Note for Facilitator
Keep aim and required connection in mind as you progress through the section.
Aim: To further explore and identify the fundamental values underpinning theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights and their purpose.
Required Connection: Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the UDHR
- What is their purpose? To avoid repeating mistakes of the past
- Are they a gift or a privilege?
- Who owns them?
- Are we honouring them?
- How should we, as humans, act to make sure these Human Rights are put into action?
Origins of Human Rights
After the horrors of WW2, the leaders of the world got together and set up a new organisation called the United Nations (UN). Its purpose was to stop wars between countries and build a better world.
One of the first tasks of the UN was to draw up a list of Human Rights that belong to every human being in the world: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The governments of the world promised that they would respect, protect and fulfil the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948: 56 countries all around the world adopted a core set of human rights that should be protected.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not a legally binding document - which means that it does not set legal requirements on governments - but over the years it has been considered to have become a binding, customary international law, which means that governments are compelled to respect it.
Some people argue that Human Rights are a western concept or that they have only been agreed upon by high level countries and are not realistic in low resource settings. However, it is important to note that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and enforced by high, middle and low-income countries throughout the world. (WHO booklet, p. 5 in Appendix)
As humans we should act with these 5 core principles that underpin Human Rights:
Speak briefly about Eleanor Roosevelt
The commission on Human Rights was made up of 18 members from various political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee.
Read the quote below aloud. This was Eleanor Roosevelt's understanding of Human Rights:
Question: What is she saying?
Connection: It all starts with you, through advocacy.
creating article 31
Inform the group that Human Rights are a living entity that evolves.
Advocacy can bring up new complimentary articles.
Questions: What Human Rights do you think are missing? What would you like to mend or enhance? What needs to be addressed?
Tell the group to create a new, complimentary and aspirational Article 31 - in their own words.
Ask: What can you and the group do, create or ask for, that will bring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the 21st Century?
Explain this is now Article 31!
Connection: Human Rights are ever changing and ever evolving and we must each play our part.
The banner - Artistic
Expression of Human Rights
On the large piece of material, ask all participants to paint/draw symbols to represent their group statement above.
Leave space to write in the statement later.
During this exercise, you can play music in the background.
When completed, take a photo of the groups banner When printed it will become Article 31 and join the other UDHR Articles.
Ask the group to find a way to hold/wear the banner and present it.
They are now owning, wearing, layering and sharing their UDHR
Take a group photo of them holding it - it will be used in a future workshop.
As a group, reflect on all the connections made in the workshop, what was learned and