Friday, December 10, 2021

Human Rights Day at school : All Humans Equal : resources & activities !


"(...) human rights must be the bedrock for all progress moving forward."
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 
In times of crisis such as the current Covid-19 pandemic, striving to ensure that all human enjoy equal rights, such as equal access to healthcare, education and public space is ever more important.

Theme 2021: Equality

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to 'Equality' and Article 1 of the UDHR – “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

This must start as early as possible, on the benches of schools. UNESCO is leading human rights education, to ensure all girls and boys know their rights and those of others. This is the spirit for global citizenship education, to strengthen respect for cultural diversity on the basis of solidarity and shared rights. 

This is why UNESCO is launching today its Global Education Monitoring Report on Youth and a campaign encouraging youth to hold governments accountable for ensuring everyone’s right to education.

The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the heart of human rights. Equality is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and with the UN approach set out in the document Shared Framework on Leaving No One Behind: Equality and Non-Discrimination at the Heart of Sustainable Development

Equality, inclusion and non-discrimination, in other words - a human rights-based approach to development  - is the best way to reduce inequalities and resume our path towards realising the 2030 Agenda.

  • Rebuild better, fairer, greener 

Equal opportunities for youth

Successive financial and health crises have had long-lasting and multidimensional impacts on millions of young people. Unless their rights are protected, including through decent jobs and social protection, the “COVID generation” runs the risk of falling prey to the detrimental effects of mounting inequality and poverty.

Reversing vaccine inequality and injustice

Vaccine injustice through unfair vaccine distribution and hoarding contravenes international legal and human rights norms and the spirit of global solidarity. The call for a common agenda and a new social contract between Governments and their people is the need of the hour so as to rebuild trust and to ensure a life of dignity for all.

Advancing the right to healthy environment and climate justice

Environmental degradation, including climate change, pollution and nature loss, disproportionately impacts persons, groups and peoples in vulnerable situation

Equality is... ending digital exclusion

Building resilience through equality inclusion and human rights

Equality and non-discrimination are key to prevention: all human rights for all ensure everyone has access to the preventive benefits of human rights but, when certain people or groups are excluded or face discrimination, the inequality will drive the cycle of conflict and crisis.


I write often about Human Rights in education. Quality education based on a human rights approach means that rights are implemented throughout the whole education system and in all learning environments.

Teachers can hold activities and events at school. We must stimulate the interest  of our students every day by the acts we share in the classroom.

Fighting the injustice of inequality, promoting solidarity, non-discrimination, respect and similar values.

Let us draw inspiration from some good actions to strengthen respect for human rights to children and young people. 

credits: Adobe stock

Activities: Education transform lives

  • Organize lecture series, film or steaming series, book discussions, news, workshops, debates among students, parents, on human rights;
  • Take part in human campaigns of the day at school;
  • Get out school with your students and help other young people and old people within  your community;
  • Wear a t-shirt on Human Rights Day. Make a t-shirt made just stating that is Human Rights Day (cross-curricular);
  • Ask your students (Secondary education) to write out a specific article from the United Nations Declaration;
  • Invite them to promote human rights on Twitter (school account)

  • Nobel Peace Prize 
We can't forget this year, Abdulrazak GurnahNobel Prize in Literature 2021 "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."


Teachers will find a variety of educational resources  on Unesco website

  • UN

Human Rights Day here

  • EU
Also on the EU and Human Rights website your students can be informed on EU actviities and reports : Secondary education ; Vocational and Higher Education.

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