Discovering Democracy Units
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Human Rights

At a glance

Focus question 1: What are human rights?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
Preparation
  • Value placed on human rights
  • Ranking human rights: comparison with view from another culture
 
  • Definitions of human rights
  • Case analysis: categorising human rights
  • You may wish to show the film In the Name of the Father
  • Rights and corresponding responsibilities
  • Development of a set of responsibilities to correspond to given rights
 
  • Human rights in the news

 

  • Research task: Identification of human rights issues in the news, analysis of issues and types of rights involved
  • Ensure recent newspapers are available or students find them for homework

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 2: Where did human rights come from?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
Preparation
  • Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
  • Analysis of how the Declaration addressed abuses in pre-revolutionary French society
  • Download and duplicate the complete Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen from Stories of Democracy CD ROM
  • 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Comparison of United Nations Declaration with Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
  • Creation of poster illustrating and explaining a human right
  • Download and duplicate the complete UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights from Stories of Democracy CD ROM
  • Culture and human rights
  • Comparison of Confucian 'relationships' with United Nations Declaration
  • Development of a set of family relationships
 

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 3: Where have Australians' human rights come from and how are they protected?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
Preparation
  • Rights established in Australian Constitution
  • Acts of Parliament (including role of Ombudsman and Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) and court rulings
  • Other organisations protecting human rights
  • Case analyses
  • Have answers and actual case decisions from 'Notes' section of unit available for yourself
  • David Irving case and freedom of speech
  • Application of knowledge of human rights issues to a case study on freedom of speech
  • Have actual case decision from 'Notes' section available for yourself
  • Arguments for and against a Bill of Rights
  • Situation analysis, applying a draft Bill to determine strengths and weaknesses of a Bill of Rights
  • Debate preparation and participation: Australia should have a Bill of Rights
  • Provide access to library for research for debate preparation

Teaching and learning activities

Focus question 4: What is Australia's record on Indigenous people's rights?

Content Activities
(Assessment tasks are in bold italics.)
Preparation
  • Indigenous Australians and citizenship under the Constitution
  • Indigenous Australians and human rights
  • Use of sources to identify human rights denied to Aboriginal people in the past
     
  • Changes to laws and establishment of new laws to protect human rights of Indigenous people
  • Comprehension task: Racial Discrimination Act
     
  • Study of one right: its importance; how it is protected in Australia; example of abuse; justification for abuse; response of individuals, other countries and organisations to abuse
  • Investigation of a right
  • Report of rights investigation
  • Provide access to library for research

Teaching and learning activities

AcknowledgementsLegal Information