Professional GT race driver Niki Lanik is a Youth Ambassador for Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), reports award winning commercial producer Carl Urbin. His race car, sporting the Youth for Human Rights logo, catches the attention of spectators everywhere, and his races get aired to around 18,000,000 additional people per year on television, Carl reports.
A racer since the age of 16, Niki Lanik’s human rights advocacy has taken him to countries including Austria, Barbados, Columbia, England, Portugal, Taiwan, and the USA. A winning Porsche driver in the European sports car series and elsewhere, he was also a 2009 awardee of the Youth for Human Rights Activist award at the YHRI International Human Rights Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. Niki takes a leading role as a youth who not only educates other youth, but people, young and old, on and off the racetrack, everywhere he goes, adds Carl.
Niki states, “I was born in Vienna and am now 23 years of age. Extreme Sports is what I live for – I am an adrenaline junky and love speed and competition. Travelling and meeting new people and learning about cultures is also a passion of mine,” Niki says.
Niki Lanik and fellow UK racer Andrew Chalmers started the Youth For Human Rights Racing Team in January 2007, Carl Urbin continues. Niki uses the Youth for Human Rights educational materials- which Carl Urbin is helping to popularize- in communicating to his fans, to students, educators, government officials and more.
Youth for Human Rights International public service announcement’s What Are Human Rights? booklets depicts 30 rights described in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr. Urbin adds.
Carl Urbin continues, reporting that The Office of International Religious Freedom, at the US State Department in Washington, DC stated of Youth for Human Rights that “The booklet published by your group, What Are Human Rights?, goes far in helping to educate children not only here in the United States but around the globe on the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 and signed by over 100 countries. Studying this booklet will foster understanding of basic human rights among youth, teaching them values of respect with tolerance and thereby bringing the hope of peace closer to a reality.”
Commenting on how he got started in this work, Niki Lanik explained, “I love the videos so much as the message is so clear and easy to understand that I want more people, especially kids, to know about it.”
Of the videos, Carl speaks of one in particular and reports,”UNITED, YHRI’s award-winning human rights music video, entailed two thousand volunteers, including 150 actors, who donated their time to the movie project, which contains footage from 13 countries. UNITED is truly a youth undertaking, as the crew comprised mostly teenagers, with young rappers adding their brilliance with a song about human rights. ‘
Niki Lanik agreed with that message and said, “It struck me that it is an important and international problem and that many countries need this data. And so I got involved in promoting the Youth for Human Rights International logo on my race car and started handing out booklets and DVDs to fans and sponsors, as well as playing the 30 Public Service Announcements at the race tracks. This of course created interest from the crowd as I was the only race driver who also promoted a good cause.”
Niki continues, Carl reports, “The more I do, the more important it becomes for me. I literally try to be active 24/7 on my career and the promotion of Human Rights awareness. Why? Because I love it when people’s lives change into something better and make their families and friends happier. That’s what I live for – to help others lead a quarrel-free and enjoyable life.” Carl agrees, and lives his life in the same manner, as anyone who knows him will attest.
Niki adds, “It is important to promote human rights internationally, because people are killing each other, discriminating against each other, there are more slaves now than in the 18th century, one billion people cannot read, and so on… I think I have stated just a fraction of why it is important to promote human rights internationally…”
Niki explained, “I promote Human Rights because: I strongly believe every kid has the right to education; I believe that slavery should not exist and that everybody should have the same opportunities; I insist on a fair world where people of all races can unite and work together, live together and have no quarrels and wars; and much more.”
When asked which of his personal contributions to human rights he is most proud of, he responded, “Seeing people’s lives change, and people asking ME ‘Can I also promote Human Rights to help you?’ Getting other people involved is a fantastic experience – people love it, because people love helping others. It’s so simple.”
Carl Urbin, whose central philanthropic work is to fight human rights abuses with support of Youth For Human Rights states that, “YHRI volunteers worldwide employ a variety of activities, from marathons to car races, concerts and murals, all designed to raise awareness of fundamental human rights.” “As a result,” Carl Urbin concludes, “YHRI has reached 600 million people on 6 continents with the message of what human rights are and how to defend and protect them. And that is something to support and celebrate!”
The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace.
To learn more, visit www.YouthforHumanRights.org