Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) an independent non-profit group headquartered in Los Angeles, announced visitors to their website have tripled since their human rights Public Service Announcements (PSAs) began airing on CNN International last month.

"With the help of major cable networks including CNN International," said Mary Shuttleworth, Founder and President of YHRI, we have dramatically expanded the number of people we have reached with our message."

Two years ago YHRI produced 30 human rights ads, each illustrating one of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). CNN has been airing two of these ads: "We Are All Equal Before the Law" and "Freedom of Thought." CNN viewers are then directed to the website, http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/cnn, where they can download all 30 video clips and obtain other materials to help promote and teach human rights.

Since these PSAs were first released in June 2006 they have been played on over 3,200 TV stations—throughout the United States and Europe, South America and Asia, in human rights hot spots like Ghana and Liberia, and in conflict zones such as Palestine, Israel, India and Pakistan. In the United States, the PSA have aired on stations such as the Discovery Channel, MSNBC and the History Channel.

Responses to the CNN International airings are coming in to YHRI from around the world. Those writing in tell of how YHRI's message has inspired them. Many take on an active role for the advancement of human rights in their areas, empowered with YHRI's educational tools.

Youth for Human Rights International began in 2001 when educator Mary Shuttleworth decided to create a group to educate youth on human rights. Ms. Shuttleworth decided to do this when a survey showed that only eight percent of the population were aware of the existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in the wake of World War II.

Inspired by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard who wrote, "Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream," Ms. Shuttleworth launched this public awareness campaign with a booklet called "What are Human Rights?" which expressed the essence of each of the 30 articles of the UDHR in words youth can understand. Mary's son, Taron Lexton, went on to create an award-winning music video called UNITED in 2004, featuring cameos by actresses Erika Christensen (Traffic) and Catherine Bell (JAG) and soul legend Isaac Hayes.

Lexton next directed the 30 human rights PSAs for YHRI, for which the United Nations recognized him last summer with their "Award of Excellence." The human rights Public Service Announcements were created with the help of the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International.

Author's Bio: 

Ms. Wieland is an editor for the Scientology Press Office web site.