What's it all about?
December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, International Human Rights Day has a theme of dignity and justice for all.
With primary children, you could start by talking in general terms about rights and responsibilities. You could use school as an example. What do the teachers need to do for the children? What do children need to do to make school a safe place, or to learn properly?
Get pupils to suggest things they should do, and things that teachers should. Explain that these rights and responsibilities can also be called rules or laws.
Then you could explain that some people, and some children, are not treated kindly. Talk about what the essential human rights might be, starting with the basic concepts of not being hurt by others, the right to food and water, and the right to express opinions freely. Everyone wants to be treated nicely by others, but everyone has to also treat other people well. Rules are there to help, in school and society, but some people, in some countries, break them.
With older secondary pupils you could touch more on international human rights abuses or go into more detail about the UN Declaration of Human Rights. But whatever you do, with whatever age group, it is important to remember that pupils or close family members may have suffered human rights abuses.
Help, I've got no time to prepare
There is a readymade primary assembly at www.teachernet.gov.ukteachingandlearningassembliesindex.cfm?mode=searchdisplayid=25history=keyword
Where do I go for more information?