The Clearwater walk represented the USA in an international effort involving thousands of youths on six continents, in nations around the world, all walking on the same day. They did not walk in protest or to fight for a particular cause; they walked simply to raise public awareness of the importance of human rights. This year’s message of non-discrimination, originated by the United Nations, is based upon Human Right number one: “We Are All Born Free and Equal”.
Youths walked in honor of Human Rights Day in Austria, Barbados, Cameroon, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, India, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Slovakia, Somalia, the United Kingdom and Zambia, among others.
Dustin McGahee, President of Youth for Human Rights Florida and originator of the walk, described it best when he said, “Being part of an event where youth around the world are uniting against discrimination and promoting human rights brings excitement and hope that there can be change.”
In honor of this occasion, and acknowledging the efforts of these youths to make it possible, both the City of Clearwater and the City of Tampa proclaimed December 10th, 2009, to be Youth for Human Rights Day.
Youth for Human Rights Florida is a chapter of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), a non-profit secular organization founded in 2001 by educator Dr. Mary Shuttleworth. “Having spent over 30 years working with youth, I saw that youth were vulnerable when they did not know their rights. It is important that they not only know they have these rights but that, according to Article 29 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they also have responsibilities to protect their rights and the rights of their peers. That is exactly what these youth organizing and participating in the International Walk for Human Rights are doing,” Dr. Shuttleworth said of the event.
For more information on The International Walk for Human Rights log on to: http://www.internationalwalkforhumanrights.org