Scientology in Amsterdam--Promotes Human Rights Education to Prevent Discrimination and Torture
November 19, 2009
Amsterdam—Scientology volunteers, determined to end blatant disregard for human rights, circulated a petition on the International Day for Tolerance November 16 to demand education on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in all Netherlands schools. In fact, Scientologists from Australia to Zimbabwe and Canada to Taiwan work in their communities to educate people on human rights and their responsibility for implementing them, not only for themselves, but for others as well.
“Despite The Universal Declaration of Human Rights having been adopted by the U.N. General Assembly more than 60 years ago, human rights are still infringed upon daily in nations the world over,” said Merel Remmerswaal, Public Affairs Officer for the Church of Scientology of Amsterdam, who helped organize the petition-signing event.
Last week, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at Amnesty International, expressed her concern that human rights are once again under attack. “Rights fall victim to the views of states with even the most basic human rights, such as protection from torture, are sacrificed to fight terrorism.”
Ms. Remmerswall, whose Church holds educational programs and human rights petition-signing events throughout the year, deplores human rights violations extant in the world today. “Young women are trafficked from Russia for sexual exploitation, African parents look on as their children die a slow death from starvation, people are tortured for their political beliefs,” she said. “These and so many other human rights abuses run completely counter to the values enshrined in the 30 articles of the UDHR.”
The petition, circulated by Scientology volunteers in partnership with the Amsterdam chapter of Youth for Human Rights International, calls upon the Dutch government to “make human rights education mandatory in schools and to conduct human rights education campaigns for all.”
The Church of Scientology of Amsterdam volunteers partner with a chapter of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), which provides booklets, audio-visual materials and other educational materials that broadly raise awareness about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The booklets and series of 30 short films, one for each article of the UDHR, bring this otherwise formidable document into the grasp of young people.
The preamble of the UDHR calls for “education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms.” It also states, “…it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”
These values are held in common by the Church of Scientology whose founder, L. Ron Hubbard, wrote, “Human Rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.”
Scientologists from Australia to Zimbabwe and Canada to Taiwan work in their communities to educate people on human rights and their responsibility for implementing them, not only for themselves, but for others as well. For more information on the human rights education initiative of the Church of Scientology visit the Scientology web site.