Discovering democracy: Human rights

Collections_Human Rights

Copyright Education Services Australia

Resource title: Discovering democracy: Human rights

Digital resource identifier: L9522

Resource description
This learning object explores the historical context of human rights in Australia and how they have been upheld.

Stage of schooling: Lower Secondary

CCE focus: Government and Law 


This learning object provides students with the opportunity to explore the issue of fundamental human rights and how these are protected in law. Students can also investigate the ability of international and Australian organisations to uphold these rights and protect all citizens.

Opportunities for Civics and Citizenship learning

‘Discovering democracy: Human rights’ provides opportunities for students to:

  • investigate the historical evolution of the concept of rights

  • reflect on the ideal of fundamental human rights and how it can be achieved for all people

  • recognise the different categories of rights and understand how these are protected in law

  • examine different situations where human rights might be violated

  • become acquainted with the role of national and international human rights organisations

  • understand the role of non-government organisations in the advancement of human rights.

Ideas for the classroom

  • Ask students, in groups, to explore the learning object and identify and define the different kinds of rights and to select one that their group considers to be of absolute importance. Ask students to record this right on a sheet of poster paper.

  • Ask one representative from each group to display their right and explain to the class how their group arrived at their conclusion.

  • Ask the remainder of each group to rank the rights displayed by the other students from most important to least important, until each group has had a chance to rank the rights.

  • Ask students to reflect on the difficulty or ease with which they ranked the rights, and then to consider the claim that human rights are inseparable and that one right cannot be achieved at the expense of another.

  • As an extension, ask students to consider what kinds of rights might make up an Australian Bill of Rights.