Human rights are about treating all people with the equal dignity that they are entitled to as human beings. Every person in the world must be recognised as having the same worth and dignity without regard to such differences as ethnic origin, colour of skin, sex or beliefs. Working out what this principle means in terms of individual entitlements and needs has arguably been the most important advance of recent history.
Young people care about human rights. They are keen to talk about fairness and justice, so providing a simple route into this topic. Relate human rights to what happens in schools. How are people treated? What are the rules? Who decides on the rules?
Expand out from pupils’ experiences in school to the wider British society and from there to investigating human rights in other parts of the world and in less economically developed countries. This helps connect what can be a huge topic to everyday lived experience.
The following links and articles provide useful background information to help you teach about human rights and child rights:
Global Dimension: Human Rights Feature article exploring the issue of human rights
Global Dimension: Poverty and Human Rights Feature article exploring how extreme poverty undermines human rights
Global Dimension: Child Labour Feature article exploring the issue of child labour
Starting the debate: Pride and the global struggle for LGBT rights A perspective from the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT)
Useful teaching resources about human rights and child rights:
Amnesty International UK: Resources A range of resource for all key stages exploring human rights
UNICEF: Resources A range of resources for all key stages exploring children’s rights
International Slavery Museum: Contemporary Slavery Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 teaching resource
NUT: Fair’s Fair – Life and Rights in the Global Sports Industry Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pack exploring the links between major world sporting events, trade and global poverty
Anti-Slavery: Products of Slavery Key Stage 3+ poster and website exploring 122 different products produced by forced labour
Oxfam: Children’s Rights A series of lesson plans on children’s rights for ages 8–10
Oxfam: Developing Rights A resource exploring rights around the world for ages 11–14
International Day for Street Children (12 April) Teaching ideas to help give a louder voice to the millions of street children all around the world
For further teaching resources, browse through the following searches:
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
We welcome suggestions for useful articles and teaching resources on the topic of Human rights and child rights. Please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.