The following learning activity can be used to spark discussion in class when used along with “Rights Activism in China” by Ching Kwan Lee in Contexts Summer 2008.
Below is a simplified list of the 30 human rights accorded to every human being in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Place a “+” by the 5 human rights that you think are the most important and an “-” by the 5 rights that you think are the least important.
_________ Right to Equality _________ Freedom from Discrimination _________ Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security _________ Freedom from Slavery _________ Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment _________ Right to Recognition as a Person before the Law _________ Right to Equality before the Law _________ Right to Remedy by Competent Tribunal _________ Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest and Exile _________ Right to Fair Public Hearing _________ Right to be Considered Innocent until Proven Guilty _________ Freedom from Interference with Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence _________ Right to Free Movement in and out of the Country _________ Right to Asylum in other Countries from Persecution _________ Right to a Nationality and the Freedom to Change It _________ Right to Marriage and Family _________ Right to Own Property _________ Freedom of Belief and Religion _________ Freedom of Opinion and Information _________ Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association _________ Right to Participate in Government and in Free Elections _________ Right to Social Security _________ Right to Desirable Work and to Join Trade Unions _________ Right to Rest and Leisure _________ Right to Adequate Living Standard _________ Right to Education _________ Right to Participate in the Cultural Life of Community _________ Right to a Social Order that Articulates this Document _________ Community Duties Essential to Free and Full Development _________ Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the above Rights
Questions to consider:
1. Explain the rationale behind the rights you chose as most important and those that you listed as least important.
2. How do you think your culture impacts what you view as important human rights?
3. Are there any rights that you think should be included that are not on this list? Are there any rights that you think are unnecessary?
4. Does it seem like some rights are prioritized more than others today?