Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Refugees and Children in Our World
Lesson 4
From Unit: Us vs. Them
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Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

Learners will describe problems of refugee populations around the world and human rights issues related to refugees. They will explain how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child act to protect human rights. Understanding that refugees exist on all populated continents, learners will have a wider understanding of the basic human need for dignity that all refugees feel.

Duration:

Five to Six Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

Objectives:

The learner will:

  • define refugee and describe what conditions cause persons to leave their homes.
  • explain the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • describe protections afforded refugees and children through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • map the movement of refugees from their homes to host countries and explain their ties to those countries.
  • reflect on what a country’s treatment of refugees says about its spirit of philanthropy and respect for human rights.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

The UN General Assembly has designated June 20 as "World Refugee Day," and every year events around the world are organized to raise awareness and funds for refugees. The learners will participate in their own project to raise awareness and funds.

Materials:

  • 3 x 5 cards (one per learner) (Attachment One), teacher reference only
  • Basic Facts about Refugees
  • Video: To Be a Refugee (or similar video dealing with refugees) available from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). See Bibliographical References for free copy (optional)
  • Learner copies of Simplified Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Attachment Two)
  • Learner copies of World Refugee Survey, 2001 (Attachment Three)
  • Desk size paper maps of the world or of various regions of the world
  • Learner copies of Convention on the Rights of the Child (Attachment Four)
  • Poster or butcher paper, old magazines, colored pencils, crayons or markers
Handout 1
Basic Facts about Refugees
Handout 2
Simplified Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Handout 3
World Refugee Survey, 2001
Handout 4
Convention on the Rights of the Child

Teacher Preparation:

If you would like to learn more about refugees in the US, please contact the IRC (International Rescue Committee). If they have a representative in your area, they would be happy to speak to your school about how students can take action to address this issue. Contact Thomas.Hill@theirc.org 

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Distribute 3x5 cards to the learners. Tell them that they are to imagine that rebel troops have just attacked their village. They have to leave very quickly and run away. They need to write down three things they will take with them.

  • Ask learners to share what they wrote on their cards and ask them to explain why they selected what they did.

  • Write the word refugee on the board and ask learners to give their ideas of what a refugee is. Record their responses. Using information from Basic Facts about Refugees (Attachment One), define refugee and provide enough information for the learners to understand what causes persons to become refugees.

    (Optional: Show the video To Be a Refugee, available free from UNHCR [www.unhcr.org], and discuss situations that turn persons into refugees.)

  • Have the learners write a paragraph in their journals about how people become refugees.

  • Put learners in small groups and ask them to make a list of rights they think all persons should have. Ask learners to share the rights they had on their lists. Record their responses. Share a simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Attachment Two) with learners. Discuss which of these rights may be violated as related to refugees.

  • Put learners into six groups. Distribute one section of World Refugee Survey, 2001 (Attachment Three) to each group, giving each learner a copy. The six groups should represent: Refugees in Africa; Refugees in Europe; Refugees in The Americas and the Caribbean; Refugees in East Asia and the Pacific; Refugees in Middle East; Refugees in South and Central Asia. Go over the information in the survey so that learners understand why certain countries receive refugees from other countries (across a common border, speak the same language, were in the same colonial family, etc.). Give each learner in the team the paper map that represents his/her area. Using the survey information from Attachment Three for their region, have the learners color their maps to represent host countries which receive refugees and home countries from which refugees are fleeing. Use the following directions:

    • Label all countries in the region.
    • Color all host countries yellow.
    • Color all home countries red.
    • For those countries which both receive refugees (host) and have people fleeing (home), alternate red and yellow stripes.
    • Leave countries which have no connection to refugees uncolored.
    • Create a map key on the map showing what the colors represent.
    • Name the map, e.g., Refugees in Middle East - 2001.

  • When the teams have finished their maps, they should work together to prepare a short three to five minute description of their work, explaining the refugee situation in their section of the world as they are able. If possible, they should seek information from the Internet on reasons why people are leaving some of the countries in their region. Display the maps and allow each team to report.

  • Distribute copies of Convention on the Rights of the Child (Attachment Four) to the learners. Go over the purpose of the document and each article to make sure learners understand the provisions. Divide the learners into teams of two and give each team two or three articles and art supplies. Assign the teams to illustrate the articles in a poster in such a way as to clarify their intent. The top of each poster should contain the Article number and name. Exhibit the posters in a display area (media center, lunchroom, hallway, display case) which will bring the Convention to the attention of other learners.

  • Using the Internet, visit the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees at www.unhcr.ch for information on refugees and their care. Explain that the UN General Assembly has designated June 20 as World Refugee Day, and every year events around the world are organized to raise awareness and funds for refugees. Using information available from the Web site, have the learners plan an event to raise awareness and/or funds for refugees. Discuss how the fundraiser is an act of philanthropy.

  • Option: If the local community or the school includes persons who are or have been refugees, explore that culture in a "Getting to Know You" celebration.

  • As a culmination of the unit, have the learners reflect on the lesson and write a short essay on what they have learned, using the words refugee, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, and human rights in their reflection. Ask them to include how their perceptions may have changed since the beginning of the unit. Conclude with a statement analyzing whether the way a country treats refugees says anything about its spirit of philanthropy and respect for human rights.

Assessment:

Learning may be assessed through group discussions, the map project on refugees, the short oral presentations of group work and the posters on the Rights of Children. Reflection papers will be assessed according to their understanding of refugees, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and human rights issues.

Scoring Guide for Reflection Essay

Points

Description

4

The response must:

  • explain the terms refugee and human rights.
  • describe protections afforded refugees and children through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • include how their perceptions may have changed about the plight of refugees.
  • analyze whether the way a country treats refugees says anything about its spirit of philanthropy and respect for human rights.

3

Contain 3 of the required elements.

2

Contain 2 of the required elements.

1

Contain 1 of the required elements.

0

Contain none of the elements.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Teachers may wish to have learners write letters to refugee pen pals. If this is the case, it will be necessary to register with RESPECT International (www.respectrefugees.org) about two weeks in advance of teaching the lesson to make arrangements for refugee pen pals. There is a handbook available for teachers to order that gives lots of information and a list of useful resources, many of which are free.

  • Explain the pen pal project to the learners. Talk about the organization RESPECT International (www.respectrefugees.org). Read the letters received from refugee learners aloud to the class. Have learners choose their pen pals from the letters read.

  • Review the proper format for writing a friendly letter.

  • Ask learners to write letters to their pen pals. Before beginning their letters, brainstorm a list of things to write about. Some things to include are: name, age and grade in school, description of your family, description of your school day, what you like to do for fun. Ask the pen pals questions about their lives, e.g., How did you become a refugee? What is your school like? What do you do in your free time? What sports do you like? What kind of music do you like? What is your family like?

  • Mail the letters in one large envelope according to the instructions given on the RESPECT Web site. Learners may include photos with their letters.

Bibliographical References:

  • Children of Exile: Workbook and Teacher’s Guide. Video available from UNHCR (www.unhcr.org), 1999. In this 15-minute educational film for children 8-12 years old, there are five refugee children: John from Sudan, Sreisor from Cambodia, Damir and Medin from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mina from Afghanistan. Through their vivid descriptions, they share the pain and isolation of being a refugee and explain why refugee children hope and dream of a normal life. The children in this video recount their stories of war and flight and what it is like to be a refugee. A teacher’s guide accompanies the video and helps teachers raise issues of flight and what it means to be a refugee.

     
  • Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2001. ISBN: 0888994168

     
  • Ellis, Deborah. Mud City. Groundwood Books, 2003. ISBN: 0888995180

     
  • Ellis, Deborah. Parvana’s Journey. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2003. ISBN: 0888995199

     
  • http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/ The Convention on the Rights of the Child This site provides information on each Article of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

     
  • http://www.refugees.org This site provided the World Refugee Survey, 2001 developed by U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  •  
  • UNHCR. www.unhcr.org  This site provides basic information on refugees.

     
  • Naidoo, Beverly. The Other Side of Truth. New York: Amistad, 2002. ISBN: 0064410021

     
  • Schaeffer, Marc. Refugee Education Sponsorship Program Enhancing Communities Together Handbook. Respect International, 2004. (Available from www.respectrefugees.org).

     
  • To Be a Refugee: Video and Teachers’ Guide. Video available from UNHCR (www.unhcr.org), 1999.

     
  • Wilkes, Sybella. One Day We Had to Run! Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1995. ISBN: 156294844X

     
  • University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center, Simplified Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Part-5/8_udhr-abbr.htm)

     
  • Zephanrah, Benjamin. Refugee Boy. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; U.S. edition 2002. ISBN: 1582347638

Lesson Developed By:

Judy Huynh
Palo Community Schools
Palo Elementary/Middle School
Palo, MI 48870

Handouts:

Handout 1Print Handout 1

Basic Facts about Refugees

 

 

Who Is a Refugee? 

Refugees are people who have left their homeland because they fear that they will lose their lives or their freedom if they stay. People become refugees because one or more of their basic human rights has been violated or threatened.

International law defines a "refugee" as a person who has fled from and/or cannot return to his/her country due to a well-founded fear of persecution, including war or civil conflict. Article I of The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees says, "A refugee is a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."

The most important parts of the refugee definition are:

  • Refugees have to be outside their country of origin;
  • The reason for their flight has to be a fear of persecution;
  • The fear of persecution has to be well-founded, i.e. they have to have experienced persecution or be likely to experience it if they return;
  • The persecution has to result from one or more of the five grounds listed in the definition;
  • They have to be unwilling or unable to seek the protection of their country.

 

 What Is the UNHCR?

Protecting refugees is the core mandate of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Refugees are people who have fled their countries, while internally displaced persons (IDPs) are those who are still in their country’s territory but are not living in their home area.

How are refugees protected?

Using the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention as its major tool, UNHCR ensures the basic human rights of vulnerable persons and ensures that refugees will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they face persecution. Longer term, the organization helps civilians return to their homeland, integrate in countries of asylum or resettle in third countries. It also seeks to provide at least a minimum of shelter, food, water and medical care in the immediate aftermath of any refugee exodus.

Governments normally guarantee the basic human rights and physical security of their citizens. But when civilians become refugees this safety net disappears. UNHCR’s main role is to ensure that countries are aware of, and act on, their obligations to protect refugees and persons seeking asylum. Countries may not forcibly return refugees to a territory where they face danger or discriminate between groups of refugees.

A refugee has the right to safe asylum. Refugees should receive the same rights and basic help as any other foreigner who is a legal resident, including freedom of thought, of movement and freedom from torture and degrading treatment. Refugees should have access to medical care, schooling and the right to work. Are persons fleeing war or war-related conditions such as famine and ethnic violence refugees?

 

The 1951 Geneva Convention, the main international instrument of refugee law, does not specifically address the issue of civilians fleeing conflict, though in recent years major refugee movements have resulted from civil wars, ethnic, tribal and religious violence. However, UNHCR considers that persons fleeing such conditions, and whose state is unwilling or unable to protect them, should be considered refugees.

How does UNHCR distinguish between a refugee and an economic migrant?

 

An economic migrant normally leaves a country voluntarily to seek a better life. Should he or she elect to return home, he or she would continue to receive the protection of his or her government. Refugees flee because of the threat of persecution and cannot return safely to their homes in the prevailing circumstances.

How is the term "refugee" misused?

 

The term has slipped into common usage to cover a range of people, including those displaced by natural disaster or environmental change. Refugees are often confused with other migrants.

In international law, the term "refugee" has a specific meaning and is NOT to be confused with:

      • Economic Migrant
      • Illegal Immigrant
      • Environmental Migrant

      The accurate description of people who leave their country or place of residence because they want to seek a better life is "economic migrant." Migrants make a conscious choice to leave their country of origin and can return there without a problem. If things do not work out as they had hoped or if they get homesick, it is safe for them to return home.


      Under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum. In addition, Article 13 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that countries should not impose penalties on individuals coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom is threatened on account of their illegal entry. Often governments refuse to issue passports to known political dissidents or imprison them if they apply. Refugees may not be able to obtain the necessary documents when trying to escape and may have no choice but to resort to illegal means of escape. Therefore although the only means of escape for some may be illegal entry and/or the use of false documentation, if the person has a well-founded fear of persecution they should be viewed as a refugee and not labeled an "illegal immigrant.


      There are currently 12 million refugees around the world. There are approximately double that number of people who have fled because of floods, famine and other environmental disasters. Although there are similarities between the two groups, the most obvious being the forced nature of their flight and then their need for material assistance and permission to live elsewhere, there are also important differences too. Refugees cannot turn to their own governments for protection because states are often the source of persecution and they therefore need international assistance, whereas those fleeing natural disasters continue to enjoy national protection whatever the state of the landscape. Therefore, those fleeing for environmental reasons should be considered "environmental migrants."

Who are Internally Displaced Persons?

An Internally Displaced Person (IDP) may have been forced to flee his home for the same reasons as a refugee, but has not crossed an internationally recognized border. Many IDPs are in refugee-like situations and face the same problems as refugees. There are more IDPs in the world than refugees. Globally, there are an estimated 20-25 million so-called internally displaced persons (IDPs) and UNHCR helps 6.3 million of these.
 

Retrieved from http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home 


 

 

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Simplified Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Now, therefore, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human

Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that

every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall

strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms:

Article 1 Right to equality

Article 2 Freedom from discrimination

Article 3 Right to life, liberty, personal security

Article 4 Freedom from slavery

Article 5 Freedom from torture, degrading treatment

Article 6 Right to recognition as a person before the law

Article 7 Right to equality before the law

Article 8 Right to remedy by competent tribunal

Article 9 Freedom from arbitrary arrest, exile

Article 10 Right to a fair public hearing

Article 11 Right to be considered innocent until proven guilty

Article 12 Freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence

Article 13 Right to free movement in and out of the country

Article 14 Right to asylum in other countries from persecution

Article 15 Right to a nationality and freedom to change it

Article 16 Right to marriage and family

Article 17 Right to own property

Article 18 Freedom of belief and religion

Article 19 Freedom of opinion and information

Article 20 Right of peaceful assembly and association

Article 21 Right to participate in government and in free elections

Article 22 Right to social security

Article 23 Right to desirable work and to join trade unions

Article 24 Right to rest and leisure

Article 25 Right to adequate living standard

Article 26 Right to education

Article 27 Right to participate in the cultural life of community

Article 28 Right to social order assuring human rights

Article 29 Community duties essential to free and full development

Article 30 Freedom from state or personal interference in the above rights

(Source: University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Centre,
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/hreduseries/hereandnow/Part-5/8_udhr-abbr.htm)

Handout 3Print Handout 3

World Refugee Survey, 2001

Refugees in Africa: 3,346,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

ALGERIA

Western Sahara, Palestinians

85,000

ANGOLA

Congo-Kinshasa

12,000

BENIN

Togo, Other

4,000

BOTSWANA

 

3,000

BURUNDI

Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda

6,000

CAMEROON

Chad, Congo-Kinshasa, Other

45,000

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Sudan, Congo-Kinshasa, Chad, Other

54,000

CHAD

Sudan

20,000

CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE

Congo-Kinshasa, Angola, Rwanda, Other

126,000

CONGO-KINSHASA

Angola, Sudan, Burundi, Uganda, Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda

276,000

CÔTE D’IVOIRE

Liberia, Sierra Leone, Other

94,000

DJIBOUTI

Somalia, Ethiopia

22,000

EGYPT

Palestinians, Sudan, Somalia, Other

57,000

ERITREA

Somalia

1,000

ETHIOPIA

Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti

194,000

GABON

Congo-Brazzaville

15,000

GAMBIA

Sierra Leone, Senegal

15,000

GHANA

Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone

13,000

GUINEA

Sierra Leone, Liberia

390,000

GUINEA-BISSAU

Senegal, Other

6,000

KENYA

Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Other

233,000

LIBERIA

Sierra Leone

70,000

LIBYA

Palestinians, Somalia

11,000

MALI

Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Other

7,000

MAURITANIA

Western Sahara

25,000

MOZAMBIQUE

 

2,000

NAMIBIA

Angola

20,000

NIGER

 

1,000

NIGERIA

Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad

10,000

RWANDA

Congo-Kinshasa, Burundi

29,000

SENEGAL

Mauritania, Other

41,000

SIERRA LEONE

Liberia

3,000

SOUTH AFRICA

 

30,000

SUDAN

Eritrea, Etiopía, Chad, Uganda

385,000

TANZANIA

Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Somalia

543,000

TOGO

Ghana, Other

11,000

UGANDA

Sudan, Rwanda, Congo-Kinshasa, Somalia, Other

230,000

ZAMBIA

Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Other

255,000

ZIMBABWE

 

2,000

     

African Total

 

3,346,000

 

Refugees in Europe: 1,153,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

ALBANIA

Yugoslavia

500

AUSTRIA

 

6,100

AZERBAIJAN

Russian Federation, Afghanistan, Other

3,600

BELARUS

Afghanistan, Georgia, Other

3,200

BELGIUM

 

46,400

BOSNIA & HERCEGOVINA

Croatia, Yugoslavia

38,200

BULGARIA

 

3,000

CROATIA

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia

22,500

CYPRUS

 

300

CZECH REPUBLIC

 

4,800

DENMARK

 

10,300

FINLAND

 

2,600

FRANCE

 

26,200

GEORGIA

Russian Federation

7,600

GERMANY

Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Other

180,000

GREECE

 

800

HUNGARY

 

4,200

ICELAND

 

50

IRELAND

 

7,700

ITALY

 

13,700

LITHUANIA

 

150

MACEDONIA

Yugoslavia

9,000

NETHERLANDS

 

29,600

NORWAY

 

8,600

POLAND

 

2,300

PORTUGAL

Guinea-Bissau, Other

1,600

ROMANIA

 

2,100

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Georgia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Other

36,200

SLOVAK REPUBLIC

 

400

SLOVENIA

 

12,000

SPAIN

 

1,100

SWEDEN

Yugoslavia, Other

18,500

SWITZERLAND

Yugoslavia, Other

62,600

TURKEY

Iran, Iraq, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Yugoslavia, Russian Federation

9,900

UKRAINE

Georgia, Afghanistan, Other

5,500

UNITED KINGDOM

 

87,800

YUGOSLAVIA

Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Slovenia

484,200

     

Europe Total

 

1,153,000

 

Refugees in The Americas and the Caribbean: 562,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

ARGENTINA

Peru, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Other

1,000

BAHAMAS

 

100

BELIZE

El Salvador, Other

1,700

BRAZIL

 

2,700

CANADA

 

54,400

CHILE

 

300

COLOMBIA

 

250

COSTA RICA

Nicaragua, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Other

7,300

CUBA

 

1,000

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Peru, Other

500

ECUADOR

 

1,600

GUATEMALA

Nicaragua, Other

700

JAMAICA

 

50

MEXICO

Guatemala, El Salvador, Other

6,500

NICARAGUA

 

300

PANAMA

Colombia, Other

1,300

PERU

 

750

UNITED STATES

El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Other

481,500

URUGUAY

 

50

VENEZUELA

 

100

     

The Americas and the Caribbean TOTAL

 

562,000

 

Refugees in East Asia and the Pacific: 792,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

AUSTRALIA

 

16,700

CAMBODIA

 

50

CHINA

Vietnam, North Korea, Other

350,000

INDONESIA

East Timor, Other

120,800

JAPAN

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Other

3,800

MALAYSIA

Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Other

57,400

NEW ZEALAND

 

3,100

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Indonesia

6,000

PHILIPPINES

 

200

SOUTH KOREA

 

350

THAILAND

Burma, Other

217,300

VIETNAM

Cambodia

16,000

     

East Asia and the Pacific Total

 

792,000

 

Refugees in Middle East: 6,035,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

GAZA STRIP

Palestinians

824,600

IRAN

Afghanistan, Iraq, Other

1,895,000

IRAQ

Palestinians, Iran, Turkey, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria

127,700

ISRAEL

Lebanon, Other

4,700

JORDAN

Palestinians, Other

1,580,000

KUWAIT

Palestinians, Iraq, Somalia

52,000

LEBANON

Palestinians, Other

383,200

SAUDI ARABIA

Palestinians, Iraq, Afghanistan, Other

128,500

SYRIA

Palestinians, Other

389,000

WEST BANK

Palestinians

583,000

YEMEN

Somalia, Palestinians, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Other

67,600

     

Middle East Total

 

6,035,000

 

Refugees in South and Central Asia: 2,656,000

"Host" Country

Home Country of Refugees

Number

BANGLADESH

Burma, Other

121,600

INDIA

China (Tibet), Sri Lanka, Burma, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Other

290,000

KAZAKHSTAN

Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Other

20,000

KYRGYZSTAN

Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Russian Federation

11,000

NEPAL

Bhutan, China (Tibet)

129,000

PAKISTAN

Afghanistan, India, Other

2,019,000

TAJIKISTAN

 

12,400

TURKMENISTAN

Tajikistan, Afghanistan

14,200

UZBEKISTAN

Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Other

38,400

     

South and Central Asia Total

 

2,656,000

 

Source: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants found at
http://www.refugees.org

Handout 4Print Handout 4

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 1: Definition of Child

For the purposes of this document, child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law, adult status is earlier.

Article 2: Freedom from Discrimination

All the rights in the Convention apply to all young people without exception. Also, governments have the responsibility to make sure that we are protected from discrimination and punishment based on our families’ status, origin, beliefs, etc.

Article 3: Our Best Interests as Young People

In all decisions which concern us, our best interests should be considered first and foremost.

Article 4: Enforcing the Convention

Countries shall pass laws to carry out the rules of this Convention.

Article 5: Respect for Parents

Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents, extended family and guardians in giving us guidance and direction when we exercise our rights.

Article 6: Our Survival and Development

As young people, we have the right to life. Also, governments have the responsibility to ensure our survival and development to the maximum extent possible.

Article 7: Our Name and Nationality

At birth, we have the right to be given a name, to acquire a nationality and, whenever possible, to know and to be cared for by our parents.

Article 8: Keeping our Identity

We have the right to preserve and re-establish our name, nationality and family ties.

Article 9: Separation from our Parents

We have the right to live with our parents and not to be separated from them, unless this goes against our best interests. In any hearings or proceedings concerning a separation, we have the right to make our views known. We also have the right to keep in contact with both of our parents. If the separation comes from a government decision, it must provide us with information on our parents’ whereabouts.

Article 10: Family Reunification

If we need to enter or leave a country to be reunited with our families, governments have the responsibility to deal with our case quickly and humanely. Also, if our parents live in another country, we have the right to have personal and direct contact with them.

Article 11: Kidnapping and Holding of Young People

Governments have a responsibility to combat the kidnapping or holding of young people in foreign countries, either by a parent or by any other person.

Article 12: Having our Opinions Heard

We have the right to make our views known in decisions that affect us, and in particular in any court or administrative proceedings that are important to us. As we become older, our views should be taken more and more into consideration.

We have the right to express ourselves and to receive or send information through any media, including print, art or word of mouth. We have the responsibility to express ourselves in a way that respects the rights and reputations of other people.

Article 13: Our Freedom to Express Ourselves

We have the right to express ourselves and to receive or send information through any media, including print, art or word of mouth. We have the responsibility to express ourselves in a way that respects the rights and reputations of other people.

Article 14: Our Freedom of Conscience and Religion

We have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Governments must respect the rights and duties of our parents or guardians in giving us direction when we need to exercise these rights.

Article 15: Our Freedom of Association

We have the right to meet with others, and to join or start our own associations. We have the responsibility to exercise this right in a way that respects the rights, health and safety of others.

Article 16: Our Freedom from Invasions of Privacy

We have the right to be free from invasions on our privacy, our family, our home or our correspondence with others. We also have the right to be free from attacks on our reputation and honor.

Article 17: The Media

Governments have the responsibility to make sure that information and material is available to us from many sources, both national and international, especially when it is aimed at promoting our well-being and health.

Article 18: Responsibility of Parents and Guardians

Both of our parents or guardians are responsible for our upbringing, and this responsibility belongs to them before anyone else. The government will support our parents in bringing us up and make sure that childcare is available for working parents.

Article 19: Abuse and Neglect

We have the right to be protected from all abuse, mental and physical violence, neglect and exploitation while we are under the care of anyone who is responsible for us. We also have the right to learn how to prevent and treat this abuse.

Article 20: Young People without Families

If we are deprived of a family environment, we have the right to special protection and assistance from our government, and we are entitled to alternative family or institutional care which respects our ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.

Article 21: Being Adopted

In countries where adoption is allowed, it must reflect our best interests as young people and be supervised by competent authorities. If the adoption takes place between countries, governments have the responsibility to ensure that standards are equivalent to adoptions within one country.

Article 22: Young Refugees

If we are refugees, forced to leave our country to avoid persecution, or we are seeking refugee status, we are entitled to special protection and assistance from governments.

 

Article 23: Disabled Young People

If we are disabled, we have the right to special care and education that will help us achieve self-reliance and enjoy a full life in society.

Article 24: Health and Health Care

We have the right to the highest level of health and medical care attainable. Governments have the responsibility to combat child mortality levels, ensure medical assistance to young people, fight malnutrition and disease, guarantee health care for new and expectant mothers, make health education available, develop preventive health care and abolish traditional harmful practices.

Article 25: In Care, Review of our Placement

If we are placed by the authorities under protection, care or treatment, we have the right to a regular review of that placement.

Article 26: Our Social Security

We have the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance. These benefits will be distributed in relation to the resources and circumstances of ourselves and our parents or guardians.

Article 27: Our Standard of Living

We have the right to an adequate standard of living for our physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social well-being. Our parents or guardians have the primary responsibility to make sure that our standard of living is acceptable. The government has a responsibility to assist parents or guardians who are not able to provide their children with this standard.

Article 28: Our Education

We have the right to education. Governments have the responsibility to guarantee that primary education is compulsory and free of charge, that we all have equal access to secondary and higher education and that discipline used in our schools does not go against our human dignity. Also, governments will encourage international cooperation to help eliminate ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world, and help us have access to science, technology and modern teaching methods.

Article 29: The Goals of our Education

We have the right to an education aimed at:

    • developing our own personalities and abilities, both mental and physical;
    • preparing us to become responsible members of a free society;
    • developing respect for our parents or guardians, for human rights, for the environment and for the cultural and national values of ourselves and others.

Article 30: Being from a Minority Group

If we are members of a minority or indigenous group, we have the right to enjoy our culture, practice our own religion and speak our own language.

Article 31: Leisure and Recreation

We have the right to leisure and recreation, and to participate freely in cultural and artistic activities.

Article 32: Child Labor

We have the right to be protected from economic exploitation and from work that is a threat to our health, education and development. Our government should set a minimum age for employment, make rules about hours and conditions of work, and establish penalties for enforcement of these rules.

Article 33: Protection from Narcotics

We have the right to be protected from the use of illegal drugs, and from being involved in their production and distribution.

Article 34: Protection from Sexual Exploitation

We have the right to be protected from sexual exploitation and abuse, including prostitution and pornography.

Article 35: Protection from Sale and Trafficking

Governments have the responsibility to do everything they can to prevent the sale, trafficking and abduction of young people.

Article 36: All Other Exploitation

We have the right to be protected against all other types of exploitation.

Article 37: Punishment and Detention

We have the right to be protected from torture, cruel treatment or punishment and unlawful arrest. Our government should make sure that capital punishment and life imprisonment are prohibited for children. If we are jailed, we have the right to be treated with respect, to be kept separated from adults, to keep contact with our families and to receive legal assistance.

Article 38: Wars and Armed Conflicts

If we are not fifteen, we cannot be sent to war. If we are affected by armed conflict, our government has the responsibility to provide us with special protection and care.

Article 39: Rehabilitative Care

If we have experienced armed conflict, torture, neglect or exploitation, we have the right to receive appropriate care for our recovery.

Article 40: Young People and Justice

If we are accused of breaking the law, we have the right to be treated with dignity, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, to be told of the charges made against us, to have an interpreter if needed, to receive a fair trial, to have our privacy respected and to appeal the court’s decision. Governments have the responsibility to establish a minimum age below which young people will be presumed not to have the capacity to break penal law. Also, governments must consider appropriate alternative measures to institutional care, such as guidance, supervision, probation, foster care, education or training programs.

Article 41: Higher Standards are Superior

If standards of national or international laws are superior to this Convention, the higher standards will always apply.

 

Source: The Convention of the Rights of the Child found at http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/k2crc.htm

Philanthropy Framework:

Comments

Fiona, Educator – Glasgow, United Kingdom11/12/2006 2:00:24 AM

Thank you. I am using only a tiny section of this for a Sunday School class here in Scotland, but as a university lecturer, congratulations for your excellent and complete curriculum design! Wow!

Thomas, Other – Los Angeles, CA11/1/2010 4:58:46 PM

This is a great unit, and the handout from this lesson is useful for anyone working with refugees!

Executive Director, Los Angeles
International Rescue Committee

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Unit Contents:

Overview:Us vs. Them Summary

Lessons:

1.
I Belong, But Why Don't You?
2.
We Can Work It Out
3.
People Who Made a Difference
4.
Refugees and Children in Our World

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