Human rights

All human beings are born free and equal.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security.

No one shall be held in slavery.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Everyone has the right to education.

On Monday, 10 December 1948, the world was rebuilding after World War Two. People wanted to make sure that something so horrible would never happen again. So, a group of countries came together at the United Nations (UN) and agreed to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This document gave everyone in the world the same rights, including the five written above.

Over 70 years later, human rights are as relevant as ever. Although they are recognised everywhere, not all countries treat people with the human rights that they deserve.

For example, there are 40 million people still living as slaves around the world today. Over 250 million children under 18 are not in school. The UN has warned against the rising threat of racism in some countries.

Why do you think human rights are important? What would you add to the list of human rights if you could? Do you think the vision of an equal future for everyone will come true?

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Assembly

The Day Explorer has an assembly on human rights, written last year to mark the 70th anniversary of the declaration. Download the slides here and the notes here.

Activities

  1. Split the class into five groups. Give each group a large piece of paper with a different human right: education, freedom of expression, family, security, voting. Ask them to write down why they think those rights are important.
  2. As a class, have a go at writing your own declaration of human rights for the 21st century. Think about things that you think everyone deserves to have. Start your suggestions with the words: “Everyone has the right to…” or “No one shall…”.