At D.C. Summit, Youth Focus on Ending Human Trafficking

Young human rights advocates attend the first Youth for Human Rights (YHRI) North American Regional Summit in Washington, D.C., organized by the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office and the 2018 YHRI World Educational Tour.

Youth for Human Rights World in Washintgon, D.C.

Exceptional young human rights advocates gathered to network and learn at the first North American Regional Summit of Youth for Human Rights International in Washington.

The three-day program began with the arrival of the 15th annual Youth for Human Rights World Tour to the nation’s capital. Washington was the sixth stop on the 2018 tour that also included Costa Rica, The Gambia, India, Cambodia and Taiwan and continued on to Mexico as its final destination.

The focus of the summit was human trafficking.

Only days before the summit, the President signed into law the anti-sex trafficking FOSTA Act (”Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”). The new law facilitates shutting down internet ads for sex and child prostitution. 

According to a 2014 report by the International Labor Organization, yearly profits from human trafficking are roughly $150 billion: 

  • $99 billion from commercial sexual exploitation
  • $34 billion in construction, manufacturing, mining and utilities
  • $9 billion in agriculture, including forestry and fishing
  • $8 billion — the money denied to those employed by private households as domestic workers who work under conditions of forced labor.

The summit began with a workshop at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington. 

Delegates and guests were briefed on the actions and results of this year’s Youth for Human Rights International World Educational Tour by YHRI President Dr. Mary Shuttleworth. 

They then attended a seminar where they learned about the U.S. government and the actions citizens and residents can take to make their voices heard on important issues. 

Day two took place on Capitol Hill in the Rules Committee Room of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Delegates and guests were briefed on graphic examples of the impact of human trafficking on the lives of victims. 

One of the guests, who teaches at a New York community college, voiced the consensus of audience reaction when he said, “I never realized that human trafficking was so bad in our country.”

Another highlight of this day’s event was the presentation of President’s Volunteer Service Awards to stellar volunteers.

Awardees and delegates then toured Capitol Hill, which included visits to the offices of their senators.

The summit ended with another workshop at the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office and a human rights concert on the National Mall.

The North American YHRI delegates left revitalized and possessed of new knowledge and tools to carry out and expand the impact of their human rights education programs. 

The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support United for Human Rights and its program for young people, Youth for Human Rights, the world’s largest nongovernmental human rights education campaign, reaching out in 195 countries in 27 languages and embraced by 2,300 activists, officials, groups and organizations. Their support of the initiative is inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s conviction that “It is vital that all thinking men urge upon their governments sweeping reforms in the field of human rights.”

For more information, visit the Scientology website.


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