Activity 9:
Human Rights Around the World and at Home


Participants match examples of human rights affirmations and abuses in selected countries with articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Time: 60-90 minutes
Materials: Activity 9 Handout: Rights Around the World
Copies of the UDHR, complete or simplified version
Setting: Secondary school - Adult groups
Links: Combines well with Activity 6: Human Rights in the News.
See Part IV: Taking Action for Human Rights for action ideas.


PART A: Identifying Rights Issues Around the World

1. Divide participants into small "research groups" and give each member a copy of the UDHR and the Activity 9 Handout: Rights Around the World.

2. Assign each research group a different set of 3-6 statements from Activity 9 Handout: Rights Around the World. They have 15-20 minutes to find 2 or more articles from the UDHR that apply to each sentence. For example, Statement 12 "Government troops kill advocates for democracy in China during a peaceful demonstration" represents an abuse of Article 3 (right to life) and an affirmation of Article 20 (freedom to assemble). A guided example may be helpful to start the process.

3. Regroup participants: if there are 4 in a group, assign each a number from 1 to 4. Then all the "one’s" form a group, all the "two’s," etc.

4. Ask the participants in the new group to report to each other on their research group’s findings, so that each statement on the handout is covered. Discuss selected statements that they find especially important or interesting.

PART B: Identifying Rights Issues at Home

5. Have participants generate a similar list of 10 affirmations and 10 abuses that are specific to their own country and community.

6. Ask participants to return to their original research groups. As in Step 2, participants match the new list of statements with articles of the UDHR.

7. As a whole group, identify those affirmations and abuses that particularly touch their lives.

  • Why are these particular statements especially meaningful?

  • Are there individuals and groups working to promote and defend the rights people now have?

  • Are there groups working in the USA and/or their community to correct human rights abuses?

  • Are there actions that participants themselves might want to take? If appropriate, begin developing an action plan.

Source: Patrick Manson, Human Rights Educators’ Network, Amnesty International USA.


I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.

-Thomas Jefferson
Letter to William Charles Jarvis
September 28, 1820


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  Human Rights Fundamentals The Right to Know Your Rights Activities Taking Action for Human Rights Appendices