Each step is on a separate page, so don’t look ahead, and keep scrolling until you get to the end. When you finish the activity, you’ll upload a photo of your final product (if you complete the activity digitally, you’ll upload a word document or pdf file). This was originally intended to be an activity done as a class, so if you want to work with other people in the class on it (virtually) feel free, but you will all need to upload you own submission.
What Does It Mean to Be Human?
1. Write the word “HUMAN” on a piece of paper
a. Under the word “HUMAN” draw a circle
b. Inside of the circle, write qualities you think define a human being (ex: intelligence, sympathy)
2. Think about what you think is needed to protect, enhance, and fully develop these qualities (ex: education, friendship, loving family)
a. List answers outside of the circle
3. Everything inside the circle represents the wholeness of being human and everything written around the circle represents what is necessary to achieving the wholeness of a human. It is what is means to be human.
What is a Right?
1. Write “RIGHTS” on the other side of your paper
a. What is a right? Write answers to this question under the word “rights”
2. So, then what is a human right?
a. Human rights are based on the necessities listed on the outside of the circle on the other side of your paper: rights that enhance what it means to be human
3. Formal definition (something you might need for an exam): Human rights belong to all people regardless of their sex, race, color, language, national origin, age, class, religion, or political beliefs. They are universal, inalienable, indivisible, and interdependent.
a. What is meant by universality?
i. The quality of involving or being shared by all people or things in the world or in a particular group
ii. All people everywhere are entitled to human rights
b. What is meant by inalienable?
i. Unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor
ii. Human rights can’t be taken away
c. What is meant by indivisible?
i. Incapable of being divided
ii. Human rights are inherent to the dignity of people and have equal status. Taking away one right impedes upon other rights.
d. What is meant by interdependent?
i. Dependence of two or more things on one another
ii. The fulfillment of one right, often depends on having another right and each person depends on having these rights to be considered a “whole person”
Classifying Human Rights
Look back at the list of qualities that define a human (the ones in the circle). Write “SURVIVAL/SUBSTISTENCE,” “HUMAN DIGNITY,” and “CONVENIENCES AND LUXRIES” somewhere on your paper (doesn’t really matter).
· Consider the meanings of these terms
§ Continuing to exist
§ Maintaining or supporting oneself
o Human dignity
§ An individual or group’s sense of self worth
§ Humans are worthy of respect simply because they are humans
o Conveniences and luxuries
§ Contributing to an effortless way of life
§ An inessential desirable object that is sometimes difficult to obtain
· Place each quality in the human circle under each of these categories it falls into
o Ex: is education necessary to survival? To human dignity? Is education a convenience or luxury?
§ Choose only one category for each thing you listed in the circle
· Consider the following questions (discuss them with others if you’re not doing this alone)
o Should human rights address only what a human being needs to survive? Why or why not?
o Should human rights also protect those things you classified under “conveniences and luxuries”? Why or why not?
o Some people in the world have only what is necessary to survive while others have luxury and convenience. Is this situation just? Is it a human rights violation?
o Can something be done to equalize the enjoyment of human dignity? Should something be done? If so, how? And by whom?
How Does the Universal Declaration Protect Human Rights?
1. Open the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) posted in the supplemental readings folder
a. This document sets the standard for how human beings should behave towards one another so that everyone’s human dignity is respected
2. Passages to highlight
a. “…recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of the freedom, justice, and peace in the world…” (preamble)
b. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (article 1)
3. The document emphasizes that the human rights listed are considered universal—or available to all people
a. It’s the most translated document in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records (another trivia fact for you!)
4. Read the document looking the rights that are listed in it. Make a list of all of the rights you find in it.
5. Think about what stood out to you the most.
Rights found in the UDRH. Did you find them all?
a. Life, liberty, and security of person
b. No slavery or servitude
c. No torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment
d. Recognition everywhere as a person before the law
e. Equality before the law and equal protection of the law
f. Effective remedy for acts violating fundamental rights
g. No arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile
h. Fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal
i. Presumed innocent until proven guilty
j. Appropriate punishment
l. Freedom of movement
m. To leave and return to any country
n. Seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution
p. Marriage and family
q. Owning property
r. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion
s. Freedom of opinion and expression
u. Take part in the government of his/her country
v. Equal access to public service
w. Equal suffrage
x. Social security
z. Equal pay
aa. Form and join trade unions
bb. Rest and leisure
cc. Standard of living adequate for health and well-being
dd. Special care and assistance for mothers and children
ff. Participating in the cultural life of the community
gg. Protect moral and material interests resulting from scientific, literary or artistic production
hh. Social and international order
Additions to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an ideal standard, but has no force of law
2. Since it was created, 2 additional documents were drafted to focus on additional rights
a. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
i. Focuses on the right to life, freedom of speech, religion, and voting
ii. Established a human rights committee in the UN
1. Examines reports submitted by countries every 5 years to make sure they are in compliance
b. International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
i. Focuses on food, education, health and shelter
3. These two documents plus the Universal Declaration make up what is known as the International Bill of Rights
4. Since these documents, the UN has adopted 20 more treaties elaborating human rights and many countries have created their own conventions to address these issues
a. Ex: European Convention on Human Rights, American Convention on Human Rights, Charter of Human and People’s Rights in Africa, Cairo Declaration on Rights in Islam, and Asian Human Rights Charter
b. These have become the basis for international law and are what help define what are classified and international crimes (we’ll talk about these in the next section)
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