NEW UNITED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER
BRINGS WORLDWIDE INITIATIVE AN URGENT
PRESENCE IN TAMPA BAY, CLEARWATER AREA
11 July 2015
The Church of Scientology-sponsored program—already the world’s largest nongovernmental human rights initiative—expands its international movement to a Florida region beset by a human trafficking crisis.
On Saturday, July 11, an enthusiastic crowd of thousands was on hand to take the first tour as the Church of Scientology opened the doors on its new United for Human Rights center in downtown Clearwater. The center is dedicated to taking what is already the most embracive and fundamental human rights initiative on Earth and establishing a beachhead in a state that finds itself confronting a trafficking crisis.
The human rights tragedies in Florida total an estimated 40,000 people who are trafficked through Florida each year, the majority for forced prostitution. The state is the third busiest hub for sex trafficking in the United States, with the Tampa Bay area among the most active.
Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, said in his dedication of the new center on Saturday, “It is true Clearwater is a beach city and South Florida is a vacation destination for tens of thousands. But it is also darkly true that this region is not immune to human rights abuses—the same abuses that plague communities worldwide. While we are enlightening populations across the globe on the rights to which we are all entitled, it is time we do so here as well—to raise awareness and so make human rights a fact for everyone. The answer is United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights, and thus their new headquarters in Clearwater to spearhead it all.”
Given the immense scope of the problem, the Church-sponsored United for Human Rights is in the vanguard of human rights education and information. It is the world’s largest nongovernmental human rights education campaign, active in 192 countries and partnering with 1,500 groups and organizations. Its purpose: To raise awareness and implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its 30 articles.
- In Taiwan, human rights presentations to 59,000 students in 435 schools resulted in demonstrable change among students, leading to the Minister of Education officially appointing the program’s leader to the national Human Rights Education Council.
- Principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are now enshrined in the Mexican National Constitution, with Youth for Human Rights a key contributor to the countrywide campaign leading to the enactment.
- Youth for Human Rights annual summits at the United Nations in New York and Geneva have developed young advocates now leading hundreds of chapters in 60 nations.
Clearwater’s new United for Human Rights center, located on the city’s main thoroughfare of Fort Harrison Avenue, stands as a headquarters honoring the concept of human rights and as an unwavering commitment to broad-scale human rights education throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
The new United for Human Rights center features an information area devoted to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the award-winning audiovisual materials of the organization that bring to life all 30 of the Declaration’s articles through public service announcements and informational documentaries.
Additionally, the center houses a seminar room for workshops and lectures and administrative facilities for volunteers and civic groups to collaborate on local human rights initiatives.
Educators may also obtain copies of the Bringing Human Rights to Life Education Package for high school and college-level instruction and the Youth for Human Rights Education Package for elementary and middle school students.
United for Human Rights is a key element of a new complex of six separate buildings dedicated to Church-sponsored programs serving the Clearwater area—a vibrant symbol of community collaboration.
United for Human Rights and its programs are based on principles expressed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, who in 1969 observed, “It is vital that all thinking men urge upon their governments sweeping reforms in the field of human rights.”
For nearly five decades, Scientologists have worked to overcome any and all obstacles to champion those inalienable rights. The Church sponsors one of the world’s broadest human rights education and public information campaigns under the banner of United for Human Rights.
In fact, the Church of Scientology helped educate more than 50,000 people on their human rights in the Clearwater and Tampa areas during the past year alone. United for Human Rights Clearwater consistently works with some 60 civil and human rights groups to accomplish that goal.
Find out more about United for Human Rights and what the Church of Scientology does to support global human rights awareness.
This new United for Human Rights center is one of six new facilities, each dedicated to helping with the pressing issues that impact Clearwater and the Greater Tampa Bay area:
- The new downtown home of the Church’s Volunteer Ministers, part of a global movement active in 120 nations—the world’s largest independent relief force. Scientologists volunteer more than 200,000 hours a year in the Tampa Bay area alone, living by the Volunteer Ministers motto that no matter the challenge, “Something can be done about it.”
- A museum and operations center for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the world’s leading mental health watchdog group since 1969, responsible for helping to enact some 181 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive psychiatric practices. Its Clearwater information center features the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum.
- The new local center for the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, whose international Truth About Drugs program has reached 260 million people worldwide. The program is committed to eradicating drug abuse and providing meaningful drug education to young people.
- A building dedicated to The Way to Happiness, the nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard. Published in 112 languages, the 21 precepts have brought calm to communities torn by violence, peace to areas ravaged by civil strife, and self-respect to millions. The new Clearwater office will provide the moral compass needed locally.
- The Criminon Florida headquarters stands as a starting point in carrying out the mission of addressing the causes of criminality and restoring offenders’ self-respect through effective character-building programs.