Human rights in the school classroom

As many teachers and educators know, the knowledge and skills that students develop in the classroom spreads outside - to the school community, families, and to the wider community. This is why human rights education in the classroom is so important.

The Commission's series of education resources - RightsED - are designed to help students gain a critical understanding of human rights and responsibilities, and to develop the attitudes, behaviours and skills to apply human rights in everyday life.

The RightsED resources are mapped to the national curriculum and include interactive activities for teachers and their students.  RightsED resources are free to download and can be photocopied.

Race Resources

Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration

RightsEd cover - Race History year 6

Australia as a nation – race, rights and immigration is a unit of work that explores Australia’s development as a nation throughout the 20th Century with a particular focus on the changing experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

In this unit, students have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the impacts of racism and discrimination, investigate the racist and anti-racist actions of citizens and governments, and learn about the lives of ethnic and cultural minorities in Australia.

Year: Year 6 (11 years and up)

Subject: History
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Intercultural understanding, Ethical understanding
Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture

The Globalising World; Changing policies and Australian identity

RightsEd cover - Race History year 10

The Globalising World is a unit of work that investigates how migration from 1945 to the present day has shaped Australian society. In particular this unit focuses on the impacts of changing immigration policies and the development of human rights and anti-racism movements in Australia.

In this unit, students investigate how racist values in the past have shaped important historical events and developments. Students will also critically analyse how changing attitudes to migration and multiculturalism reflect greater inclusiveness in Australian society.


Year: Year 10 (15 years and up)
Subject: History
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Intercultural understanding, Ethical understanding
Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority: Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

Take a stand against racism

RightsEd cover - Race: Take a stand against racism. Year 5 - 6

Take a stand against racism is a unit of work designed to equip young people to take a stand against racism in their schools and communities, by valuing diversity and encouraging others to do the same.

In this unit, students explore issues of racism and its impact on people from diverse backgrounds. They also consider the ways in which they can value diversity within the community and celebrate the different cultures represented within schools and the wider community.

Students will explore ways to address racism and how to take action against bullying and harassment based on race, culture or ethnicity.

Year: Years 5 and 6 (10-12 years)
Subject: Health and Physical Education
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Intercultural understanding, Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability

Tackling racism in Australia

RightsEd cover - Race: Tackling racism. Year 9 - 10

Tackling racism in Australia is a unit of work that encourages students to think about diversity, particularly in relation to people, groups and their cultures, to affirm and celebrate difference and to use their understanding of diversity to act with respect, empathy and trust.

In this unit, students explore the impact of discrimination and harassment on individuals, their family and friends and the wider community. Students learn to identify racial discrimination, racial harassment and racial vilification as unlawful acts, which undermine safe, respectful environments for all.

Building on learning activities in the unit, students develop strategies and actions for celebrating diversity and taking action against racism.

Year: Years 9 and 10 (14-16 years)
Subject: Health and Physical Education
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Intercultural understanding, Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture

Disability Resources

Disability Rights, Inclusion and Sport

Cover - RightsEd HPE 7 & 8 - Paul Gooda in RockwheelersDisability Rights, Inclusion and Sport is a unit of work designed to give students a greater understanding of the rights of people with disabilities and equip them with skills to promote greater inclusion in sport.
This unit provides opportunities for students to explore the importance of team sports and physical activity for people with disabilities and the value of inclusivity for promoting healthy and active communities.

Year: Years 7 and 8 (12-14 years)
Subject: Health and Physical Education
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability

Disability Discrimination in Sport

RightsEd cover - HPE 9 & 10 - Sekou Kanneh runningDisability Discrimination in Sport is a unit of work that encourages students to explore the issue of discrimination against people with disabilities in sport.
This unit focuses on themes of mental health and wellbeing, relationships, and games and sports. Issues explored include the diversity of people who participate in sport, the impacts of discrimination and the change over time of participation in sports by people with disabilities.

In this unit, students have the opportunity to investigate the barriers that people with disabilities face when participating in some sports and come up with ways of modifying sports and physical activities to ensure that everyone can participate.

Year: Years 9 and 10 (14-16 years)
Subject: Health and Physical Education
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability

 

Disability Rights, Accessibility and Liveability

Cover image - man using wheelchair in a parkDisability Rights, Accessibility and Liveability is a unit of work that addresses the issues surrounding the liveability of places for people with disabilities. This includes urban planning for accessibility and liveability, community inclusion of people with disabilities, and strategies to improve the liveability and accessibility of places and services for people with disabilities.

In this unit, students have the opportunity to investigate the concept of liveability and factors that affect the liveability of a place, such as accessibility. Students explore how people with a range of disabilities may face difficulties accessing places and consider solutions for overcoming these challenges.

Year: Year 7 (12 years and up)
Subject: Geography
Australian Curriculum general capabilities: Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability

 

Other Resources

 

Choose your own statistics

Choose your own statistics - See where you fit in the Big Picture ABC Splash and AHRCThe Australian Human Rights Commission and ABC Splash have worked together to design a unique interactive website for school students.

 

Subjects: Mathematics,  Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business curricula.

The Choose Your Own Statistics website has been developed to meet the learning requirements of the Australian Mathematics curriculum and the topics included have been specifically selected to address the Australian Curriculum's Ethical Understanding general capability.

Year: Years 5-8 (10-13 years old)

Choose Your Own Statistics is now live here: http://splash.abc.net.au/statistics-game/.

 

Understanding human rights

rightsEd: Understanding human rights

Understanding human rights is designed to help students understand basic human rights concepts, the origins of modern human rights, and how human rights apply to everyday life. The activities include exploring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, History, Geography, Legal Studies, International Studies

Year: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

Download in PDF
Download in Word

Child rights

rightsEd: Child RightsChild rights is designed to help students explore the specific rights of children. The activities will enable students to understand the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and what it means for children in Australia. This resource will also help students to develop an understanding of the rights of children in Australian immigration detention centres.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment (all)

Year: Year 5 and up (10 years and up)

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Bringing them home

rightsEd: Bringing them home

This resource is designed to help students understand the issues surrounding the forcible removal of Indigenous people in Australian history.  It complements the Commission’s report Bringing them home: National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, published in 1997.

Subjects: Society and Environment, English, Arts/Drama, Australian Studies, Aboriginal Studies, Civics and Citizenship, Geography, History

Year: Most activities suitable for Year 9 and up. Some activities suitable for Year 5 and up.

Warning: These materials may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.

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Video: Watch on YouTube

Face the facts

rightsEd: Face the FactsThe Face the Facts education resource will help students understand issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. This resource complements the Commission’s 2012 Face the Facts publication, which provides accurate and easy to understand facts about these groups based on primary research information from a variety of sources.

Subject: Civics and Citizenship, History, Geography

Year: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

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Commemorate Human Rights Day

rightsEd: Commemorate Human Rights DayThis resource is designed to help students to commemorate human rights day and to further their understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted on 10 December 1948.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment (all), Design and Technology, English, Legal Studies, International Studies

Year: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

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Voices of Australia

rightsEd: Voices of AustraliaThis resource is designed to complement the publication Voices of Australia: 30 years since the Racial Discrimination Act. The activities allow for students to share ideas about each other, to explore their own family history and experiences of diversity, discrimination, race relations, friendships and signs of respect. A series of audio files have been developed to complement the resource and activity sheets.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, History, all Society and Environment subjects, English and Literature

Year: Most activities are suited to Upper Secondary (Year 10 and up). Some activities are suited for Upper Primary (Year 5–6).

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Listen to audio files

 

Young people in the workplace

rightsEd: Young people in the workplace

This resource will help students understand the issues around workplace discrimination. The activities include exploring different types of discrimination can occur at work - including on the basis of race, age, sex and disability - and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. A video has been developed to complement the resource and activity sheets. The video explores a potential real-life situation of young people entering the workplace.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Business Studies, Career Education, Life Skills, Legal Studies, Commerce

Year: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

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View video

Tackling sexual harassment

rightsEd: Tackling sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a significant issue in the Australian community including in schools. Tackling sexual harassment is designed to engage students in an active examination of sexual harassment; its causes, effects and strategies to address it. By understanding their rights and responsibilities, students can work together to identify and address sexual harassment in their school – whether it happens to them or if they see it happening to another student. A video has been developed to complement the resource and activity sheets.

Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Personal Development/Health/Physical Education

Year: Year 9 and up (14 years and up)

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View video