HRE Library – Topics

Freedom of Association

“Courage happens when people unite.” – Anonymous The right to form associations, to organize, and to assemble together with the aim of addressing issues of common concern is a human right protected in international and regional human rights treaties. Both an individual…

Bullying

“Any failure to treat bullying, abuse and violence seriously, because it occurs between students, within schools, is a violation of a child’s human rights.”   ~New Zealand Human Rights Commission Bullying is not simply about threats, intimidation, and violence; it…

Children

“In all actions concerning children, … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” ~Article 3, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child The fifty-four articles in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child…

Cultural Rights

Democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.” ~Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Consciously or unconsciously, culture is one of the primary sources of every human being’s self-definition and sense of group belonging,…

Death Penalty

For centuries the death penalty, often accompanied by barbarous refinements, has been trying to hold crime in check; yet crime persists. ~Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death The use of the death penalty, also called capital punishment, denies basic human…

Discrimination

A country should be judged on how it treats its minorities. Mahatma Gandhi Discrimination, the systematic denial of certain peoples’ or groups’ full human rights because of who they are or what they believe, I is an assault on the very notion…

Diversity

Cultural diversity … can only thrive in an environment that safeguards fundamental freedoms and human rights, which are universal, indivisible, interconnected and interdependent.[1]  Diversity is essentially linked to the fundamental human right to equality and non-discrimination. It honors human differences…

Education

Education operates as a multiplier, enhancing the enjoyment of all individual rights … ~ Katerina Tomasevski, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education The right to education is a fundamental human right that affects both individuals and societies as…

Environment

As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if…

Freedom of Expression

Sir, I do not share your views, but I would risk my life for your right to express them. Voltaire (1694-1778) Freedom of expression is essential to democracy. Citizens cannot effectively exercise their right to vote or take part in…

Food

“Necessitous men are not free men” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Four Freedoms Speech” The right to food is not simply a right to a minimum ration of calories, proteins, and other specific nutrients; it is a right to all nutritional elements…

Gender

 The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. ~Gloria Steinem “Gender” describes roles, rights, and responsibilities that communities and societies consider appropriate for women/girls and men/boys. The concept of gender varies…

Genocide

“Never again” is the rallying cry for all who believe that mankind must speak out against genocide.  ~Jon Corzine The 1948 the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines genocide as “acts committed…

Health

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic, or social condition.”    ~Preamble to the Whole Health Organization Constitution  Health is…

Housing

 The human right to adequate housing is more than just four walls and a roof. It is the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to…

Human Rights

I think it is necessary to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights.  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Human rights are universal, inalienable, and interdependent. They are the birthright of…

Human Rights Education

[E]very individual and every organ of society [should] strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedom. ~Preamble, Universal Declaration of Human Rights  Human Rights Educators USA defines human rights education (HRE) as  … a lifelong…

Human Trafficking

Violations of human rights are both a cause and a consequence of trafficking in persons. Accordingly, it is essential to place the protection of all human rights at the centre of any measures taken to prevent and end trafficking. ~UN…

Humanitarian Law

The awful truth is that civilians today are not just “caught in the crossfire.” They are not accidental casualties or “collateral damage” as the current euphemism has it. All too often, they are deliberately targeted. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the…

Immigrant Rights

I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong. ~George Washington Although free movement may seem to be a fairly minor…

Indigenous Peoples Rights

The international community now recognizes that special measures are required to protect the rights of the Indigenous peoples. ~United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues website[1] Indigenous Peoples today number more than 370 million individuals and live in more than…

LGBTQ Rights

Some say that sexual orientation and gender identity are sensitive issues. I understand. Like many of my generation, I did not grow up talking about these issues. But I learned to speak out because lives are at stake, and because…

Migrant Rights

A migrant is legally defined as “a person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.”  The International Convention on the…

Persons with Disabilities

The purpose of the present convention is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.  Article 1, Convention…

Poverty

So long as every fifth inhabitant of our planet lives in absolute poverty, there can be no real stability in the world. ~ Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR,1948) states that “Everyone…

Racism

No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.   ~ Elie Wiesel Although race is now generally understood to be a social construct without scientific significance among human being, concepts of…

School Climate

The following resources can be used in a single classroom but also to address the climate of the whole school. They are especially relevant to schools seeking to become a human rights school community.  The activities below are broken down by…

Refugee Rights

I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present. –  Kofi Annan  Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) states, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in…

Torture

 Torture is an atrocious violation of human dignity. It dehumanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. …. Freedom from torture is a fundamental human right that must be protected under all circumstances. – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-general  Article 5 of…

United Nations

There are millions of people all over the world, right now, who are looking to the United Nations for protection and redress against the violation of their rights and deprivation of their freedoms. ~ Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…

Water

“Water is life.” Although the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) does not explicitly mention water, Article 25 proclaims “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate of the health and well-being of himself and of his…

Women & Girls

The advancement of women and the achievement of equality between women and men are a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and should not be seen in isolation as a women’s issue. ~Beijing Declaration and Platform…

Work

Let us choose to unite the powers of markets with the authority of universal principles.  ~Kofi Annan Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948) recognizes, “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just…