With PSAs Airing on CNN International, Youth For Human Rights Fights Abuse

Los Angeles, CA
24 February 2008

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) reports that visits to its website, www.youthforhumanrights.org, tripled since the beginning of the year. This is as a result of YHRI’s public service announcements (PSAs) airing on major cable networks such as CNN International.

Mary Shuttleworth, YHRI’s Founder and President said “With the help of major cable networks including CNN International, we have been able to expand dramatically the number of people we can reach with our message.”

CNN aired two of YHRI’s PSAs, each illustrating one of the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): “We Are All Equal Before the Law” and “Freedom of Thought.” Viewers who caught one of the PSAs on CNN International were directed to the website, www.youthforhumanrights.org where they can download the thirty PSAs and obtaine effective educational materials to teach human rights in their area of the world, wherever that may be.

Since these PSAs were first released in June 2006, they have aired on over 3,200 TV stations not only in far-flung places such as Ghana and Liberia, but also in conflict zones such as Palestine, Israel, India and Pakistan, across Europe, South America, Australia and into Asia (including Taiwan and Japan). In the United States, the PSAs have aired on stations such as the Discovery Channel, MSNBC and the History Channel.

Responses to the CNN International airings are coming into YHRI from countries as far afield as Romania, Palestine, Kenya, South Africa and Venezuela. Enquirers are universally inspired by YHRI’s message of hope; many take on an active role for the advancement of human rights in their area, empowered as they are with YHRI’s educational tools.

Youth for Human Rights International is a volunteer organization that was founded in 2001 by educator Mary Shuttleworth. At that time, only 8 percent of people surveyed were aware of the existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international human rights treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in the aftermath of World War II.

Inspired by the words of humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” Ms. Shuttleworth first launched the awareness-raising campaign with the release of the booklet What Are Human Rights?, putting the 30 Articles of the UDHR into words any child could understand. Her son, Director Taron Lexton, went on to create an award-winning music video called UNITED in 2004, featuring cameos by celebrities as Erika Christensen (Traffic), Catherine Bell (JAG), soul legend Isaac Hayes and others. The popularity of UNITED as a visual educational aid led YHRI to create their thirty PSAs in 2006.