What is it all about?
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on December 10 to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed 61 years ago. It is based on the concept that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". The focus for 2009 is on non-discrimination and people are encouraged to advocate non-discrimination in all areas of life by raising awareness and reaching out to local communities.
The topic of human rights is considerably broad and can be incorporated into lessons in most subjects. You can organise presentations or worksheets to teach pupils about the declaration and the meaning of human rights. Once they have an understanding of the meaning of the concept, this can be used to promote class discussion. Ask pupils to describe instances where they feel human rights have been violated, such as stories they may have heard on the news or read online. Pupils could devise their own "declarations" for display in the classroom, perhaps in the form of posters.
Help, I have got no time to prepare
The United Nations Human Rights website has lots of information about the declaration and its meaning which you can use to inform pupils. Visit www.ohchr.orgENAboutUsPagesHumanRightsDay2009.aspx
Where do I get more information?
The TES website has lots of helpful information and resources which you can use to celebrate Human Rights Day. Visit www.tes.co.ukhuman-rights-day for more details.