Part 4: Taking Action for Human Rights

Examples of Human Rights
Service Learning Projects

Human Rights Badges: A number of Scout troops and Campfire Girls in the Northeast have created human rights badges for which youngsters write letters, create posters, watch and discuss human rights videos, and study human rights problems.

A Human Rights Quilt: Pillsbury Elementary students in Minneapolis created a quilt containing symbolic representations of the articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and a catalogue to explain each article. The finished quilt went on tour to public buildings and other schools.

The Big Letter: Some elementary and middle schools write the BIG LETTER. Students make a splash on campus by co-writing a letter about a human rights issue or victim on 3’ x 4’ butcher paper, collecting many signatures, and mailing it to a public official in a very large envelope.

Day of the Dead Memorials: Students at Vintage High School in Napa, California, constructed traditional Hispanic Day of the Dead memorials honoring friends, family and personal heroes who have advocated for social justice. The memorials are displayed in the school from the Day of the Dead, November 1, until Human Rights Day, December 10.

Democracy Wall: A few years after the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, students in a Boston school put together a huge Democracy Wall in the cafeteria. Fellow students were invited to attach poems, essays, drawings, and collages celebrating what democracy means to them.

Donation Stations: A young member of a California synagogue created a human rights activity for Passover, which included five stations that members of the congregation visited, each dealing with a basic human right: canned food donations to address the right to life, donations of books for flood victims, clothing donations, letter writing and petition signing on behalf of prisoners of conscience.

Petitions against Pollution: A group called Kids Against Pollution (KAP) in Closer, NJ, is circulating a national petition advocating the adoption of state and national constitutional amendments to guarantee citizens the right to clean air, water, and land.

Dramatic Presentations: A middle school class in the Midwest wrote a human rights play based on an Amnesty International Urgent Action appeal and performed it for the whole school.

Youth Speakers Bureau: High school student members of Amnesty International on the San Francisco peninsula formed their own speakers bureau to make presentations to classes and assemblies at high schools and elementary schools in the area. They were especially busy on Human Rights Day, International Children’s Day, and International Women’s Day.

Celebrating Diversity: Hmong students in a class at Powderhorn Community School in Minneapolis taught other students how to make Hmong embroidery, called Pa’ndau or "flower cloths." The completed Pa’ndau were sold at a local crafts fair and the proceeds donated to a Hmong refugee organization.

A "Lock-in": Students at a high school in the Midwest arrange a weekend "lock-in" one Saturday night each year with plenty of pizza, pop, and letter-writing. Hundreds of students attend, generating several thousand letters on behalf of prisoners of conscience.

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  Human Rights Fundamentals The Right to Know Your Rights Activities Taking Action for Human Rights Appendices