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EuropeActivists in Ireland raised their voices on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Activists in Ireland raised their voices on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Artists and Community Activists Raise Their Voices for Human Rights on the Occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Artists and Community Activists Raise Their Voices for Human Rights on the Occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day

To mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January, volunteers from the Scientology Community Centre Dublin were joined by 30 artists, activists and community leaders from all over Ireland in an online event promoting human rights, equality and diversity.

The event was conducted under the slogan “Human Rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.” – a statement by author, humanitarian and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Each of the participants delivered a powerful message about the importance of the 30 human rights, raising issues and human rights violations we face right here in Ireland. Violence against women, domestic abuse, Direct Provision centres, stigma against the Traveller community and homelessness were only some of the topics discussed.

Brian Reilly, Founding Director of Right2Homes, called for urgent change in the housing situation.

Songwriter Thomas Goulding touched upon the issue with Direct Provision centres, stating: 

”So next time we think about breaches of basic human rights in far away countries, pause for a second and look a bit closer to home.”

Maguy Maria Jisele, model, Youth for Human Rights Ambassador and a domestic abuse survivor, encouraged people to end violence against women.

Mary McDonagh, an accomplished actress, poet and proud Traveller woman, read out a powerful poem of her own; questioning the prejudice and discrimination the Traveller community faces which ended with the thought-provoking question: “When can I be me?”

Mary was joined in her message by actor & Traveller rights activist from Co. Kerry Martin Mahon who concluded his presentation with the words: “Fair and equal treatment – that is all we are asking for.”

Dr. Jasbir Singh Puri is the founding member of Dublin City Interfaith Forum. He spoke about the freedom to worship and to live by the values of one’s religion, such as humbleness and truthfulness as emphasised in Sikhism.

Jimmy Norman, co-founder of Aoibheann’s Pink Tie – the National Children’s Cancer Charity, shared his heartbreaking and inspirational story: When his daughter, Aoibheann, passed away at the age of 8, he turned the tragedy into charitable work, making sure that every child has equal opportunities to access cancer treatment.

Dublin City Ramblers Founding Member Sean McGuinness sang “Free the People” and advised that one should never give up on their human rights.

Musician Francie Conway and his son Rory stressed that we should cherish our rights as we often realise how important they are only when they are taken away.

Supriya Singh, social activist and former BBC journalist, encouraged everyone to embrace and promote all 30 human rights “to build a world of equality for all.”

The event was held as part of an International Human Rights awareness campaign – Youth for Human Rights (YHR). Initiated in 2001 by a teacher from South Africa, Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, the campaign aims to promote and implement Human Rights widely. It has been supported by the Church of Scientology internationally since its inception. Thanks to that support it has provided tens of millions of materials on the subject of human rights globally free of charge, inspiring a movement to educate and empower.

In 2019, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates awarded Mary Shuttleworth the Peace Summit Medal for Social Activism and recognised her and Youth for Human Rights for “their work to educate the youth of the world on the importance of Human Rights.”

The full event is available here: International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Holocaust & Human Rights

27 January 1945 was a day of dramatic events. Thousands of emaciated prisoners and entire warehouses filled with the belongings of other people was what the Allied troops faced on that day, as they liberated Auschwitz – the Holocaust’s largest concentration and extermination camp. Piles of eyeglasses, thousands of pots and pans and forty-four thousand pairs of shoes were among the belongings they uncovered. Most of their owners had already been murdered. Never had humanity seen such atrocity and disregard for human life before.

Following the end of WWII, Eleanor Roosevelt led an effort at the United Nations in 1948 to ensure that a genocide like the Holocaust would never be allowed to happen again. As a result, one of the most important historical documents was created: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Declaration acknowledges in its Preamble that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”. It then goes on to affirm and define 30 fundamental rights which every human being in the world has; no matter their race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or social background.

In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 27 January the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On that day, people around the world pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and rededicate themselves to never allow such human rights violations to happen again.

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