Global Citizens - Make an Impact!

Human Rights - Children's Rights

Downloads below:

KS1-2 - Activity: Children's Rights and Responsibilities


- Activity:  Blue Eye / Brown Eye 

KS2-4 - Activity:  Freedom Forum Films

KS3-4 - Activity:  Human Rights 

- Fact sheet: Human Rights 
- UNICEF Little Book of Children's Rights and Responsibilities

(Download the relevant  Teacher's Notes to get the most from these activities!)

What are Human Rights?

'Human Rights' are the rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, whatever their nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sexual orientation, language, or any other status. UK citizens have Basic Human Rights, which the government and public authorities have to respect. These rights became law in the UK as part of the Human Rights Act 1998.


Where do our Human Rights come from?

Ideas about human rights have evolved over many centuries. The Basic Human Rights we enjoy in the UK today stem from two main sources: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The European Convention on Human Rights. (To find out more see the Human Rights Fact Sheet below.)


What are Children’s Rights?

UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) has worked for over 60 years to raise global awareness that children need special rights and protection. UNICEF was originally established by the United Nations on 11 December 1946 to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China.


The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989. Many, many countries have ratified these rights- in fact only two countries have not done so. Yet this does not mean that Children's Rights are always upheld. The UK accepted most of the 54 'articles' or sets of Children's Rights outlined by the UN in 1991. (To find out more see the UNICEF Little Book of Children's Rights and Responsibilities below.)


Why do we need Rights?

Our human rights not only affect matters concerning life and death but also affect our rights in everyday life. We need rights to protect us not just from torture or slavery, but also in what we say, what we believe in, how we are educated and how we lead our private lives.


Human rights are an important part of how people interact with others at all levels of society. They are about respect, fairness, justice and equality. Respect for human rights helps build strong communities, based on equality and tolerance in which everyone has an opportunity to contribute.


What are Responsibilities?

We cannot have rights without taking on responsibilities too. One of the opening sentences of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights tells us that we should all treat each other 'in a spirit of brotherhood'. Our world is getting smaller and more inter-dependent. As citizens, not just of the UK but also of the world, we have the responsibility to respect the rights of others. In addition to this, we must not exercise our rights in a way which might stop other people from being able to exercise or enjoy theirs.

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