“Human rights are often described as universal. In other words, they belong to everyone, regardless of their sex, race, religion, age or where they live. Despite this, we know that terrible abuses of human rights occur every day around the globe. Understanding what the issues are is the first step towards being able to make a difference and standing up for the ‘universality’ of human rights.”
Australian Human Rights Commission – information for students
Human Rights Day, 10 December, marks the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. source
Every night, roughly 1 in 200 Australians find themselves without a safe, secure or affordable place to sleep. source
The OHCHR has been awarded the Guinness World Record for having collected, translated and disseminated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into more than 300 languages and dialects. The Universal Declaration is thus the most translated document… in the world. source
The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016, there were 15,000 living in conditions of modern slavery in Australia. source
At least 10 million people across the world are “stateless”. Thus, they often aren’t allowed to go to school, see a doctor, get a job, open a bank account, buy a house or even get married. source
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: facts and issues by country, reports and stories; all current and hard hitting.
Youth for Human Rights: links to human rights issues, videos, news and newsletters; especially designed for students.
Amnesty International Australia: detailed information on current issues and campaigns. Amnesty International is a global movement of over 7 million people committed to defending those who are denied justice or freedom.
United Nations: links to news, resources and facts across the globe.
Voices of Youth: a website for youth with questions for discussion as well as reports under a variety of headings.
Anti Slavery International: what does slavery look like today? Stories and information from the UK and other countries.
Australian Human Rights Commission: stories, videos, opinion pieces and much more. Click the education tab and scroll to “For Students”.
Australian Human Rights Commission: an Introduction to Human Rights and Responsibilities: a foundation in international human rights.
End the Cycle: poverty and disability go hand in hand, creating a cycle that’s hard to escape. This site has videos, stories and information about stopping the cycle.
Human Rights Watch: documents and reports on abuses around the world. Search for these by country or topic.
Check out our YouTube playlist for some short videos on human rights.
Magna Carta – the story of our freedom: a 4 minute animation released by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Path to Dignity – The Power of Human Rights Education: shows the impact of human rights education among school children in India, law enforcement agencies in Australia and women victims of violence in Turkey. View the trailer or watch the entire film (28 mins).
Play Oiligarchy, which explores issues surrounding social liberty and authoritarianism.
My slavery footprint: find out how many slaves work for you. How many products are you using right now, that were made by forced labour?
Twenty Years: Twenty Stories: twenty inspiring stories to mark the Disability Discrimination Act’s twentieth birthday.
End the cycle of poverty and disability: real people tell their own stories in their own words.
Amnesty International Australia – “Student activists have always been at the front lines.”
National Close the Gap Day is held every year in March.
There are many United Nations observance days with a human rights focus. These include:
- Human Rights Day, December 10
- International Women’s Day, March 8
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21
- World Health Day, April 7
- World Press Freedom Day, May 3
- International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, August 9
- Peace Day, September 21
- International Day of Older Persons, October 1
- International Day of the Girl Child, October 11
- World Food Day, October 16
- International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, October 17
- World Children’s Day, November 20
- International Day to End Violence against Women, November 25
- International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, December 2
- International Day of People with Disability, December 3
Amnesty International Australia: sign petitions on line, like on social media, donate, volunteer, write letters and speak out.
Oxfam Australia: shop, volunteer, blog, participate in events and raise money and awareness.
Antislavery: become a member, set up an anti-slavery group, shop ethically.
Stop the Traffik: shop Traffik Free – find out how and what is involved; share information and investigate the ‘Gift Box’.
Be Her Freedom: working for the freedom of men, women and children trapped in slavery.
Join VGen and take action on issues of global poverty and injustice.
Organisations with Tasmanian branches working for human rights:
Amnesty International Australia – Tasmania Branch
Oxfam Australia –Tasmania Branch
Other learning resources
A Fairer World has posters, classroom activities, books, DVDs and web links on human rights issues. Contact us for a complete list of resources available free or on loan to members.