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Siberia Marks Human Rights Day and Constitution Day

Novosibirsk, Russia - If citizens were well aware of the Constitution of Russia and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, life would be considerably improved. With this conviction, UPF-Siberia organized a program on December 12 commemorating both Human Rights Day and Constitution Day.

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In spite of severe Siberian frosts as low as -43 degrees Celsius, grassroots activists in Novosibirsk gathered together to celebrate Constitution Day on December 12. The Director of the Novosibirsk Center of Spiritual Development,  M.S. Vladovskaya, spoke on "The moral law within us." She explained the cause-and-effect relationship between human thoughts and actions, expressed concern for the level of awareness in our society, and said that external changes start with developing purity of thoughts.

Then the president of the Novosibirsk regional grassroots organization Women's Initiative and Creative Association, N.А. Latrygina, declared that parents should be the foremost human rights defenders. Unfortunately, almost two-thirds of the news reports carried by the media focus on disasters and catastrophes. There is a need to improve awareness of issues of children, the family, human rights, the Constitution, and the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The third speaker was D.V. Oficerov, Secretary General of UPF-Siberia. He made a presentation on Universal Ethical Principles as the Basis of Human Rights, in which he recommended rejecting purely positivist views of human rights and emphasizing natural law. Natural rights granted by nature to human beings transcend all legal decrees. According to religious traditions, these natural rights are given by God Himself.

N.A. Latrygina, president of the Women's Initiative and Creative Association, wrote the following report:

The Russian Federation's Constitution Day is usually marked by public events. Initiated by UPF-Siberia, members of some Novosibirsk grassroots organizations (ZHYTO, Family Creation Center, Center of Spiritual Development, etc.) participated in a commemoration of several notable days: December 10 – the culmination of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence that began on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25); December 10 - International Human Rights Day; and December 12 – the Russian Federation's Constitution Day.

The speakers touched upon important issues of modern society: spiritual and moral aspects of human development, the family and society, and the application of the articles of the Russian Federation's Constitution in practical life.

UPF contributes to achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals through programs in many nations of the world, including Russia and nations that were part of the former USSR. NООО ZHYTO carries out programs on regional and urban levels related to the family, community, and promotion of Siberian legislative initiatives. The Center of Spiritual Development teaches spiritual principles and offers programs for the moral development of individuals, families, and society.

Based on their views of current events in Russia and in the world community, the participants made a joint commitment to support the development, preservation, and improvement of family values, which are considered the basic values for the development of any society.

It was decided to commemorate Constitution Day by reading aloud the document and challenging people to apply in practical life the articles of this legal document, which was adopted by referendum in 1993. Participants were reminded that the primary laws of human development are spiritual and moral and that people achieve their highest potential through service and acts of love and kindness for the sake of others and in honor of God.

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