Suggested Learning Objectives:
- To understand the fundamental principles and values, underlying the Universal Declaration of human Rights
- To foster justice, tolerance and fairness
- To improve skills of critical thinking, reasoning, observation and problem - solving.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the basic international pronouncement of the inalienable and inviolable rights of all members of the human family.
Every man/woman has the same fundamental and equal rights. Yet all over the world these rights are being violated. People have the right to food; yet thousands are starving. People have the right to work; yet millions are unemployed. People have the right to freedom of thought; yet tens of thousands are imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs.
Each violation of human rights, wherever it occurs, is a threat to the welfare and dignity of the human person. The protection of human rights therefore, is a worldwide responsibility which transcends all racial, ideological and geographical boundaries.
The most widely recognized statement of human rights is the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 Dec1948 "as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations."
The Declaration, however, does not have the force of law. It is not a treaty but an internationally endorsed statement of principles. It is reproduced below in its entirety.
THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (UDHR)
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family, is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for Human Rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of humankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration to the common people, Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge Now, Therefore,
The General Assembly proclaims: This Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organization of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
ARTICLE 1. Right to equality
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
ARTICLE 2. Freedom from discrimination
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
ARTICLE 3. Right to life, liberty, personal security
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and secretary of person.
ARTICLE 4.Freedom from slavery
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
ARTICLE 5. Freedom from torture, degrading treatment
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
ARTICLE 6. Right to recognition as a person before the law
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
ARTICLE 7. Right to equality before the law
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement of such discrimination.
ARTICLE 8. Right to remedy by a competent tribunal
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
ARTICLE 9. Freedom from arbitrary arrest, Imprisonment, exile
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
ARTICLE 10. Right to fair public hearing
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
ARTICLE 11. Right to be considered innocent until proven guilty
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
ARTICLE 12. Freedom from interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
ARTICLE 13. Right to free movement in and out of any country
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
ARTICLE 14. Right to asylum in other countries from persecution
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
ARTICLE 15. Right to nationality and freedom to change it
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
ARTICLE 16. Right to marriage and family
1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with free and full consent of the intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
ARTICLE. 17. Right to own property
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
ARTICLE 18. Freedom of belief and religion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
ARTICLE 19. Freedom of opinion and information
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
ARTICLE 20. Right to peaceful assembly and association
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
2.No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
ARTICLE 21. Right to participate in government and in free elections
1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
ARTICLE 22. Right to social security
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and inter-national cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
ARTICLE 23. Right to desirable work and to join a trade union
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
ARTICLE 24. Right to rest and leisure
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
ARTICLE 25. Right to adequate living standards
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disabllfty1 widowhood1 old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
ARTICLE 26. Right to education
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
ARTICLE 27. Right to participate in the cultural life of a community.
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
ARTICLE 28. Right to social order assuring to human rights
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
ARTICLE 29. Community duties essential to free and full development
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
ARTICLE 30. Freedom from State or personal interference in the above rights
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
- Dossier 1-ISI, Bangalore; Human Rights
- Extracts taken from Community Law Centre - South Africa; Human Rights
||10th December - Human Rights Day.|
||Instead of attempting this topic in two or three session, you could|
a. Use each article at the assembly for Std. VIII to X once a week with some follow up
b. Once a week during value education class.
c. Stretch it out for as long as possible.
||Half an hour for each Article|
||Pictures, Video Films, Case Studies etc..|
||Value Education, History1 Civics, Economics|
Std. IX History - World War II
Std. X Civics - Challenges facing our country.
History - Wars of Independence, Freedom Movements.
Std. X Civics - Indian Foreign Policy
- A core group in a class could be formed
- Students could be the animators themselves.
- The various Articles could be presented through: skits; debates; audio visuals; related scenes from Hindi/English films, songs, painting, photographs, proverbs, jokes, games, mock-parliament.
Applying what you have learned about Human Rights
International Human Rights Declarations and covenants provide important standards and guidelines. But it is in the small places, close to home in the lives of each person, that these rights must be understood and practiced. Unless these rights have meaning here3 they have little meaning anywhere. Think about the following examples which might occur in everyday life:
IDEA - 1
Read and role-play the following situations. Then decide which Human Right or rights of the UDHR are being violated.
1. "I am against the government's policy of separate schools for children of different races."
2. "When I do something wrong, my parents do not give me anything to eat for two days."
3. "I live and work in a village in rural Maharashtra and there's no school here."
4. "The government has bulldozed my home to make a highway. I have nowhere to live."
5. "I was told, "You stole things from the store. You must go to prison for two years."
- "As a child who works in this factory, I think I should get time off to eat lunch!"
- "I am whipping you for taking time off to eat lunch without my permission."
7. "I work as a domestic worker. My madame gives me stale food, does not pay my salary and at times beats me."
8. "I work in a glass factory from early morning till late in the evening, still my master hits and abuses me."
9. "Nobody likes to sit beside me in the class as they think I am an untouchable. Even my teacher ill-treats me."
10. "My mother does not allow me to go to school. She wants to sell me."
These case studies give the teacher the opportunity to guage if students are able to identify the type of Right, being violated.
Teacher encourages each group to prepare 2 cases of Human rights abuses and asks the other groups to identify them.
1) Students can be asked to choose any two Articles of the UDHR, which they feel are being most violated.
2) The students can be asked to class pictures, articles, which illustrate, represent the violations they feel strongly about.