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Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Children and Youth: Activities and games

Celebrate the Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is celebrated on 10 December, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This is an occasion to learn more about human rights. Here are some suggestions for activities with children on this day.

Below is a selection of activities for children of various age groups from the following sources:

ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools2nd ed. New York, Geneva: UN, 2004;

Human Rights Warrior - a blog created by Jennifer Presthold, a human rights lawyer.

Learn

Learn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Read

Read a book about human rights

Selected titles from the OHCHR Library:


For more reading ideas from the OHCHR Library - English, French (Français), Spanish (Español)...

E-Resources for teachers from the OHCHR Library - English, French (Français), Русский (Russian), Spanish (Español)

UNICEF publication - Teaching and learning about child rights

Listen

Listen and/or sing along. Here are some examples:

Talk

Talk to someone you know who is from another country.

  • Where are they from?
  • What language do they speak?
  • What do they miss the most about their country?
  • What do they like about their new country?

(Source: Human Rights Warrior)

Reflect - Unique or alike?

Same and different - find an image/photo of children living in a country different from yours. Imagine a similar photo taken in your country. What common features would  you find? What would be different? Why there would be similarities and differences? Would people have different rights because of the differences that you could see in the images?
For example, you can pick an image from children in school around the world.
(Source: Human Rights Warrior)

n the same boat - with a group of a children, think of a category, for example, the month of the birth, number of siblings, kind of pet, a favorite toy or game, number of languages spoken, hobby, etc. Ask them to form a group with others who share the same category. Ask them what they have learned from this activity. Conclude the game with discussion of people's unrecognized similarities and differences
(Source: ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools)

Reflect - Equality before the law

Article 7 of the Declaration begins: "All are equal before the law..." However, this statement of principle is not always reflected in practice.
Disccussion:
* Are all equal before the law in your community, or are some people treated in different ways?

* What factors might give some people an advantage over others?

* Why is equality before the law essential for a human rights culture?

(Source: ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools)

Play

 

Draw

Take index cards, or other pieces of paper of same size and shape. 
Punch holes in each corner.  Draw pictures on the rights that are important for you.
Connect the cards together with a string to form a tapestry. 

(Source: Human Rights Warrior)

 

 

 

 

 

Watch

Watch the short videos on human rights.

Reflect - What if?

What if I could not read? - Ask children to make a list of all the times they read something in a normal day: from reading a book, to reading signs and posters while they walk on the streets or while using computer or watching TV, reading a recipe or doctor's instructions on how to take their medication. Ask them the following questions:

  • How would your life be affected if you could not read?
  • What activities would you be unable to do or do well?
  • How literacy can affect the health, safety and security of you and your family?
  • How would you be affected if you could not read and you were a
    • mother/father?
    • factory woker?
    • Farmer?
    • Shop owner?
    • Soldier?

(Source: ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools)

Reflect - Peace

Take children outside on a nice, pleasant day. Everybody lies on their backs without talking and shuts their eyes for around 3 minutes. After that discuss with them the fundamental values of peace. How would they define "peace?" What is the relationship between peace and human rights?

(Source: ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools)

Reflect - A family map

Create your family map. How is your family life different from that of their great-grandparents? Their grandparents? Their parents?

What has caused these changes? Are they changes in values, culture, technology or other kinds of change? Which are beneficial and which are not?
Have the human rights of family members improved over the last generations?

 

(Source: ABC: teaching human rights - practical activities for primary and secondary schools)

Explore

Explore human rights resources