Lesson video

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I'm Mrs Baker and we're about to get started on one of my favourite topics in citizenship because I think it's so important that we're all aware of that.

So if you'd like to find yourself some quiet space turn your phones onto silent, make sure notifications are off and I can let you know what your need for today's lesson and get ready to have a really interesting but quite challenging lesson, I think.


Thank you.

Hello everybody.

So today's lesson, you are going to need something to write with and something to write on and also to be ready to think.

Now in today's lesson, we are talking about human rights abuses.

That might be a sensitive topic for some of you.

And if you feel it is it might be a good idea to get a trusted adult, to sit with you for this lesson, who can support you through this.

There isn't any horrible images or any details but just in case you feel you do need that support.

So what would we be looking at today then? Well, we're still on our topic of global problems and we are looking at why there are still human rights abuses in the world today.

First of all, we're going to have a look at what human rights are and who has them.

Then we're going to think about how human rights are abused.

We're going to look at some global case studies and who is responsible for preventing human rights abuses.

So we've got a lot to get through.

Let's get started.

So, what I'd like you to do now if you can please is think about all of the basic things humans need to survive.

Think of as many as you can, and just draw a quick diagram.

So things that basically we need to survive you can draw a quick spider diagram or mind map see what you can come up with.

I'm only going to give you a very short amount of time to do this.

It's just to get our brains thinking right at the start of the lesson.

So what can you come up with? Let's do it as quick as we can.

I'm going to start giving you a countdown now.

Maybe you're thinking about things that we need every day, perhaps things we do when we are, things that we put in our mouth, perhaps you're thinking about more conceptual things, thinking about our emotions.

Not quite sure but write all of these ideas down.

So you probably got a lot of things written down or lots of ideas.

But some of the basic things that perhaps you have included and I certainly thought about were food and water, shelter medical treatment, or medical care and protection from people who could harm us.

And these are basic things that every single human would need from the time that they are born.

I think we can all agree that they are pretty important.

So what are human rights then? Well, a definition of rights would actually be that they are entitlements.

They are something that everyone deserves and these protect our freedoms and the way we live our life.

So the word entitlement just means that absolutely everyone gets them no matter who they are.

And they protect what we are free to do.

So we're all entitled to these.

We all have some freedoms and this is what rights are and this is why they're so important.

And on that previous picture, you saw a lady holding up a big sheet and at the top it said human rights.

And this is what we're going to be investigating a little bit further.

You're going to write down as many of the human rights that you can possibly remember.

Or you might want to make a note of them as you go through the video.

So some of our human rights are mentioned in this video.

And I would like you to make a note of them as you go through or do so when you've finished.

1948 rings a bell? Yes of course.

It was in the last century grandma and grandpa's generation legend has it that there were still dinosaurs hiding in caves up in the mountains but that is something we're really not sure of at all.

Back then, everyone was recovering from the second world war and it's 17 million dead the most devastating conflict in human history.

So in 1948 to make sure such atrocities would not happen again.

The search for shared values began why? Have people unite around a strong symbol the universal declaration of human rights.

What is less known is that it was adopted by the UN general assembly and has become the most translated text on earth.

But what are human rights? The rights you are entitled to simply because you are a human being.

In other words, everyone benefits from them from birth without exception or distinction.

The idea behind it is that these rights are like needs.

They are absolutely necessary to live well.

Without them, it would be the law of the jungle.

And you'd risked being beheaded if your government didn't like your Facebook status.

In the declarations of 30 articles, there are the civil and political liberties, such as the right to life, the right to vote, freedom of expression or the prohibition of slavery and torture.

Rights are interdependent, indivisible and interrelated.

This means that if a right is not respected, a series of other rights won't be either.

If you are homeless you live in the streets.

So you can't sleep.

You get sick, you don't go to school and won't find a job.

Violation of the right to adequate housing triggers the violation of the rights to rest, the rights to education, the right to work, et cetera.

These are economic, social and cultural rights.

So a great text was agreed upon, but who does what? Well on paper the state's mission is to take the necessary measures for the declaration to be respected.

But in reality, there are some very bad students.

The declaration is not a legislative text.

It's an ideal.

Its name says it all.

It is the declaration.

Therefore it is not valid in a court of law but most States have integrated human rights in their constitution.

And therefore they must guarantee them.

You can defend human rights only if you know them everybody's role is to ensure they are respected.

Collective conscience means that each and every person is responsible for everybody else's wellbeing.

Therefore we can all get involved protest against injustices and make the universal lights ideal succeed.

Okay welcome back.

So hopefully you've got some of the rights that I've got here.

You may have got some different ones from me or you may have got the same ones.

You'll also notice on your worksheet that there is actually a copy of all of the rights all of the human rights that we're entitled to.

And there's actually 30 of them.

So you've got a right to education, a right to free speech, a right to life, freedom from slavery, freedom from torture, right to a fair trial.

If you committed a crime, you're entitled to go to court and have your evidence and people to listen to your side of the story.


Freedom to protest.

And we've heard about people protesting in our previous units.

Freedom to own property.

Right to vote and take part in elections.

So all of these things are our basic entitlements and our basic rights and every single human no matter where you are born in the world, no matter what colour of your skin, no matter what language you speak, every single person is entitled to these rights.

So this is the definition of human rights.

So human rights are the fundamental rights and freedoms that belong to every single one of us, anywhere in the world.

Human rights apply no matter where you are from what you believe in or how much or how you choose to live your life.

So it really doesn't matter who you are, you have human rights.

So every single person has the same human rights.

And that's really important that everybody has the same rights.

So I'm going to ask you now to pause your video and using what we've learnt so far I would like you to write your own definition of human rights.

So start it off with human rights are and then a simple sentence to explain what you understand human rights to be.

So please pause your video now.

So, what are human rights in the UK then? So we said that everybody in the world is entitled to human rights and the universal declaration of human rights was that image that we saw at start of the lesson.

And you heard more about that in your video.

So it was written in 1948 and 150 countries across the world have signed to agree with the ideas within it.

However, this document, isn't actually a legal document.

It hasn't got any or authority to bring charges or make people do what it says.

And it's up to each country to write their own human rights laws.

And we can rest assured in the UK that we have The Human Rights Act of 1998, which sets out the rights and freedoms everybody in the UK is entitled to.

Now we've got 30 rights which are also found in the European convention for human rights and the rights within both of these legal documents are based on the UDHR.

So they're very similar to those rights that were laid down in 1948 that all of those countries agreed with.

So let's have a look here.

Now, the simple task for you I said there was lots to do today.

I'd like you to match up the key words that we've looked at so far.

So there's important definitions there with the keywords.

So pause your video now and just match up the heads and tails activity really, the definitions of the UDHR, human rights and the Human Rights Act.

So, pause your video now and let's do that.

So hopefully you've been able to do that nice and quickly.

And here's some answers for you.

I bet you you've got this really quickly.

So the UDHR is? So the UDHR is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights written in 1948 and signed by 150 countries.

It has 30 articles, which are protected rights and freedoms. Human rights are fundamental rights and freedoms that belongs to everybody.

And the Human Rights Act is the UK law that protects the rights and freedoms everybody is entitled to.

So there you are.

You've got your answers there.

So if we've worked out what our human rights are and we know we're all entitled to them then what happens if somebody abuses our rights? As our human rights are protected by law if you feel your rights have been abused you can take legal action.

A public authority like the national health service or hospitals and doctors or your school has to respect and uphold your human rights.

If you feel they have not done so, you could first talk to them.

If this doesn't work, you could make a complaint.

Here's an example of how somebody's human rights could be abused by public or authority.

So, I'd like you to read this example and see if you think there has been abuse of human rights.

A year 10 student has been told to work at home to prepare for her GCSEs.

Her school has decided that her hair is against the uniform policy.

The policy says Afro style hair must be reasonable size and length.

The student and her mother felt this was unfair.

As other students were not prevented from going school during this important time.

They also felt it was unfair she was being told her hair was not a reasonable size.

when this would not be something that would be told to another student.

So there's lots of information there.

Let's unpick it a little bit.

So year 10 student has been told you have to work at home because your hair breaks uniform policy.

Her hair is Afro.

So it's from African being descendants.

And they're saying that in that school uniform policy it has to be a reasonable size and length.

So the school's making the decision about what her hair should look like.

The student and her mother are saying, "Well, actually nobody else is being told that their hair should be a reasonable size in length and then not being prevented from going to school.

So we think this is unfair." So what do you think, has there been an abuse of human rights here or is it just a situation where somebody feels that it's unfair? I'm going to ask you to pause your video now and write down your thoughts.

Okay, so hopefully you've got written down what you think.

In this case, it was found that the students human rights to education have been abused.

There was a complaints made to the school but it didn't resolve the situation.

So the next step was for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission were asked by parliament to challenge discrimination and protect and promote human rights.

Their role is to hold businesses and government to account for any actions that cause discrimination or human rights abuses.

They found the school was wrong to stop the student attending school which is a right to education because of her hair, because this is a feature of her ethnicity.

So in this case, the school was told, basically you are doing the wrong thing.

Your uniform policy is wrong and you should not be treating students like that because of their ethnicity.

So here in the UK, we have the EHRC to monitor and support people whose human rights have been abused.

And we also have The Human Rights Act of 1998.

So that's the legal backing.

That means that we can make sure our human rights are protected.

As we live in a democracy, we have shared values.

Many people feel their rights are very well protected.

However, for certain groups of people and for people living across the world, this is not the case.

Human rights abuses remain a serious problem.

So this map shows us how well people human rights are protected by governments.

And this has been tracks over a number of years.

So you can see that basically the closer to blue it is.

It's the better the governments actually look after human rights.

And the darker and closer to red it is.

It's the worse that government actually protect human rights.

So you can see the UK there, is quite dark green.

So we protect human rights really quite well.

But you can see some other areas of the world where it's getting into the dark orange.

So this is showing that things aren't well protective of people and there have been records of human rights abuses and that's a concern for everybody.

So this is a similar map, but what this shade is that the number of human rights abuses they were in a country in 2014.

And the darker the country is the more human rights abuses that we're aware of.

Now, we do have to say that not all human rights abuses are recorded but of the ones that we're all aware of, you can see that there are quite a lot of countries in certain areas that are looking very dark and other countries that are looking quite pale.

You can see that luckily around Europe and in UK, we're lucky to have democratic governments that protect our human rights but in other parts of the world, this is not the case.

And as a global problem, this is really a concern because all humans are entitled to these rights.

And we should really be concerned that people are not getting these.

So, as you could see for the map depending on where you live may make a difference to how well your human rights are protected.

Those 30 articles laid out in the UDHR need to be written into a country's laws to help with protection, but they also need a government that is willing to make sure people are held accountable for protecting human rights.

Often it's a conscious government themselves that is guilty of human rights abuses, this makes it very difficult to hold anybody to account.

The United Nations can make recommendations but they have no legal authority.

If it's the government themselves that are supposed to look after the human rights and it's the government themselves that are causing the problems then this is a very, very tricky situation.

So then we have organisations called pressure groups like Amnesty International, and they organise campaigns about human rights abuses.

And they try and support individuals who's in prisons and their families, and they raise awareness of where human rights abuses are taking place.

So we're going to have a look now at a couple of cases about human rights abuses.

And before we do, just a quick task for you some true or false questions.

I know you're getting really good at these now.

Again, you could find the grid on your worksheet if you want to use them or you can write down one, two, three, four, five and T and F, or true and false next to them.

And I'm going to ask you to pause the video now so you can complete this task.

Great, how did you do? So there are 35 articles in the UDHR.

There's only 30.

The United Nations can take legal actions against countries that abuse human rights, nope.

They haven't got any legal standing.

Amnesty work to protect human rights across the road.

Yes, they do.

Some countries have a higher rate of human rights violations than others.

Yes, they do.

Now, violations that word confused you there, violations and abuse is a similar thing.

It means breaking people's human rights.

The UK Human Rights Act was passed in 1988.

Not quite.

I can hear you shouting at me the answer, that's it, 1998.

Well done those of you that got that right.

I expect that from most of you listening.

So, now we're going to have a look at a couple of cases involving real people.

And we're going to talk about, or you're going to identify how their human rights were abused.

So, first of all, it's Ali Aarrass.

Ali was born in Melilla in North Africa, but moved to live in Belgium when he was 15.

In 2015, he returned to Melilla to take care of his elderly father.

Spanish authorities began to investigate Ali on suspicion of terrorism, but could find no evidence.

In 2008, the Moroccan authorities asked that Ali to be extradited to Morocco.

Now extradition means to send someone to a different country when they have been accused of a crime.

The Spanish government put Ali in prison and kept him in solitary confinement for two years and eight months.

Solitary confinement means that you're not allowed to see anyone.

Remember at this time they found no evidence that Ali had done anything wrong.

On the 14th of December, 2010, Ali was forced to go to Morocco even though Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Committee, warned that extradition would put Ali at a risk of unfair trial and being tortured.

Being tortured means inflicting pain and suffering on someone on purpose.

While in Morocco, Ali was tortured in a secret prison.

He was then convicted of a crime based on a false confession he made whilst being tortured.

After an international campaign Ali was released on the 20th of April, 2020.

So there's a lot going on in his story there, isn't there? No fair trial, being tortured, no evidence, solitary confinement.

So, let's see what you can see about Ali's human rights there.

So using the information, we've just read answer the following questions about Ali Aarrass's case.

Which human rights were abused by the Moroccan authorities? Which of Ali's human rights were abused by the Spanish authorities? What would you think is a good reason to be put in prison? Do you believe that Spanish or Moroccan authorities had a good reason to put Ali into prison? So if you pause your video now complete those questions.


How did you get on, did you recognised the rights? You could have looked on your worksheet there as well to find out what they were.

So under article five, nobody has the right to be hurt.

No has the right to hurt or torture us.

And that's something that the Moroccan authority did.

So they broke Ali's human rights.

Article nine, nobody has the right to put us in prison without good reason, to keep us there or send us away from our country.

And that is definitely what the Spanish authority did by sending us away.

But also the Moroccan authority did by keeping Ali in prison when they had no evidence.

And they had to torture him to get him to confess to a crime.

So question three then.

If a person is put into prison, it should be because they have been convicted of a crime after a fair trial, sometimes for certain offences people are held in prison while they're waiting for a trial.

They should know when the trial is going to be.

Nobody should be imprisoned without a fair trial for an unknown period of time.

So Ali didn't get to have a fair trial.

He also didn't know how long he was going to be in prison for.

In Spain he was kept in prison for two years without having any evidence.

And then he was sent to Morocco and didn't know how long he was going to in prison there.

So in the case of Ali Aarrass, there does not appear to be a good reason to have held him in prison.

He was accused of terrorism but the authorities could find no evidence to support this.

In Morocco he did not have a fair trial.

He only confessed to a crime under torture which means the evidence was not obtained in a reliable or fair way.

He was released following an international campaign which shows many people believe he was imprisoned unfairly.

So after a really tough time, Amnesty International and others ensured that Ali was released.

So, here's another case this time from Cambodia.

So Yorm Bopha was sent to prison in Cambodia in September, 2012, for protesting against forced evictions in her community.

People in many parts of the world are forced to leave their homes often without any warning or suitable alternative.

Often these people are the poorest in society.

Yorm was leading a peaceful protest against forced evictions.

When she found herself planning an attack on two men.

She was sentenced to three years in prison even though there was no clear evidence against her.

It seems she was being punished for expressing her views.

Yorm's husband cannot work because of health problems and the family's suffering financially.

Their son has had to leave school as they can no longer afford his fees.

In school in Cambodia, you have to pay, it's not free education.

So because Yorm can't work they can't pay for her son to go to school you see.

So cases across the globe focusing on Yorm again.

Yorm's case, attracted international attention and many campaign for her release.

She spent two months in prison before being released on bail which means you're temporary released, but your freedoms are restricted until you return to court which was in November, 2013.

In June, 2016 the court of appeal confirmed Yorm's sentence of three years in prison, despite no evidence against her.

Having spent 14 months in prison already her remaining sentence was suspended meaning she did not have to serve it unless she was arrested again for a different offence.

So Yorm was lucky that she was released on bail but she was still accused of committing a crime that there was no evidence of.

So she's still got that criminal record even though she didn't do that.

And she was basically arrested for showing her views and for protesting peacefully.

So next task please everyone.

Write a paragraph explaining Yorm's case and how her rights were abused.

If you can try and include the key words at the bottom of the page.

So you can pause your video now and complete this task.

So here's some feedback.

I think I've managed to use all of the keywords.

I hope you have as well.

So Yorm Bopha was peacefully protesting about forced evictions in Cambodia when she was arrested.

She was falsely accused of attacking two men.

The government had no evidence of this attack.

Yorm was sentenced to three years in prison.

Many people believe she was really sent to prison for expressing her views and campaigning Amnesty International campaigned along with others for Yorm and she was released on bail.

When she went back to court, her sentence was suspended.

Yorm campaign for the human rights of those being evicted, as nobody should be forcibly removed from their home.

Her human rights were then abused as she did not have a fair trial and was stopped from protesting.

So, we're now going to watch a video that talks about why human rights are still so much of a global problem.

Pay close attention because there's going to be a strong message at the end for you to think about.

Adopted in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person.

Its principles are as relevant now as they were then.

We have the right to speak up to participate in decision-making to an education and a decent life.

Our shared humanity is rooted in these values Societies which uphold human rights are fairer more prosperous and more peaceful.

Over the past 70 years, the declaration has helped countless people gain greater freedom and equality.

The dignity of millions has been uplifted and untold human suffering prevented.

But its promise is yet to be fully realised.

Today many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading.

Human values are under attack, inequality, poverty, racism, conflicts, climate change.

We must draw a line and stand up for our rights and those of others.

Wherever we are at school, at work or on social media.

We can all make a difference every day, everywhere stand up for human rights and of shared humanity.

I'm going to read this quote to you now.

And it was actually written by the lady who was in charge of writing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Her name's Eleanor Roosevelt.

And this is what she said on the 10th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"In small places, close to home-so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.

Yet they are the world of the individual person the neighbourhood he lives in, the school or college he attends, the factory farm or office where he works.

Such other places where every man, woman and child seeks in justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.

Unless these rights have meaning there they have little meaning anywhere.

Without concerned citizenship action to uphold them close to home, we should look in vain for progress in the larger world." Now I think that is such an important message Eleanor Roosevelt gave.

Because often when things go wrong for human rights, people are very quick to say, "Well it's the governments, or we should look at the police or we should look organisations." But sometimes it's not just about the big international cases like Ali or Yorm.

Sometimes it's about looking really close.

For example, the year 10 student, he got sent home because of her hair.

It might be looking at where somebody works.

It might be looking at our schools.

It might be looking in our own communities and seeing where people aren't getting their rights.

And at that stage, it's not necessarily about waiting for others to do something about protecting human rights.

It's actually up to each and every one of us to stand up for other people to prevent discrimination and to make sure everyone has those rights.

And notice that Eleanor Roosevelt there talks about concerned citizen action.

And remember, we are in our citizenship lesson.

And one of the really important things about citizenship is that we take responsible action.

So all those years ago in 1958, Eleanor Roosevelt was talking about exactly the same kinds of things that your teachers and I talk about today.

The need for citizens and you guys studying citizenship to take responsible action, to make sure that we have progress in the world around us.

So, take time for you now to have a think.

Eleanor Roosevelt make points.

That rights needs to be secured and protected by concerned citizen action.

We've seen a Yorm's case where she was taking concerned citizenship action, but her words were abused.

So she was trying to do exactly what Eleanor Roosevelt asked, but that led to her being put in prison, having her rights to protest taken away, her right to a fair trial, taken away.

All of those things were taken away from her.

So what should happen when governments are not helping citizens to protect the rights of others? What should happen then? Who is there at that stage when it's the governments who are preventing others from looking after each other and protecting those important human rights.

Have you got any ideas? Have you got any thoughts? If you have, I'd really like to hear them and we talk at the end of the lesson about how you can share those with me.

It's a tough question isn't it? Because who can say to the government, this is what you should be doing.

What should happen to these governments? So, really well done for today? I hope you found this as interesting as I do.

I think human rights are so important and it's really important that every single one of us knows that we're all entitled to human rights, but also understands that we all have the responsibility to protect everybody else's human rights.

And we can do that in our own way, in all of our communities and in all of our schools in very easy ways.

So, if you are interested in this please do do some takeaway tasks.

For example, talk to people at home and others that have taken the lesson about why you think human rights could be really important and why we should protect them.

You could investigate what the United Nations is, find out what else they do other than protect our human rights.

And you could also find out more about Eleanor Roosevelt and her involvement in the United Nations, sorry, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

she was married to the president of America but she was actually English.

So she's a really interesting character to research.

I really hope you've enjoyed today's lesson.

And there's just one last thing I'd like you to do for for me please.

Well, let's have a quick recap.

Hopefully you all know some of the human rights and the fact that we're all entitled to them.

Don't forget on your worksheet.

You've got a list of all 30.

So you could tell people exactly what they are.

You've had two examples of how human rights have been abused with the case of Ali and Yorm.

And I'm hoping now that you are certain and you can understand who is responsible for preventing human rights abuses.

While government should be.

There's a bit of a bit, a bigger picture and we all have a role to play just like Eleanor Roosevelt said.

If you have an answer to that question about what should happen to governments who take away the rights of citizens, like Yorm who was trying to stand up for others human rights, I'd really like you to share that.

And if you can ask a parent or guardian to share your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, by tagging in @OakNational and #learnwithoak, that would be great.

You could also write the topic citizenship in that tweet or Facebook post or Insta post, so we know what subjects it's about.

And if you want to share any of your other work from today I'd also be really interested to see what you're doing.

I think you've done really well on this global problems unit.

And you can see that it's a really diverse unit and it's not just about the environmental problems but also other problems as well.

One last thing for you to do you guys so you can demonstrate just how much learning you've done and that is to complete your exit quiz.

So next time on the global problems unit, we're actually looking at some other forms of citizen action.

So it links really nicely with the end of today's lesson and I look forward to seeing you then.

So take care everybody, and I'll see you again soon.

Bye bye.