Activity 1b: Definitions of Human Rights

Human rights can be classified into three types: civil rights, political rights and social rights. In this activity students are asked to consider examples of violations to human rights. Through discussion, students then classify each example into one of the three types and support their reasoning. 

Resources Required


Task 1 

Read Handout: Defining Human RightsThe handout classifies human rights under the headings of civil rights, political rights and social rights.

Look back at the list of rights on Handout: Establishing Priorities from Activity 1a. Create the table below and list these rights under the headings which correspond to the three human rights categories. For example, free speech is a civil right.  


Civil Rights

Political Rights

Social Rights









Task 2

Read Handout: Amnesty International Case Studies. This contains two case studies of abuses of rights reported by Amnesty International. Amnesty International is an international human rights organisation, which you will learn more about later in this unit.

a) Consider which rights have been violated. You may wish to refer back to the list of rights that was used in Activity 1a, but you will need to think about others. 

b) Create a clean version of the table that was used in Task 1. Consider which category (civil, political or social) each of the rights that have been violated fits into and classify them under the appropriate headings in the table. There should be at least five rights in each column.

c) Add a fourth column on the right-hand side of your table. In this fourth column, describe how each of the rights you listed was violated in the Amnesty International cases.  


Activity 1a | Activity 1b | Activity 1c 

For the teacher | Human Rights Introduction | 1: What Are Human Rights?

Overview of activities:  Focus Question 1