In 1948 the United Nations proclaimed December 10th as International Human Rights Day with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document, co-written by Canadian lawyer John Humphrey and US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, was the first of its kind to establish a framework for the concept of human rights across the world.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was and is an influential document in the drafting of many modern constitutions and legal frameworks, including Canada’s own Bill of Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Code and later the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
There are several ways to incorporate human rights education into your social science and history classes:
- Animated UDHR booklet for Civics (CHV2O)
- Investigate human rights cases in Ontario in your Civics and Law classes
- Take a human rights course or incorporate it into your own course through Amnesty International’s Human Rights Academy
- Engage your students in a Write for Rights activity
- Have students learn about John Humphrey’s life in your law (CLU3M/CLN4U) or Canadian History (CHC2) courses
- Develop protocols for meaningful conversations in your class about Human Rights and create opportunities for open dialogue about current events and difficult conversations
- Book a virtual field trip to the Canadian Human Rights Museum
- Visit the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
- John Humphrey Heritage Minute