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United Nations Hosts 12th Annual International Human Rights Summit

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Published on September 11, 2015 with No Comments

By Nicole Crellin Youth for Human Rights Toronto Director

“Peace is not the absence of challenges.Peace is the ability to maintain stability in the midst of challenges.”

Abeir Liton, Youth Engagement Coordinator for the Youth for Human Rights Toronto Chapter, proudly carrying the Canadian flag during the Opening Flag procession.

Abeir Liton, Youth Engagement Coordinator for Youth for Human Rights Toronto, was selected to represent Canada at the three-day 12th annual summit of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) at the UN headquarters for his impressive initiatives in human rights education. Abeir was proud to carry the Canadian flag in the procession that started the 12th annual Human Rights Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York held last week.  “Young people, the youth of today, should be helped to truly understand what human rights mean for every living person,” said  Ambassador  Ireneo Namboka in his keynote speech to the youths.  General Madame Kwamu Nana of the Cameroon National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms emphasized the importance of the work the youths are doing and encouraged them to persevere. “As you continue with the struggle for Human Rights across the globe, place all your trust in success and you will succeed,” she said. “Peace is not the absence of challenges.Peace is the ability to maintain stability in the midst of challenges.” Ravi Karkara, Strategic Adviser Partnership Beijing+20 to the Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director UN Women told the delegates, “Truly, human rights based society can be achieved if we strengthen youth participation, ensure inclusion and non‐discrimination and create a culture that promotes accountability and social justice.”

Former aide to Eleanor Roosevelt Ms. Ella Torrey captured the imagination of all in attendance when she described the standing ovation Ms. Roosevelt received from the General Assembly on their unanimous adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), recognizing her work as the chair of the UDHR drafting committee and the driving force behind the creation of the world’s premier human rights document.

Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, Founder and President of Youth for Human Rights International, presented Torrey with one of five 2015 Human Rights Hero Awards for the legacy of her many years of human rights advocacy. Other Hero Awards recipients were Andrew Chalmers from the UK for seeing to the human rights education of 250,000 young people in India; Joao Maria Tapel and Clinton Domingos Guterrer for their work in East Timor to turn former gang members into human rights activists; Youth Ambassador Demme Durrett from the USA and her mother Sherry for their work in staging human rights events and promoting human rights education through TV and radio programs; and Youth for Human Rights Germany for their tireless promotion of human rights education for the past seven years.

Day two of the three-day Summit was the Youth for Human Rights Leadership Workshop at the UN, where seasoned human rights activists ran individual sessions, sharing their own experience with the delegates, answering questions, and giving them direction and tools they can use to accomplish maximum impact in their work.

Delegates then gathered in focus groups to discuss goals and strategy followed by each delegate drafting a plan for his activities over the coming year.

Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth. Its purpose is to inspire youth to become advocates for tolerance and peace through education on the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The 12th annual International Human Rights Summit was organized by Youth for Human Rights International in partnership with Global Education Motivators, Africa Diaspora Foundation, Artists for Human Rights, Ferguson Humanitarian Foundation International, the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International and Irving Sarnoff, Friends of the United Nations.

5 Indo-Canadian students awarded scholarships

Five Indo-Canadians high school graduates are among 50 “outstanding students” to have received this year’s Schulich Leader Scholarships awarded annually to encourage global scientific research and innovation. Nimra Dar, Manpreet Deol, Aditya Mohan, Aishwarya Roshan and Simranjeet Singh are awarded the scholarships which are entrance awards for high school graduates enrolling in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) undergraduate programmes.


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