“When will I raise my voice?”

In cities all over Pakistan young people have awakened with a new light of hope that they can stand together to protect their rights.  This comes in the wake of the sacrifice taken by brave 14-year old Pakistani human rights activist, Malala Yusufzai, who was shot by Taliban gunmen on her way home from school.   Malala remains in critical condition in a hospital in the United Kingdom.  

 

Taliban militants have said that if Malala survives, they will target her again.  However, their dirty work won’t be as easy as it was, for she has many new-found allies in the young people around Pakistan now holding signs proclaiming, “I am Malala.”

In a prescient moment, Malala told a CNN journalist in a 2011 interview when asked if she had any concerns for her safety, “I think that my people need me and I shall raise my voice because if I didn’t raise my voice now – when will I raise my voice?”  “When you’re people need you … you should stand up for their rights,” she said.

Malala spoke for the many now speaking out for her when she insisted, that despite the fact that she was a female, and a child, “I have the right of education, I have the right to play, I have the right to sing, I have the right to talk, I have the right to go to market, I have the right to speak up.”

Malala is not alone in her bravery in Pakistan.  Youth for Human Rights International’s Pakistan affiliate, Youth Together for Human Rights Education, has been active for several years campaigning for basic human rights for all people in Pakistan.

The Pakistan volunteers stated mission is “to create a world which we can call our HOME.  A society in which the individual rights of all are protected.   Where men, women and children grant respect to each other irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity or class.  Where peace and tolerance prevails.  A fair and just society, where children grow up reaching their full potential and are rewarded for their own efforts, skills and contribution. Where harmony and creativity shine through the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity, creating a culture we are all proud to be part of.”

Youth for Human Rights Florida urges any concerned Florida citizen to send his or her personal message to the President of Pakistan supporting any and all efforts to condemn the attacks on Malala and her classmates, and to support the defenders of human rights in Pakistan with their right to carry out their work without threats, attacks and intimidation.

Youth for Human Rights Florida salutes Malala and the brave young people in Pakistan who are standing up for their basic human rights. 

As humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard stated, "Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream."  

Youth for Human Rights Florida is a chapter of Youth for Human Rights International. This is a secular non-profit organization with the purpose to educate people on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights so they become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace. The uniqueness of the program lies in its educational materials. Their educational materials include youth-designed video of the 30 Human Rights, along with the award-winning music video UNITED - a street-savvy, multi-ethnic, five minute film in 15 languages - conveying the power of human rights awareness.

To learn more about your human rights or Youth for Human Rights visit www.youthforhumanrights.org

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