For immediate release

June 30, 2019

Human Rights Summit Draws Youths to U.N. from 45 Nations

Celebrating the sweeping importance of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, young delegates from 45 nations gathered at U.N. headquarters in New York for the 16th annual International Human Rights Summit held by Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI).

Youth for Human Rights Annual Summit 2019 held at the United Nations in New York

The three-day Summit extended from June 27 to 29 and was sponsored this year by the Permanent Mission of El Salvador to the United Nations with co-sponsorship by the Permanent Missions to the U.N. of Ghana, Moldova, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone.

“Tragically, seven decades after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more than 40 million people are held in slavery, others are tortured or persecuted for their religious or political beliefs,” YHRI stated on its website as the Summit began, noting that the organization “was founded on the principle that human rights can be made a reality by broadscale education on the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration.”

“STAND supports the Declaration and all efforts to make it more broadly known and implemented,” said Edward Parkin, STAND’s International Director.

Via a special video message, the former President of East Timor, Nobel Peace Laureate José Manuel Ramos-Horta, encouraged the delegates in their work to make human rights a reality for everyone.

Article 7 of the Declaration states: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

Article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Via a special video message, the former President of East Timor, Nobel Peace Laureate José Manuel Ramos-Horta, encouraged the delegates in their work to make human rights a reality for everyone.

A key aspect of the three days’ activities was recognition of the many good works carried out on behalf of human rights by those attending. Among them was actress Sheena Chohan, representing India at the Summit, who posted on Facebook, “For 10 years, I’ve been telling people about the importance of human rights and mentioning the United Nations … but yesterday, I not only attended a Summit at the United Nations, I was given a Human Rights Hero Award…. What a dream come true!”

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