Beliefnet
Youth for Human Rights International News (YHRI News) hits the streets this week in a section of the local Independent, a chain of newspapers available to residents in eight suburbs of London.

YHRI News seeks to encourage youth to become involved in human rights initiatives through education. And who is doing the educating? Youth themselves. The editor of YHRI is Alexis Matthes, a responsible 14-year-old. In her editorial she encourages other young people to contact her by e-mail to talk about what they are doing about human rights. "I would like to thank all the people in this world who are spreading the word about human rights," she said. "Even the little things count."

The March edition of the new monthly newspaper features such stories as a human rights youth summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa; a 15-year-old who travelled to Sri Lanka to help tsunami survivors and the "YHRI member of the Month" Natasha Jain from India.

Natasha, just 13 years old, has already been introduced to the nation's president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to whom she recited a version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically for youth, learned by heart for the occasion. The President was so impressed he had his photo taken with Natasha, who has since been interviewed by several newspapers and recently appeared on an Indian TV station that airs to 80 million people.

A few weeks ago, Natasha also spoke with the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. He asked that she keep him informed of her human rights actions.

Natasha is passionate about her cause and she now runs a course on human rights for other youth in her native New Delhi.

London was chosen as the first distribution point for the YHRI newspaper due its international flavour, with more than 300 languages spoken in the city alone. Distribution is scheduled in other key cities.

Youth for Human Rights International was founded in 2001 by its director, Scientologist, Mary Shuttleworth. It also works in partnership with the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International.

An online version of "Youth for Human Rights International News" can be viewed at www.youthforhumanrights.org .

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