HIGHLIGHTS ON SUMMITS PAST
Each Summit has marked milestones in he development of YHRI and established traditions making the Summit what it is today.
In 2001, a worldwide essay contest was launched asking youth, “What are human rights?” The winners were presented at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva. From the responses that poured in, it was clear children were more concerned—and remarkably more articulate—about changing conditions in society than generally credited. With this impetus, Youth for Human Rights International was born.
The first What are Human Rights? booklet was published, putting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) into language children could understand. In 2004, YHRI launched its first World Educational Tour, visiting 14 countries and, in each, inspiring youth to become human rights advocates.
To bring together the global network of new young advocates created and to connect them with leaders in governments and NGOs, the first “International Youth Summit” was conceived.
2004—New York: The first Summit was held at the UNICEF House in partnership with the Friends of the United Nations. The Summit saw the world premiere of the cutting-edge rap music video “UNITED,” promoting human rights with the message: “Know your human rights: they may help you some day.” The video’s writer/director was only 19 years old.
2005—Los Angeles: The 2nd annual Summit was in Los Angeles, with Youth Delegates from 30 countries. The “UNITED” video had won top awards at the Colorado Moondance Film Festival, the New York Independent Film and Video Festival and the Florence, Italy Taglio Corto Film Festival.
H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Sixth Secretary General of the United Nations (1992-1996), then 92 years old, shared a special message encouraging the youth to continue forwarding human rights and to gain the attention of the new generation.
2006—New York: This Summit saw the international debut of “30 Rights. 30 Ads”—60-second PSAs for each of the 30 human rights. The first ever Human Rights Hero Awards were presented—now an annual Summit tradition.
2007—Los Angeles: Held at the University of California of Los Angeles campus, the Summit was keynoted by Jack Healy, former ED of Amnesty International, and Enzo Di Taranto, a senior human rights official of the UN.
2008—New York: For the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, Ford Roosevelt spoke in honor of his grandmother Eleanor Roosevelt, chair of the committee that drafted the UDHR 60 years before.
2009—Geneva: At this first ever Summit in Geneva, YHRI premiered The Story of Human Rights video—giving the very definition and history of the term human rights. This video, the booklet, “UNITED” and the 30 PSAs form the core of YHRI’s curriculum today.
2010—Geneva: YHRI held its first Summit in the Palace of Nations, the United Nations Office at Geneva.
2011—Geneva: To mark the 10th Anniversary of YHRI, the Summit was held in the very room of the President Wilson Hotel where YHRI first launched with that essay contest 10 years before.
2012-2014—Brussels: The next three years, the Summit was held in Brussels to facilitate the participation of European Union diplomats. In 2014, H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Sixth Secretary General of the United Nations (1992-1996), then 92 years old, shared a special message encouraging the youth to continue forwarding human rights and to gain the attention of the new generation.
2015—New York: Returning to UN headquarters in New York, this Summit started another tradition by sending Youth Delegates onto the streets to distribute booklets and gather signatures on a petition calling for mandatory human rights education.
And that is how this year’s Summit came to be.
MAKING HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION AVAILABLE
Join the international human rights movement by becoming a member of United for Human Rights. UHR assist individuals, educators, organizations and governmental bodies in all parts of the world to raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.