HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION BUILDS RESPECT IN INDIA
In Mumbai, students transform into proud advocates after learning their basic rights.
The GloWorld Finishing School is one of 100 village schools in Mumbai, India. Here, English teacher Theresa Micheal explains how she takes up current affairs with her students in an effort to foster greater awareness and a peaceful and tolerant attitude.
In discovering the youth for human rights web site, Theresa says she found exactly what she needed for that endeavor. After receiving her human rights education package, she promptly distributed the What Are Human Rights? booklets to her class.
The response astounded her. After learning their fundamental rights and the responsibility that comes with knowing them, students who had previously been violent and rude suddenly stopped. They began respecting each other. Several students even organized a bonfire to burn the drugs they had been taking and to symbolize a fresh start.
“I do see the children feeling honored when I give them that hat of advocacy,” says Micheal. “[They] are now attracted to the right way to stop the wrong things.”
Immediately ordering more materials, Micheal began delivering regular lessons to 50 and 60 students at a time in Mumbai. As word spread of the program, one hundred surrounding villages began demanding their children be taught their inalienable rights.
Micheal is prepared to meet the demand, and is proud to embark on what she calls “this noble cause.”
“I hope my contribution can make the world a better place,” she says.
WE really WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Social studies teachers are entrusted with students’ readiness to assume citizenship responsibilities. They have found a precious tool to achieve this in the Youth for Human Rights curriculum.
“I have been using your material for 3-4 years in my human rights elective. I use The Story of Human Rights video as a way to quickly go over the history and origins of rights.… Students learn to apply the rights and concepts in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to real-life current events. Your materials have been incredibly valuable as I built this course from the ground up. Thank you!”
VITAL AND FULLY INCLUSIVE
“I use these materials every day! I wrap my year around these materials.… We discuss each of the videos using some of your questions. I ask for student experience which is relevant, and that really gets the conversation going. Human rights education is vital and it is fully inclusive in my curriculum.”
GETS STUDENTS THINKING
“I use the Youth for Human Rights resources in my third grade classroom as a starting point for discussions about rights and for morning meeting prompts. I’ve also used these resources in multi-aged settings (enrichment clusters) to get students thinking about what kind of service-learning projects they might be interested in developing. The short films/videos are a great way to initiate discussion with students.”
IMAGES ARE POWERFUL
“My seventh grade students recently created art on the 30 articles for the UN Day for Human Rights. The images were powerful for students, especially because the language of the document is difficult for some. The program was an excellent resource for students. They found the videos to be helpful in understanding human rights and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Help make human rights a reality. Join the international human rights movement by becoming a member of United for Human Rights (UHR). Assist individuals, educators, organizations and governmental bodies in all parts of the world to raise awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by member nations of the United Nations in 1948. More than 60 years after that agreement, its promise is far from fulfilled.