The story of human rights


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The story of human rights

  1. 1. Project CoSSOL - “Concepts for a Successful Self-Organized Learning” Comenius Multilateral School Partnership Workshop “Civic Competences” December 2011, Moers, Germany
  2. 2. The story of Human RightsIn 539 B.C., Cyrus the Great, having conquered the city ofBabylon:o set all slaves free to return homeo declared people free to choose their own religion.o A clay tablet containing these liberties is considered thefirst human rights declaration in history.
  3. 3. The story of Human Rights1215: The Magna Carta:o established new rightso made the king subject to the law.1628: The Petition of Right - set out people’s rights independent of theBritish Crown-for example no –cause detention, non-Parliamentary taxationetc.1776: The United States Declaration of Independence – proclaimedalongside the independence of the USA, but also the right to life, libertyand the pursuit of happiness.1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen - in France,established freedom and equality of citizens before the law.
  4. 4. The story of Human Rights1864: The First Geneva Convention - set standards of international law inprotection of human rights1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights - the first charter identifyingthe thirty rights to which every human being is entitled.1953 : The European Convention of Human Rights was adopted by the Councilof Europe and signed by 47 states. The Council was established in theaftermath of World War II to strengthen and promote democracy and the ruleof law.
  5. 5. The story of Human Rights Voices for Human RightsMartin Luther King , Jr., when championing the rights of people of color in the US in1960s, declared “ Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”The great advocate of peaceful resistance to oppression, Mahatma Gandhi, describednonviolence as “ The greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier that themightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”Thomas Jefferson, author of the American Declaration of Independence declared that“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction is the first and onlylegitimate object of good government”Fighting against religious persecution in 18th century France, Voltaire wrote,“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”Each of these individuals spoke and lived as a powerful and effective advocate ofhuman rights. Each, in a significant way , changed the world.
  6. 6. The story of Human Rights Human Rights ORGANIZATIONS• AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – worldwide movement with more than 2.2 million members in more that 150 countries. They conduct research and generate actions to prevent abuses of human rights and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.• HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH - They investigate and expose human rights violations , challenge governments and policy makers to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.• HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS (HRWF) – focuses on monitoring, research and analysis , as well as promotion of democracy and the rule of law on national and international level.• THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) consisting of 56 participating states from Europe, Central Asia and North America, is focused on freedom of movement and religion, preventing torture and human trafficking.
  7. 7. The story of Human Rights Human Rights ORGANIZATIONS• THE CHILDREN’S DEFENCE FUND (CDF) – policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect , and ensure their right to equal care and education.• UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO) .• SIMON WIESENTAL CENTER – generates changes by confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity , teaching the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.• UN REFUGEE AGENCY - lead and coordinate international actions to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.
  8. 8. Task: “You Are the Problem Solver” (activity – 30 min.)Directions:• Choose a human rights situation from the true-life examples and workout a solution.• Assign someone in your group to be the leader and someone to be the secretary.• The group leader will supervise the discussion session and make sure everyone can share his ideas.• The secretary will write down all of the ideas.• Decide which idea your group will develop into a workable solution. Decide who will present it .
  9. 9. Task: “You Are the Problem Solver” (performance – 20 min.) Present your solutions.
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