Human Rights for Everyone?

About this Collection

What do I want to find out?

Explore pupils’ attitudes towards the universality of human rights. To what extent do pupils think that human rights are universal and inherent, or do pupils think that should be earned? 

What do I need?

  • Two pieces of paper per group.
  • Pens for each member of the group.
  • Each of the following rights printed on an individual card.

the right to food and water

the right to privacy and space

the right to healthcare

the right to keep clean

the right to a family

the right to express opinions and beliefs

the right to rest and leisure time

the right to protection from harm

the right to an education

the right to enter and leave the country freely

 What do I do?

Timing: 20 minutes

  • Decide if you want pupils to work in groups or individually.
  • Give each group or pupil a set of rights. You can use all the cards, select some or add some of your own.
  • Ask pupils to consider which rights apply to themselves, and to choose them from the list and arrange them on the piece of paper, writing their reasons around them.
  • Photograph the rights chosen for each group, and then collect up the pieces of paper.
  • Repeat this with the second piece of paper, asking pupils to choose the rights that apply to a different group of people.
  • Tell pupils that there may or may not be any difference, that is up to them.
  • Choose from a prisoner, a gay or lesbian person, a refugee, a political campaigner, a soldier or a migrant to your country
  • Photograph the second set, and record the number of times each is chosen.
  • Record any comments or questions pupils express during the activity

How do I analyse the results?

  • Using the recording table, look for difference between the two sets of choices, and for attitudinal responses in their reasons.
  • To what extent do pupils accept the universality of human rights? Are they differentiating between groups of people?
  • Look for difference between the before and after sets of data, are their responses less certain, more nuanced, broader, more critical?
  • Do pupils express any attitudes about human rights abuses in particular parts of the world, are these responses stereotyped or balanced?
  • Do pupils’ attitudes towards human rights extend to all humans, or do they vary from person to person, depending on their circumstances or behaviour?
  • What are the criteria, if any, that they believe must be fulfilled in order to have the full range of human rights protected?

How do I measure the change?

  • Look for an increase in understanding of the universality and inherent nature of human rights, that they apply to any human being and that they are not earned or lost.
  • Notice any change in the balance of pupils responses, can they identify positives and negatives, can they see and understand multiple viewpoints?
  • Look for fewer instances of stereotyped or negative comments about marginalised groups.
  • Observe pupils ability to take part in discussion, are they able to criticise the activity, how well do they listen and respond to one another’s views?