Rights and Responsibilities

Activity 10

The language of rights

Young people work in the first instance with an imaginary scenario about a journey through space to another planet and draft and re-draft a charter or declaration of rights. They then look at quotations from historic declarations – the Covenant of Madina, for example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the South African constitution and a recent statement from Northern Ireland. In the light of these they amend and add to the charters drafted by themselves. Download activity 10.

Activity 11

Human rights and human wrongs

Young people engage in a campaign, either as an exercise or (preferably) for real, for the protection of human rights worldwide. They start by viewing a recent film produced for young people by Amnesty International about injustices surrounding Guantanamo Bay. They may continue with specific cases which they research through the Amnesty website, or else with cases presented on the website of Cageprisoners. They should also look at the Liberty website. They may write letters to key figures, including their own MPs and ministers, and engage in fund-raising and publicity. Download activity 11.

Activity 12

Supporting and assisting people in need

Young people are given, or they themselves raise, a sum of money. Alternatively, they use imaginary money. They are also given descriptions of a range of charitable projects and decide how to allocate their real or imaginary money between them. More elaborately they can role-play the discussions, with different individuals or groups taking on different advocacy roles. Instead or as well, they make visits to, or receive visits from, real projects. Download activity 12.

Activity 13

Making democracy work

Arrange for the young people to look at a selection of today’s national newspapers, either the print editions or those online, or this week’s local papers; or at the most recently published statement of the central government’s legislative intentions (‘the Queen’s Speech’); or at the legislative intentions of the Scottish Parliament or Welsh Assembly. Ask them to discuss these and decide which of the issues they would like to influence, if they possibly can. They learn how to write letters and email messages to their own elected representatives; send various messages; and keep a record of the answers they receive. Download activity 13.

Activity 14

Every Muslim child matters

Young people are given a set of statements that could feature in an Ofsted report about a mainstream secondary school in Britain, or in a school’s self-assessment form (SEF). They add to the list and then use it to evaluate the mainstream school they know best. They may then proceed to write letters to the school’s board of governors, and may propose a debate about the issues at a forthcoming meeting of the School Council. Download activity 14.

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