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Commemorate Human Rights Day: Introduction - rightsED

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Commemorate Human Rights Day: 10 December

Download complete resource in pdf PDF or word Word

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment (all),
Design and Technology, English, Legal Studies, International Studies

Level: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

Time needed: 1–4 lessons


December 10 is the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations (UN) of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR sets out a certain
set of rights that are the basic and minimum set of human rights for all

Setting aside a day to commemorate, educate and reflect on the principles
that form the UDHR means celebrating the rights we exercise everyday as
Australians, and acknowledging that enjoying those rights carries with it the
responsibility of promoting these rights for all people.

Things that many of us take for granted – such as the right to an
education, the right to receive medical care, and the freedom to practice our
chosen religion – are not equally available to all Australians and people
in other parts of the world.

Many individuals and communities will be commemorating and celebrating
December 10, and pledging a commitment to maintain and improve people’s
human rights wherever possible.


The resources are designed to provide a brief and interesting introduction to
the topic of human rights. The activities can be photocopied for class use and
used individually or as an entire resource.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • identify the origins of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • develop an understanding of their own rights and responsibilities
  • apply their own understanding of rights to the work and lives of


  • Resource sheet: Where did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come
  • Activity sheet: Where did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come
  • Activity sheet: What does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Activity sheet: How have international human rights developed?
  • Activity sheet: Human rights scenarios
  • Resource sheet: How can you commemorate human rights day in your school?

Teaching strategies

Each of the resource sheets and activities has been designed so that it can
be used either as an individual lesson, or as part of a series. The final
resource sheets provide students with ideas for further projects on the topic of
human rights.

Note that more detailed information about human rights laws can be found

  • Human Rights Explained Fact Sheets
  • Lets talk about rights toolkit