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Scientology churches and missions in France sponsor a human right initiative called Youth for Human Rights (YHRI), to help make human rights known and bring about important human rights reforms.
Last year's blockbuster film, "Taken" brought to light a Paris you won't find in the tourist brochures - an international hub for sex trafficking.
Despite freedom from slavery being one of the 30 rights mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was ratified by the member nations of the UN 60 years ago, an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked yearly across international borders. Of these, 70 percent are female and 50 percent are children, the majority of whom are forced into the commercial sex trade.
With this in mind, Scientology Churches in France have intensified their work to educate people on the basics of human rights.
The Church of Scientology is founded on the principle of human rights. In fact, the Creed of the Church of Scientology, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, begins with the words, "We of the Church believe: That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights."
For this reason, the Scientology churches and missions of France held a weekend-long human rights education and petition drive to inform people in their communities of their rights and responsibilities, believing that education in the subject is a vital first step in making human rights a fact.
In Paris, 24 teenagers and children converged on the Beaubourg Centre in the heart of Paris and collected 3,000 signatures on a petition mandating human rights education for all youth in France, and insisting that the French government fully implement the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Six members of the Church of Scientology Mission of Marseilles set up a booth at the old harbor. With a large banner telling people, "know your rights," they distributed hundreds of booklets that clearly present the 30 basic human rights covered in the Universal Declaration.
In the center of Bordeaux, Scientologists set up a display, and throughout the afternoon they played educational videos produced by the Church of Scientology that inform people of about Universal Declaration. In Angers and Vannes, eight Scientologists held their own petition drive collecting more than 400 signatures to support the UDHR.
"We believe in our country, and if everyone in France were aware of human rights and the kinds of violations that occur here and in other countries, and if we all demanded the implementation of the Universal Declaration, sexual trafficking and other gross violations would cease," said Françoise Morel, Scientology Human Rights Director for France. "We simply wouldn't tolerate it."
For more information on the human rights initiatives sponsored by the Church of Scientology visit the Scientology video channel.
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