews and other minorities were slaughtered, on December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to prevent the killing of a group of people because of race, religion or culture from ever happening again. Yet it still happens. Why?

Following the signing of this document the General Assembly asked its members "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories." And 63 years later the majority of people still do not know the 30 Articles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and genocide continues.

In Rwanda (1994) an estimated one million people died in 100 days. In Cambodia (1975-1979) a regime with a combination of extremist ideology with ethnic animosity led to the death of an estimated 1.7 million people. In Darfur the United Nations states up to 300,000 people have died to date from the combined effects of war, hunger and disease, with more than 2.7 million people forced to leave their homes and live in refugee camps for fear of death.

The need to understand human rights and genocide is not limited to only shocking statistics in our history books, but to our hometowns and countries. A little known fact as displayed in the San Antonio Museum is the tale of Guatemala civil war, where government forces exterminated Mayan Indian villages during a bloodbath that killed 200,000 lives and drove thousands of refugees into Mexico. There are many more devastating stories such as this, all violations of human rights.

Youth for Human Rights Florida, a Chapter of Youth for Human Rights International, educates teachers, students and community groups about our 30 human rights with an award-winning educational program. The program consists of a youth-designed DVD of the 30 rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; “The Story of Human Rights,” a powerful DVD that defines human rights of the past and today; and the evoking music video “UNITED,” conveying on anti-bullying and human rights message. The Human Rights Department of The Church of Scientology is a proud supporter of Youth for Human Rights International. To see these videos for free, or to receive a free educator’s guide go to:

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