TOKYO, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With Japanese students embroiled in a bullying crisis, the Church of Scientology of Tokyo organized a community forum to discuss the importance for students to recognize basic human rights.
The action by the Church came in the wake of the education ministry's October report of record bullying in the 2014-15 school year with a dramatic rise in incidents involving younger children.
The Japan Times reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. With bullying a frequent factor in suicide, this points to bullying as a likely factor in World Health Organization and the National Police Agency of Japan finding student suicides increasing.
The program included a presentation by the winner of last year's national essay contest on bullying and a panel discussion on the subject, including combating bullying by having students stand up for their peers.
A U.S. study found more than half of bullying situations (57 percent) cease when a peer intervenes. The human rights education curriculum of United for Human Rights and its program for young people, Youth for Human Rights, encourage youth to stand up for the rights of their peers.
After the panel, attendees were invited to tour the Church's Public Information Center, in which each of the displays featured videos related to the Church's human rights education initiative, including 30 public service announcements, one for each article of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Story of Human Rights documentary, and UNITED, a music video about a young boy whose friends stand with him to face down older bullies.
The Church also set up a large petition and collected signatures urging human rights education to be made mandatory in all Japan schools.
Scientologists on six continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world's premier human rights document.
The Church of Scientology of Tokyo is an Ideal Scientology Organization. Opened August 8, 2015, it serves as a home for the entire community—a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.
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SOURCE Church of Scientology of Tokyo