Essential QuestionHow does the United Nations protect human rights?
Learning Standards Content
Students are expected to know the following:
- roles of individuals, governmental organizations, and NGOs, including groups representing indigenous peoples.
Students are expected to be able to do the following:
- Students will compare the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. (continuity and change)
- Students will evaluate whether the United Nations is doing enough to protect human rights. (ethical judgement)
I can name 3 human rights and 3 indigenous rights.
I can reflect on reasons that indigenous rights are necessary.
I can explain why it’s necessary to have more than one international document protecting rights.
First People's Principles of LearningLearning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.
Discuss: What is a right? What rights do you have? What rights does every human have?
View: 5-minute TED-Ed video What Are the Universal Human Rights?
Journal / Learning Log:
- List some rights you have simply because you are human.
- Is enough being done to protect your human rights? Why or why not?
- Is enough being done to protect everyone’s human rights? Why or why not?
Part 1: Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Provide each student with a simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) and three index cards.
- Use the Save the Last Word for Me strategy to have students read and respond to the UNDHR.
- Divide the students into groups of three, labeling one student A, one B, and the other C in each group.
- Students should select three rights that stood out for them and write each right on the front of an index card.
- On the back of their cards, students should write a few sentences explaining why they chose that right. What does it mean to them? What connections can they make to something that happened to them, to a film or book, or to something that happened in history or is happening in current events?
- Student A reads one of their chosen quotations to their group. Then students B and C discuss the quotation. Finally, student A reads the back of their card.
- Continue the process with the B students sharing and then the C students.
- Circulate amongst groups to check for understanding and to keep discussion on track.
Part 2: UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
- Explain that while the UNDHR applies to all people, some rights are for groups of people. For example, the UN has declared rights of children as well rights of indigenous people. Ask why some groups need specific protection of their rights. Students should think of examples of when groups of people such as children, women, and indigenous people have been discriminated against or have faced an imbalance of power.
- Divide students into groups of 2 or 3 and give each group one UNDRIP Article Card and one Example Card.
- Write the following group discussion questions on board:
- What is our example about?
- What is the issue?
- Why is it important?
- How does it relate to our UNDRIP article?
- Is it a positive example of this right? How does this example support our article?
- Is it an example of an injustice? In what ways does this example fall short of what is outlined in our UNDRIP article?
- Circulate to assess understanding and keep discussions on topic.
- Once each group has had time to discuss, they should take turns presenting their article and example to the whole class. Provide chart paper and tape at the front of the class so groups can post their articles and examples. During group presentations ask probing questions and encourage questions from the rest of the class.
- Note that British Columbia was the first province to pass legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People in November 2019. As of December 2020, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick were still wanting to delay Canada’s implementation of UNDRIP.
Part 3: Comparing Rights
- Write on the board the following 10 categories of rights:
- Put students into groups of two. Distribute articles from UNDHR and UNDRIP so that each pair has at least one article. Pairs should read their article(s) aloud and come to consensus about which category best fits and then tape each article beside the relevant category on the board. Review students’ categorization of articles and suggest revisions.
- Have students create a Venn Diagram to show which categories of rights are addressed by UNDHR and which by UNDRIP and which by both
- Put students in groups of 4 or 5 to address the following question: “Does the United Nations do enough to protect human rights?”
- Each student should write their opinion in their section of the placemat.
- Then groups should engage in discussion to come to consensus on the question which should be written in the center of the placemat.
- Show example of infographic for Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Have students work in groups to create an infographic for a School Declaration of Rights. Students should consider what rights everyone at the school should have, then rank these rights and create an infographic for the top ten.
- You may want to provide an infographic template
“A Brief History of the Declaration of Human Rights.” 2020. United for Human Rights.
“Background Information: Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” [n.d.]
British Columbia. [n.d.] “ B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.”
British Columbia. [n.d.] “FAQ: B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act,” https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/indigenous-people/new-relationship/frequently-asked-questions-the-united-nations-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples
British Columbia. [n.d.] “It’s about a better future. Indigenous Human Rights Set in B.C. Law.” https://declaration.gov.bc.ca/
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 2014. “Canada and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
“History of Human Rights.” 2020. Youth for Human Rights.
Hogeterp, Mike and Perez, Shannon. 2016. “Call to Action # 48, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC): Endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a Framework for Reconciliation.” Christian Reformed Churches in Canada.
O’Sullivan, Dominic. 2019. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: An Eightieth Anniversary Reflection.” Oxford Human Rights Hub. https://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/the-universal-declaration-of-human-rights-and-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples-an-eightieth-anniversary-reflection/
United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. [n.d.] “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/faq_drips_en.pdf
United Nations. [n.d.] “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Indigenous Peoples. https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html
United Nations. [n.d.] “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” Designed by the Graphic Design Unit, Department of Public Information, United Nations. https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2018/11/UNDRIP_E_web.pdf
Platt, Bill. 2020. “Six provinces object, but Liberals still move ahead with UN declaration on Indigenous rights.” National Post.
Yuzda, Liza. 2019. “B.C. first province to enshrine international standards for Indigenous rights.” City News 1130.