You are on page 1of 180

Manual for Human

Rights Education
A Quick Guideline and Lesson Plans for
Implementation at Middle Schools and High
Schools in Cyprus

Eleni Kotziamani
September 2010
1 A Peace Oriented Framework
2 Basic Concepts Around Human Rights Education (HRE)
What is Human Rights Education
Education For, In, and Through Human Rights
Advancing Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior
Envisioning the Future
Ensuring Inclusiveness
Using a Holistic Approach
Respecting the Cultural Differences
Empowering Individuals
Taking into Consideration the Content, Form, and Structure of the HRE
3 Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan 1: The Impact of Different Factors in our Lives
Lesson Plan 2: Stories from the World
Lesson Plan 3: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Lesson Plan 4: The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Lesson Plan 5: Preparation for a Field Trip
Lesson Plan 6: Field Trip / Visit to the Commissioner of Childrens Rights
Lesson Plan 7: The Human Rights Temperature of the School
Lesson Plan 8: Violence
Lesson Plan 9: War - Allocation of Governmental Budget
Lesson Plan 10: War -Refugees I
Lesson Plan 11: War - Refugees II
Lesson Plan 12: War - Refugees III
Lesson Plan 13: Child Soldiers I
Lesson Plan 14: Child Soldiers II
Lesson Plan 15: Child Soldiers III
Lesson Plan 16: Children as Agents of Positive Change
Lesson Plan 17: Genocide I
Lesson Plan 18: Genocide II
Lesson Plan 19: Genocide III
Lesson Plan 20: Poverty
Lesson Plan 21: Access to Medicaments
Lesson Plan 22: Child Labor
Lesson Plan 23: Racism Stereotypes
Lesson Plan 24: Disability Special Olympics I
Lesson Plan 25: Disability-Special Olympics II
Lesson Plan 26: Disability-Special Olympics III
Lesson Plan 27: Domestic Violence I
Lesson Plan 28: Domestic Violence II
Lesson Plan 29: Sexual Rights I
Lesson Plan 30: Sexual Rights II
Lesson Plan 31: Civil, Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
Lesson Plan 32: Young People
Lesson Plan 33: Cultures I
Lesson Plan 34: Cultures II
Lesson Plan 35: Cultures III
Lesson Plan 36: Fighters of Rights
Lesson Plan 37: From Violence to Peace
Lesson Plan 38: Peace
Lesson Plan 39: The Preferable Future

Part of the 21st century philosophy is that all people have the same rights. However, these rights are
not equally shared or experienced by all members of society. Historically, different groups of people have
been discriminated on the basis of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, language and so forth.
Despite dramatic changes that have occurred the last decades, with a strong impact from the treaties and
conventions signed and ratified by the vast majority of the countries, many societies still suffer by beliefs and
notions that create great obstacles on the already rough road that specific groups of people have to follow.
Human rights education comes into the scene to provide a way of building individuals as critical thinkers and
ready to take actions in order to fight against the social injustices that prevail. The benefits of applying human
rights education within the formal and informal settings are experienced both in an individual level and a
collective one. Education is the foundation stone where one can build for the composition of a society where
individuals grow and develop in a healthy manner.

Human Rights Education does not restrict itself into the accumulation of knowledge on behalf of the
students. It is also teaching for human rights, which means addressing also the attitudes of individuals, which
will hopefully lead to action. Human rights education also means teaching through human rights (Gollob et al,
1996, p. 8). Thus, it is considered essential for the educational system of Cyprus not only to stay into the
political action of infusing human rights education into the curriculum, but proceed into other actions as well
in order to transform such a political action into a pragmatic one.

The purpose of this manual is to provide a general guideline for developing a practical framework
followed by a sample of peace learning activities for a formal educational setting. It was developed as part of
an intervention program that followed a research project titled Giving the Youth of Cyprus a Voice: the
Future of Cyprus with the aim of facilitating the introduction of human rights education within the school
settings. Its purpose is to provide detailed lesson plans along with worksheets on human rights education in
order to deal with multiple social problems such as xenophobia, racism, intolerance, violence, and many more.
The intervention consists of 39 lesson plans for grades 7-12 related to human rights education (and peace
education) that are specifically modified and adjusted to meet the needs of the Cypriot society, and especially
those of the young individuals. Educators should feel free to revise and modify those plans and use them
accordingly to fulfill their purpose of teaching and their students needs or learning styles. One should bear in
mind that some of the activities were retrieved from other sources and have been implemented in other
settings. The current manual is just a synthesis of activities related to human rights.

Its in the hands of every individual to ensure that the rights of all individuals are promoted and
respected in real life. Each and every person is responsible for the monitoring of the Conventions and for
putting pressure on governments to take actions on promoting the rights of all individuals. Around the globe,
grass-roots organizations of all kinds are using the human rights framework to advocate for social change
(Flowers et al, 2000, p. X). Changes in the educational system can also be a driving wheel for social change.
Societies are in need of support from educational systems where individuals learn how to respect the rights of
others, and how to take responsibilities regarding their rights. After all, those individuals will be the adults of
tomorrow that will govern the society and the world in general.

If one morning every women and men alive will say to the first person they meet that day Good Morning
and mean it, this will be the first morning of peace (Koenig, 2001, p. 1)

Education is the platform from where one can depart to bring structural changes in the society.
Education can be correlated with the first stone on a building; once that stone is placed correctly, the rest of
the structure will be built upon it and will be stable enough to withstand the difficulties of the era. It is true
that the formal education has an extra-ordinary potential of transformation that it should take into advantage
in order to make this world a better place for all of its citizens. What needs to be done is to be aware of what
changes need to take place in order for all individuals to grow and develop within their cultures and societies.
Peace education can provide the means through which such a transformation of the educational system and
the societies can be achieved. But one should bear in mind that peace education along will not achieve the
changes necessary for peace. Rather, it prepares learners to achieve the changes. It aims at developing
awareness of social and political responsibilities, guiding and challenging learners to develop their own points
of view on the problems of peace and justice. It encourages them to explore possibilities for their own
contribution to resolving the problems and achieving a culture of peace (Reardon et al., 2002, p. 20).

A culture of peace can be described in a very simple way, as a culture where all individuals enjoy their
rights and respect and promote those of others, there is an equitable distribution of resources, the needs of
the current and future generations are met, societies are democratic and individuals are part of the decision-
making process, disagreements or disputes are settled in peaceful ways (other than resolving to violence and
war) and the governments along with the civil society have an active role in promoting all the above (U.N.
General Assembly, 53/243, 1999).

Education has a vital role in promoting a Culture of Peace. Different fields within the education work
toward achieving a culture of peace. Those fields are: gender studies, human rights, childrens rights,
environment, conflict and violence studies, human security, developmental studies, multicultural education,
citizenship and democratic education. Those are all inter-related issues that all have the goal of enabling
individuals to act upon their environment and transform their societies into more peaceful ones. Peace
Education can be considered the methodology that one can use to develop a culture of peace. The
international law and the human rights conventions are the ones who support the field and make it stronger
and more stable to the wind. The schematic representation below enables the reader to understand better
the concept (University for Peace, 2010).





Education Environmental

and Human
Democratic Security

If humankind produce social reality, then transforming the reality is an historical task, a task for humanity
(Freire, 2005, p. 51)

What is Human Rights Education

The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights defines human rights education as training,
dissemination and information efforts aimed at the building of a universal culture of human right through the
imparting of knowledge and skills and the molding of attitudes directed to:

(a) The strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
(b) The full development of the human personality and the sense of its dignity
(c) The promotion of understanding, tolerance, gender equality and friendship among all nations,
indigenous peoples and racial, national, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups; and,
(d) The enabling of all persons to participate effectively in a free society (United Nations, Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1997, p. 5)

Education For, In, and Through Human Rights

Human Rights Education (HRE) does not restrict itself in teaching for human rights. Acquiring sufficient
knowledge regarding the conventions and how those work is an important part of HRE, but not a holistic one.
Human Rights education proclaims that you teach in human rights, which means that you show with your
behavior and practice that those are part of our everyday lives and that those are respected in the school
community. It means that there is a need to promote action, so that those rights will be respected and
promoted within the communities. It also requires that you teach through human rights, which means that all
the components, methods and materials used, are conducive to human rights. It means that the school
community establishes a ground where human rights are prevalent in all aspects of the school life and are
respected in all places, activities, and actions of the school community. There is a nice proverb stating that if
we do not smile, we cannot make other people smile. In the same way, if we preach about it but we do not
practice it, then the preaching will not be sufficient for opening the space for individual and social

For that reason, the schools need to become places where the human rights of the children and of
everybody in the school community are respected. The schools need to become more democratic and have
the students as equal partners in the decision-making process. Imagine a school where the educators teach
about human rights, but students cannot express their opinions about simple issues, such as the places they
should visit during their excursions. Educators need to become partners of the students in their relations
with them (Freire, 2005, p. 75) and provide opportunities to them that will shape the learning environment
and make structural changes that will fit the needs of individuals. The school needs to be transformed to a
place where students obtain the tools to participate in a democratic society.
Advancing Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior

Human rights education must aim toward advancing the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of the
students. The three terms are interconnected and education should strive toward advancing all three. Our
knowledge affects our attitudes and our behavior. Our attitudes also affect our behavior and what we choose
to learn, thus affecting our knowledge as well. The same argument can be said for the behavior.

The traditional teaching has restricted itself into the acquisition of knowledge. The shift that takes
place now is toward the teaching of values as well, and through the teaching to advance the attitudes of the
individuals. Human rights education takes into account the attitudes of individuals toward different thematic
areas and tries to promote respect and equality for everyone. It also tries to promote positive attitudes
toward the subject itself. If students gain positive attitude toward human right education, then more easily
they will proceed to actions supporting human rights during their lives.

It is really important for students to act upon their environment. This is a way of putting into action
their knowledge and skills that they gain from the human rights education. There is a need to move beyond
the walls of the classroom and give opportunities to the students to take actions within their communities,
countries, and in general in the world. Teachers need to facilitate the process of students becoming active
citizens and responsible individuals that care for their society and act upon improving it. As Freire (2005) has
stated liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to
transform it (p. 79). The educators need to collaborate with different associations within the students
community and find ways to actively involve the students into those associations.

Envisioning the Future

As Meadow et al point out vision without action is useless. But action without vision does not know
where to go or why to go there (cited in Hicks, 2004, p. 176). So, its not only important to imagine the
future, but also to set goals in order to achieve that future. The goals will make that transferability
achievable. Of course, as well stated by Meadow et al, if you act without really having in mind what you want
to achieve is pointless. Its like getting in the bus and start driving without knowing where you want to go.
Vision is also important. According to Polak, potent images of the future can act like a magnet, drawing
society towards its envisioned future ( cited in Hicks, 2004, p. 171). Envisioning the future is an important
aspect of human rights education since the transformation of the societies and the world in general is what it
tries to promote. Without having an image of how that transformation looks like, it becomes more difficult to
achieve it.

Ensuring Inclusiveness

Human Rights Education should provide space for all individuals to come up and express their views. It
should be accessible (by all means) to everyone in the school community, and try to capture the problems,
rights or actions of various groups outside the school community. As characteristically Sefa Dei (1997) states,
it calls for creating spaces for everyone but particularly for marginal voices to be heard. It calls for dominant
groups in society to listen to the voices of subordinated groups (p. X). Human Rights education must be a
lifelong process otherwise it does not possess a powerful impact on individuals and societies.
Using a Holistic Approach

Human Rights Education must be accompanied by a holistic approach, where the world is viewed as a
web of being. The holistic approach enables individuals to compose the whole picture of the world and
connect each and every aspect of their education with real life. Every form of education must provide for a
holistic understanding and appreciation of the human experience, comprising social, cultural, political,
ecological, and spiritual aspects (Sefa Dei, 1997, p. X).

Respecting the Cultural Differences

Since in this last decade of the twentieth century there are only 188 states in the world and 10 000
societies (Boulding, 2000, p. 91). Human Rights Education recognizes the necessity to respect the cultural
differences. This is important both within the classroom community, but also when addressing issues related
to other cultures. First-hand experiences with other cultures are considered important for breaking down
stereotypes and building bridges within different cultures. Societies today have become heterogeneous, and
in such a way interaction and learning from other cultures becomes easier to be achieved.

Empowering Individuals

Another guiding principle of Human Rights Education is the empowerment of individuals. When
working with youth, it means encouraging them to help create the programs in which they take part
(Cronkhite, 2000, p. 162). Having individuals empowered means that they get more possibilities to be active
citizens in their current and future life, become involved in the political and social affairs, and strive to build
better societies.

Taking into Consideration the Content, Form, and Structure of the HRE


The specific framework focuses on human rights education. When developing plans in human rights
education and generally in education, one should relate the micro with the macro. Its not only important to
mention problems or situations that appear on our own environment and affect our everyday lives, but it is
also important to focus on international and global problems. Of course, one should not underestimate the
impact that different situations have on the lives of individuals. In order for students to make sense of their
educational experiences, the content must be related to the social environment of the individuals and
retrieved from their personal experiences. A relation between the macro and micro should be maintained in
order to enable the students to integrate the here and now with there and then. This correlation enables
the students to have a broader picture of the factors that affect a specific situation and become aware of how
the problem or the situations have developed throughout the years (Haavelsrud, 1995). It is also important to
emphasize the enjoyment of rights, and not just the violations (University of Minnesota, 2000).

Another factor that should be taken into account is the journey throughout time. The transformative
power of education and of human rights education in particular, is the trip to the past and the future, while
considering the now. We need to be aware of the truth of the past in order to be able to shape the future.
Through learning from the past, individuals are becoming more capable to envision the future and take actions
in order to achieve it.

Some possible thematic areas that one can work within the human rights education are:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Conventions

Childrens Rights
Human Security
Participation in Democracy
Human Rights and Development
Multicultural Societies
Conflict and Violence
Violations of Rights (i.e. Child Soldiers)
Gender and Rights
Environment and Human Rights


The teaching methodologies used are as important as the content taught (Haavelsrud, 1995). Teaching
through human rights is the best way to enable the students to experience a democratic environment where
human rights are respected and promoted. For that reason, the lessons developed and delivered throughout
human rights education must aim toward triggering the creativity of the students and inspiring them to search
by themselves to find answers and construct new knowledge. A variety of methods should be employed in
the teaching process to ensure a high level of interest between individuals. Students must be able to acquire
through the process problem-solving skills and become able to identify problematic situations and work
toward finding creative alternatives that will fit their vision of a better society.

What is also important is that the teaching procedure must be participatory. According to the High
Commissioner for Human Rights (2000), participatory methods must be interactive, flexible, relevant, and
varied (p. 4). Teaching procedures must be modified according to the needs of students and a constructive
feedback must be provided by all the actors in order to inform the learning process. Students must be able to
make decisions regarding their education, their learning, and the school life. It will be controversial teaching
students about human rights but not enabling them to become equal partners in the decision-making that
takes place within the school.

The variety of teaching methodologies mentioned above can take the following forms (the list is not
exclusive): ice-breakers and introductions, brainstorming, case studies, closing, creative expression, discussion,
debates and negotiations, dramatizations, energizers, films and videos, field trips, games, hearings and
tribunals, interpretations of images, interviews, jigsaw activities, journal writing, media, mock trials, open-
ended stimulus, presentations, research projects, ranking and defining exercises, simulations, story-telling,
surveying opinion and information gathering, webbing activities (University of Minnesota, 2000).
Taken by a framework developed by UNICEF, the human-rights based approach: recognizes the rights
of every child, sees the whole child in a broad context, is child-centered, is gender-sensitive, promotes quality
learning outcomes, provides education based on the reality of childrens lives, acts to ensure inclusion, respect
and equality of opportunity for all children, promotes students rights and responsibilities within the school
environment, enhances teacher capacity, morale, commitment and status, is family focused (Tibbitts, 2007,
p. 1).


Even though, the lessons developed here are specified to be taught into different subjects during a
specific period, it is important to note that there can be an inter-teaching of the same concept in different
subject areas, and not to be taught in stagnation. Human rights education can be taught in any discipline and
not only in the social sciences courses. Taking advantage of every opportunity to teach and practice human
rights is a good way to advance the school community. There are also important days agreed internationally
to be devoted to human rights (please see the Appendices for a list of those days).

The evaluation of students is also part of the structure and needs to be modified when assessing the
gains from the human rights education. The traditional methods of evaluation, which is the use of paper and
pencil tests, are not valuable tools in human rights education, since they only measure the knowledge that
individuals gain, and they do not capture the reality concerning that knowledge. Since in human rights
education the knowledge, attitudes and behavior of the students are being employed, evaluation should take
such a form in order to cover all three aspects.

The ultimate would be for students not to be evaluated for the human rights classes. But in cases that
this is unavoidable, alternative ways must be applied to make evaluation more efficient and not to drive the
students to the belief that whatever one does is for the grade. Portfolio assessment is one way of evaluating
students. Through their participation in different activities, students can create a collection of their work,
including posters, photos, video-tapes, or recordings, and update that folder with every activity they perform.
That folder will be the responsibility of the student and not the teacher, and the students will be the ones to
choose what to include in.
Self-evaluation is also another way that can be used in the field. The teachers and students can agree
on specific criteria or standards (including attitudes and behaviors) that they will be assessed, and the teacher
can ask the students to use a scale to evaluate themselves. Another possibility is to allow students to evaluate
each others behavior (Appendix 1 provides a list of criteria or standards that can be used for evaluation).
On-going evaluation is also more important on this field, than an end-product (output) evaluation.
Students can be evaluated through their group work, their presentations, their willingness and involvement in
taking actions, participation and contribution to classroom activities, and so forth. Individual assignments that
can take the form of creative homework can also be assessed. Group marks can be used instead of individual
marks, while presentations from groups can be evaluated by other groups based on specific criteria set in

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: The students will be able to realize that the development of a person is affected by different elements on the
environment and that those have an impact on the quality of a persons life.


- To understand that a person is born with some qualities.

- To identify the elements in the environment affecting the development of a person.
- To understand how those elements have an impact to the potential of individuals.


Forming Groups (5)

- Divide the students into 5 groups of 5 students. Play a childrens song, while you provide instructions on how to
split up in groups. Ask the students to stand in the four corners of the classroom according to the season they
were born. After the students have formed four groups, the groups identify the student that has to share the
most extra-ordinary thing about his/her birth (can be hours of labor, weight of the baby, the place that he/she
was born, something that happened to his/her parents during the labor and so forth). The students with the
extra-ordinary stories share their stories with the classroom and then form another group.

A Baby is Born (90)

- On a big piece of paper, the students draw the outline of a baby. They are told that this baby has just been
born. Ask students to write within the babys outline the characteristics or qualities that they want their baby to
- Ask students to write outside the outline, the elements they think that the baby needs in order to develop and
grow to an adult by keeping the qualities that they chose as babies (for example education, family, friends,
media, etc).
- Distribute the handout with the scenarios to the groups. Ask students to read the scenarios within their groups
and wait for further instructions.
- After allowing time for reading, ask students to draw the outline of an adult (they can lie on the floor and make
the outline). Then, they need to decide the characteristics that they think their adult will have according to the
given scenario (they write them inside) and how the outside elements have affected the baby while becoming
an adult. They can also draw different things on the outline to present how the adult will be (i.e. happy or sad
face, and so on).
- Into the plenary session, students present the qualities/characteristics of their babies and how their adults came
to be according to the scenario. Ask from the groups to put on the board their work.
- Proceed to the following activities:
o Give students a yellow arrow sticker and ask them to go on the board and place it pointing the adult
they would like to be.
o Give students a red arrow sticker and ask them to go on the board and place it pointing the adult they
think that most people of their country are mostly alike.
o Give students a green arrow sticker and ask them to go on the board and place it pointing the adult they
think that most people of the world are.
- Discussion:
o Which adult most students chose? Why?
o Is there a difference from what they would like to be with what the most people of the world are now?
Why there is such a difference? Why not?
o Do all the people deserve to be like the ideal adult? Why all people should be or not be like that?
Are there any specific categories of people that shouldnt be like the ideal adult?
o Why is it important to be aware of the elements that affect our lives?
o What do you think the goal of the exercise was? (a student can write the goal on the board)
o What have impressed you the most from this exercise? What have you learned?

Action: Investigating (45)

- Ask the students to go back to their groups and find out by using the internet or any other source:
o How many people live under war or conflicts nowadays?
o How many reported incidents of domestic violence exist in the world?
o What is the percentage of the population in the world that lives below the poverty level?
o How many and which countries have dictatorships now?
o Domains that women can be non-equal to men (domains that women can face discrimination).
- Ask students to prepare posters that can be put on the walls of the school that contain all the information they
found above. Each group can work on a different poster.
- Wrap up the first session by asking students what they liked, what they did not like, what they learned, what
they would like to learn further in the future.
Scenario A

In country A, there is a dictatorship opposed by the military for the last 15 years, since the baby was
born. This group is very conservative, and they try to control every aspect of peoples lives. The use
of force, the suppression of individuals, and the mass spread of propaganda are common practices
within this country.

Scenario B

A baby boy grew up and he is now 15 years old. In your country, there is an on-going violent conflict
that keeps going on for 8 years. The government employs boys from young ages in order to
strengthen the army forces to deal with the conflict.

Scenario C

A baby has been born in a very nice and quiet family, where the parents adore their children. The
family has 9 other children other than this baby. The parents work hard all day, but it is impossible to
make a living that would allow them to feed their children. The baby is the oldest in the family and
he is now 15 years old.
Scenario D

A baby girl was born in a country where women are not equal members of the society. Women in
your country are not allowed to be educated, they get married in an early age, and belong to their
husbands. The baby girl is now 15 years old.

Scenario E

A baby girl was born in a country where men and women are equal. The country is a democratic and
a peaceful one. The baby is entitled to education and has multiple opportunities for obtaining a job
in the future. The family of the child is a wealthy one, able to provide the child with the resources
and means to develop. The baby girl is now 15 years old.

Extra Scenario

A baby girl grew up and she is now 15 years old. In your country, there is an on-going violent conflict
that keeps going on for 8 years. The government employs boys from young ages in order to
strengthen the army forces. Girls do not go to the army though.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To realize the interconnectedness of the human rights and their universality.


- To acquire skills of argumentation to support their positions.

- To understand that human rights are universal.
- To realize the necessity of universal declarations and conventions related to human rights.


The Dilemma Game (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 59) (20)

- Prepare 3 or 4 controversial statements related to the previous lesson plan. Those can be the following or any
other examples you consider important:
Wars are an inevitable evil of people living together
Poor people are poor because they do not proceed to the necessary actions to get out of their poverty
Women are equal with men in all domains
Governments have responsibility over their citizens
People get the leaders they deserve
Children belong to their parents
- Draw a line along the floor with tape.
Explain that the right side of the line represents agreement with a statement; the left side represents
disagreement. Explain that students can change their side once they feel like. Changing sides can happen as
many times as they need to.
- Read out the first statement.
- Tell participants to stand at a point on either side of the line that represents their opinion about the statement.
- Now invite people to explain why they are standing where they are.
- Let everyone who wishes to speak. Then ask if anyone wishes to change position.
- When all who wish to move have done so, ask them their reasons for moving.
- Read the next statement.
- Debriefing:
o Why do people hold different opinions? Should all opinions be tolerated?
o What happens in cases where an opinion is not tolerated?
o What happens in cases where an opinion does not seem to be fair for everyone?

Stories from the World (40)

- Students sit in a circle.

- Distribute the stories to the students (one to each student). Allow five minutes for participants to read them.
- Ask the students to share their story, the country that the story comes from, and the reason(s) that the story
came to be known.
- Discussion:
o What were the similarities and differences within the stories?
o Is there a country where such things do not happen?
o To what extend such incidents can be prevented?
o What actions humanity has taken in order to prevent such incidents from happening?
o Can you think of ways to eliminate or reduce such incidents?
Action: Find Out (30)

- Divide the participants into 3 groups. Each group investigates one of the following themes:
o Find out whether international NGOs working on human rights (such as Amnesty International, the
international Federation of Human Rights Leagues or Human Rights watch) have any concerns about
your country.
o Find out which NGOs exist in your country to work against human rights violations.
o What have been the main changes in your country over the last 20 years in the area of human rights?

1 In your neighborhood, a young woman with a baby seems alone, isolated, and depressed. She seems
afraid to get into conversations, as if she fears getting punished. One day she has bruises on her arms,
but she says that she fall off the stairs last night.

2 When Khadija, 13, and Basgol, 14, escaped from the much older men they'd been forced to marry, they
thought the police would help. Instead, the police officers who found the girls fleeing on a bus sent them
back to their home village to be brutally flogged for running away from their husbands. The two girls'
fate is nothing unusual in Afghanistan, where marriage of girls under 16 and public floggingthough
both illegalremain widespread.

Retrieved from

3 WHEN MONA was 13 years, her mother died and her father remarried. The stepmother was
uncomfortable with Mona and wanted to send her away for some job, where she would be able to look
after herself. Along came a contractor who arranged jobs for youngsters as domestic help, etc. He paid
a certain sum of money to the stepmother and took Mona to a town far away. He got her a job in a
massage parlour as a receptionist. Even before Mona got to know the work profile, she realized that
she had been trapped into sexual exploitation. She had become a sexual slave to the customers who
frequented the place for full-body massage. Mona lives in India.

Retrieved from

4 Fred was recently widowed and sold his house to move in with his adult daughter Anna, her husband,
and their two children. Fred gave Anna and her husband the money from the sale of his home in
exchange for being cared for and living with their family for the balance of his life. One day Anna told her
father, This is a very busy house, and you always seem to get in the way maybe its best if you just
stay in your room. Anna insists that her father stay in his room most of the day. Anna tells her father
she is too busy and cannot drive him to the community club where he enjoys meeting his friends to play
cribbage. Anna often ignores her father for days, and complains about not having the same freedom
since Fred moved into their home. Anna told Fred, Maybe we should just put you in a nursing home.
Fred feels depressed and wishes he never sold his house. He is worried that his only options now are to
find a place on his own or move into a nursing home.

Retrieved from

5 According to many organizations, the conditions in North Korean prisons are harsh and life threatening
Prisoners are subject to torture and inhuman treatment. Public and secret executions of prisoners, even
children, especially in case of escape attempts, infanticides (forced abortions and baby killings upon
birth) also often occur. The mortality rate is very high, because many prisoners die of starvation,
illnesses, work accidents or torture.

Retrieved from

6 "Female infanticide is the intentional killing of baby girls due to the preference for male babies and from
the low value associated with the birth of females." The Chinese government appeared to recognize the
linkage by allowing families in rural areas (where anti-female bias is stronger) a second child if the first
was a girl.

Retrieved from

7 Russian police on Saturday detained several gay rights activists in a public courtyard within St.
Petersburg's noted State Hermitage Museum, apparently for holding an unsanctioned rally. Two dozens
activists unfurled banners and chanted "Homophobia the shame of the country" and "Marriage rights
without compromises" before police moved in and seizing six people, who offered little resistance. The
rally was not announced in advance, but media were tipped off. Gay rights in Russia are poorly observed,
with police often violently dispersing demonstrators and allowing attacks on them to go unpunished.
"This is outrageous that police stopped us and they didn't give us a chance to speak about the violation
of our rights," said Nikolai Alexeyev, the leader of Russia's beleaguered gay rights movement, after the

Retrieved from

8 A report from Texas, United States, has shown that the more subjective the criteria, the more African-
Americans get expelled. Black students accounted for 14 percent of the states mandatory suspensions,
exactly matching the percentage of all black students. That figure rises to 22 percent when only
discretionary expulsions, involving subjective decisions, are examined. And in the most subjective
category of discretionary expulsions, for serious and persistent misbehavior, black students account for
31 percent more than double their presence in the student body at large.

Retrieved from

9 Both national and southern Sudanese authorities should investigate human rights abuses connected to
its April 2010 elections and bring to justice those responsible, Human Rights Watch said in a new report
released today. The 32-page report of the Human Rights Watch documents numerous rights violations
across Sudan by both northern and southern authorities in the period leading up to, during, and
following the April elections. These abuses include restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly,
particularly in northern Sudan, and widespread intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and physical violence
against monitors and opponents of the incumbent parties by Sudanese security forces across the
country. The report is based on research carried out between November 2009 and April 2010 in
Khartoum and Southern Sudan.

Retrieved from
10 In 1770, Captain James Cook took possession of the east coast of Australia and named it New South
Wales in the name of Great Britain. The Aboriginal population was decimated by British colonization
which began in 1788, when news of the land's fertility spread to Europeans. A combination of disease,
loss of land (and thus food resources) and war reduced the Aboriginal population by an estimated 90%
during the 19th century and early 20th century. The wave of massacres and resistance followed the
frontier. Poisoning of food and water has been recorded on several different occasions. 'Stolen
Generation' is the term controversially used to mean the Australian Aboriginal children who were
removed from their families by Australian government agencies and church missions between
approximately 1900 and 1972. According to a government inquiry on the topic, at least 30,000 children
were removed from their parents and the figure may be substantially higher. Percentage estimates were
given that 1030% of all Aboriginal children born during the seventy year period were removed. On 13
February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as well as the Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson,
delivered an official apology on behalf of the Parliament of Australia to the Stolen Generations.

Retrieved from

11 LONDON: The Home Office unveiled plans to limit the numbers coming to live and work in the country
for the first time, cutting visas for skilled non-European Union migrants by five percent. "This
government believes that Britain can benefit from migration but not uncontrolled migration," Home
Secretary Theresa May said. "I recognize the importance of attracting the brightest and the best to
ensure strong economic growth, but unlimited migration places unacceptable pressure on public
services. "While we consult on our tough new limit it's important we have an interim measure to avoid a
rush of applications for migrants and ensure that the number of work visas issued stays below 2009
levels." Prime Minister David Camerons Conservatives promised before the election to cut net migration
back to the levels of the 1990s, when it was "tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands". In
2008, it was 163,000.

Retrieved from

12 Parents of children with a disability say some are being denied school enrolment because of a lack of
resources and support. Legislation to allow children with a disability to study at mainstream schools was
introduced in 2001. The advocacy group, Queensland Parents for People with a Disability (QPPD), is
hoping a survey of families' schooling experiences will help pinpoint problems. QPPD president Lisa
Bridle says inclusive schooling should not be difficult. "Sometimes schools are reluctant to make a
commitment to a child's enrolment because they are not sure that they're going to be able to offer
adequate support," she said. "So we would like that to be more transparent and also for resources not
to be used as a discouragement." Ms Bridle says there are still many barriers for children trying to access
education. "Anecdotally we're finding despite good policies that are pro inclusion of students with
disabilities, the practices are really lagging behind so many students are continuing to be excluded," she

Retrieved from

13 In the Marange diamond fields of eastern Zimbabwe, the countrys military commits grave abuses while
profiting from the smuggling and illegal mining it was deployed to prevent. It wasnt long before the
soldiers had a syndicate of 23 miners working for them, with whom they promised to share the profits
from whatever diamonds the miners found. Within two weeks, the miners had found 709 grams of
industrial diamonds and 17 gemstones, but the soldiers refused to give them anything for their labor.
When we complained, the soldiers beat us all and ordered us to continue working, P.T. explained.
When we attempted to run away, the soldiers shot at us and killed my friend who was running in front.
I continued to run, not realizing immediately that I had been shot as well. P.T. was wounded in the
groin. They are lured into police-controlled cartels with empty promises of profit-sharing or are forced
to work for nothing, often without breaks or food. They are arbitrarily beaten and tortured. Some, like
P.T. s friend, are killed. P.T. escaped the shooting and walked to a nearby clinic where staff refused to
treat the wound. The nurse in charge said, We are under strict instructions from the soldiers not to
treat anyone shoot or injured in the diamond fields, P.T. told us.

Retrieved from

14 United States: I met a girl and she and I lived on the streets. My money was now all gone. I hadnt been
in Atlanta six months and I went from a guy with $15,000, high hopes and plans to homeless, penniless,
sick and begging for money from passersby. In the bitter cold nights I could usually call my parents or
grandparents and talk them into a hotel room. They would beg me to come home and get well, but I
couldnt. I needed the meth. I went home on Thanksgiving and slept through it. I slept four days
straight and only woke up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. The fifth day I got up and went
early in the morning to the bus station and got back to Atlanta as quickly as I could. I needed more

Retrieved from

15 Paralympic gold medalist, Carolina Pelendritou, yesterday spoke out against alleged unequal treatment
of disabled athletes by the Cyprus Sporting Organization (KOA) and certain political figures. Speaking
through a translator yesterday, Pelendritou said "Since 2003 I have not received one euro in prize
money. This makes it hard to become a champion, because I need to pay my coach, and for transport.
Champions cannot be expected to be successful if their country is not behind them." In 2004 Pelendritou
caused a stir when she rejected CYP 64,000 in prize money for winning a Paralympics gold medal,
because it was less than the amount given to able bodied athletes. She said at the time I have been
called here today to collect my reward for securing the gold medal in the Paralympics Games. However, I
am sorry to say that KOA is still adamant in treating the Paralympics athletes like fifth-rate or even fifth-
class people. My appeal from 2003 against the discrimination of KOA at the Supreme Court is still
pending; therefore I cannot accept this reward. A source within KOA told the Cyprus Mail said
"Although it is admirable what she has achieved, she did not have to endure the competition which some
other athletes may have to go through like, for example the 100-metre sprint where she would have had
to qualify through loads of rounds to get to the finals. From what I know she had to just challenge six
people for the medal only. Also, people seem to forget that we have to adjust our criteria to what we
have financially. If we did have a larger amount of money at our disposal, then by all means we would
have given 500,000.

Retrieved from

16 On May 6, 2009, for the first time in the post-World War II era, a European state ordered its coast guard
and naval vessels to interdict and forcibly return boat migrants on the high seas without doing any
screening whatsoever to determine whether any passengers needed protection or were particularly
vulnerable. The interdicting state was Italy; the receiving state was Libya. Italian authorities towed
migrant boats from international waters without even a cursory screening to see whether some might be
refugees or whether others might be sick or injured, pregnant women, unaccompanied children, or
victims of trafficking.

Retrieved from

17 It was 1970 and I was only 14 years old when, coming home from school one evening, I saw a group of
people engaging in a huge feast in my home village. I asked my mother what was happening and why
they were holding the party. She told me that it was for me and my sister because we were about to be
initiated into adulthood. "You are going to be women," she said excitedly. She told us that we would
undergo "Emuratare," the ceremony that initiates young Maasai girls into adulthood through ritual
circumcision and then into early arranged marriages. I was both horrified and outraged. It wasn't that I
hadn't heard about this practice. Maasai girls are gradually prepared to face the knife from a very young
age. We are encouraged to fight with sticks until blood oozes from the opponent's body without wincing
in pain or running away. This is the mark of bravery, heroism and a readiness to face the cut. But I
learned more about "Emuratare" at school from some of my classmates who gave me details about the
ritual. I didn't want to believe that my sister and I would have to experience the same agony. I told Mom
to tell my father that I was not going to be circumcised. She was furious with me but I stood my ground.
My father supported my idea of not facing the knife, though this was usually not the norm. His decision
infuriated my mother and I became a pariah. Even my elder sister and my so-called friends started calling
me "coward." The social pressure and the mockery from my age mates became so excruciatingly intense
that I finally gave in. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was not the baby they thought I was. The
initiation ceremony started the same night I announced I would get circumcised. A pot full of cold water
was placed outside the "manyatta" (Maasai farmhouse) with an iron axe inside the pot. The pot had to
stay outside overnight for the water to get as cold as it can get in Kenya. My sister and I slept in the
same hut where the bloody rite would take place. The circumciser joined us. At the crack of dawn, the
doors were opened up and the ice-cold water from the pot was poured on our bodies to prevent
excessive bleeding. I sat down with one woman holding me from the back, her arms pinning my hands to
my body while two other women tightly stretched out and pinned my legs to the ground. My peers
milled around waiting with bated breathe to see whether the coward was going to scream and wince in
pain. I was determined to disappoint them and prove them wrong. The circumciser approached me
menacingly waving the blade in front of my face. She gorged out my clitoris and the labia majora and
minora as I almost fainted. She then inserted two fingers into the fresh wound to make sure that the
work was complete and that was nothing left.

Retrieved from

18 It was 1987, and I was feeling good. My residence was in the Swissvale area of the city. I did not have
much money, but I was happy. I had two beautiful children. We were content and living comfortably. I
was receiving welfare assistance, which helped me with my rent, light, gas, water, and sewage. Still, I was
definitely struggling. My childrens father was not supportive. He would stop by every now and then with
a few dollars and clothes for the children. I guess he meant well, but it still was not enough. This means I
had to support us on the welfare check I received every two weeks. I managed to pay all my bills, but I
had very little to live on after that. I wanted the best for my children, and it was hard to obtain things we
wantedmostly shoes, clothes, and coats for the kids, and cable t.v.

Retrieved from

19 I felt confused and scared about making a decision that could affect the rest of my life. I didnt want a
baby, because I had very concrete plans about my future. I also knew that I wasnt mentally prepared for
motherhood. I was frightened, because I used to watch a lot of after-school specials in which teens
became pregnant, and their parents would kick them out of the home. They were forced to live either
on the streets or in some sort of home for wayward teens. Usually the teen would begin a life of drugs
and crime, struggle with raising the child, or give the child up for adoption. I didnt want to live a life of
crime, struggle, or uncertainty. I was fearful of having an abortion, because I might go to Hell and
because of my strong Catholic upbringing. I would weigh the consequences of going to Hell or Heaven in
my head.

Retrieved from

20 Luciano Montalvo is a 12-year old boy with AIDS, who was denied admission by Radcliffe, the defendant,
a Japanese-style martial arts school because of his HIV + status. At the court, it was decided that there
was no reasonable modification or accommodation possible, because of great risk considering the nature
of martial arts and the high risk of transmission of HIV. Thus, the district court judgment was affirmed.

Retrieved from Montalvo v. Radcliffe, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

21 Gazan children in UNRWA schools "lag behind refugee children elsewhere;" in addition, students are
prevented from studying abroad, and in November 670 of them were denied permission for foreign
study, including six Fulbright scholars.

Retrieved from

22 Denver-USA: An Indonesian woman brought to Colorado by a Saudi Arabian couple was allegedly paid
less than the equivalent of $2 a day over four years to cook, clean and care for their five children and was
sometimes loaned out to work for four other families when her host family traveled. According to court
documents released Monday, the woman told investigators that she worked seven days a week with no
regular days off from 2000 to 2004 while living with the family of Homaidan Al-Turki in suburban Aurora.

Retrieved from

23 A landlord charges twenty dollars per person per day for eight persons to live in a substandard trailer.
Children spend the winter in an apartment with no heat, although their parents were assured at the time
of rental that the unit was heated. A landlord routinely refuses to refund security deposits owed to
tenants. A baby is bitten by the rats that share his abode. The tenants in the preceding stories are all
members of North Carolinas growing Hispanic population. For any tenant, such experiences represent
poor housing conditions and possible violations of North Carolinas landlord-tenant laws. However, for a
significant percentage of the Hispanic population, the stories reflect not only poor housing conditions
but also discrimination in private rental markets.

Retrieved from

24 London, January 27, 2010 (Pal Telegraph)- In a letter sent to the chancellor of the Federal Republic of
Germany, Angela Merkel, Saif al-Islam Alqadhafi, chief proponent of the "Tomorrow's Libya" project,
criticized the upcoming weapons deal between Germany and Israel. The letter charges that Germany is
supporting Israel, despite the fact that it violates human rights in occupied Palestine, by selling it
sophisticated submarines and two missile boats.

Retrieved from


Time: 45 minutes

Goal: The students will be able to realize that human rights apply to all individuals on the basis of equality and non-


- To understand that human rights are relevant for everyone everywhere.

- To acquire knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
- To understand the importance of the UDHR.
- To realize that human rights are interdependent, indivisible, justifiable, apply to all individuals, and denote
certain governmental obligations.
- To find information regarding human rights.


Forming groups (5)

- Put up on the four walls of the classroom four statements. Those can be:
"You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction"
You miss 100% of the shots that you dont try
The poor person is not s/he who is without a cent, but who is without a dream
There is a moment when you need to stop pushing the car and start putting the gear
- Ask participants to physically place themselves under the quote they mostly like or associate with.
- Explain that those will be the four groups that will work for the following activity. Make sure that there is a
balance on the number of individuals in each group.

A New Planet (40) (idea retrieved from University of Minnesota, Human Rights Resource Center, 2006)

- Share the worksheet A New Planet.

- Provide an explanation of the instructions to the groups.
- Provide 20 minutes for the groups to work.
- Back in the plenary session, groups share the human rights they identified (avoid repetition of rights previously
mentioned by other groups).
- Distribute the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Worksheet). Ask the students to identify the human
rights that were not introduced to their own planet.
- Discuss with students if the rights they did not include would make a difference for the individuals.
- Discussion:
o Did you know about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Who formed it and when?
o What are the implications of such an instrument? Why is it needed? Does it have an impact on
governments or individuals? What are the responsibilities of a government against such instruments?
o Do you think that some rights are more important than others?
o Are there any rights which are not in the Declaration that you consider important?

Human Rights Square (activity after class)

- Distribute the worksheet of Human Rights Square. Ask from the students to go out to their school, families, and
communities and complete the worksheet.
A New Planet

A small new planet has been discovered that has everything needed to sustain human life. No
one has ever lived there. There are no laws, no rules, and no history. You will all be settlers
here and in preparation your group has been appointed to draw up a Declaration consisted of
the human rights that individuals will be entitled at this all-new planet. Your work is hard!
Start with naming your planet. Keep on with the Declaration. Make sure that the Declaration
contains a preamble, where some important features of the rights included are mentioned (for
example, who is entitled to those rights) and at least 10 rights that you consider important to
have on this new planet.













Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called
upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read
and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status
of countries or territories."

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family
is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience
of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom
from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and
oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in
the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote
social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion
of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of
this pledge,

standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society,
keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights
and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective
recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of
territories under their jurisdiction.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should
act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as
race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the
country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other
limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to
equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental
rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the
determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in
a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal
offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed
than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks
upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts
contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to
found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion
or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or
belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and
genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free
voting procedures.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort
and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic,
social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to
protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an
existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family,
including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of
unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of
wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.
Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and
higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations,
racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in
scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or
artistic production of which he is the author.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can
be fully realized.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law
solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the
just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any
activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Retrieved from U.N. General Assembly, UDHR. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 10,
1948. Official Record. Paris.
Using members of the group as sources of information and the internet get an answer for as
many squares as you can and write it in the square. Each answer should come from a
different person.

A human right Country where Document that Group in your country Country where people
human rights are proclaims human that wants to deny are denied rights
violated rights rights to others because of their race
or ethnicity

Organization Film/Video that is Singer who sings Right your parents Country where human
which fights for about rights about rights have/had that you do rights situation has
human rights not improved recently

Type of human Book about rights Right sometimes Right all children Country where people
rights violation denied to women should have are denied rights
that most because of their
disturbs you religion

Human right People denied right Human right being Right of yours that is Someone who is a
not yet to establish their achieved around the respected defender of human
achieved by own nation or world rights
everyone in homeland
this country

Source: Adapted from David Shiman, Teaching Human Rights, (Denver: Center for Teaching International
Relations Publications, University of Denver, 1993) 2-3.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: The students will be able to realize that children have rights and that those are promoted and protected by a


- To acquire knowledge about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

- To understand the relevance of human rights to everyday life.
- To promote solidarity and respect for diversity.


What do you See in Such Funny Illustrations? (variation of an activity retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 191) (25)

- Put up in advance on the walls of the classroom the illustrations that you have found related to globalization or
other issues that bother humanity (in COMPASS you can find some illustrations) with an empty piece of paper
- Ask the students to go around the classroom and write underneath each illustration which right or concept they
think the illustration is related to.
- Give time to students to go around and write.
- Pick one of the illustrations and the comments of students and discuss the students thoughts/comments:
o Did different people think of the illustration in the same way? Why do different people view the same
illustration in different ways?
o Does the current illustration represent several different rights?
o Does anyone disagree with someone elses interpretation of the illustration? Why?
- Leave the illustrations and the students thoughts on the wall, so that they can see their classmates thoughts in
the following days.

Forming Groups (5)

- Give a number to each person from 1-5. After each student has a number they form groups according to their
numbers (i.e. all the students with number together and so forth).

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (60)

- Distribute the CRC to all the students.

- Ask students to go through the Convention individually. Allow time for individual reading.
- Distribute the handout Group Work: Questions for Discussion (the questions have been retrieved from
COMPASS, 2007, p. 104).
- Allow time for discussion on the questions.
- Ask each group to choose 3 (or more) rights of the Convention. The groups can decide on how to choose
different rights.
- Tell the participants that they need to prepare cartoons or illustrations like the ones that you used above, that
are related with the rights of the children they have chosen. The cartoons/illustrations can be used to create a
book to be distributed to the school community (or an exhibition can be held at the school).
- Provide time for groups to work on their cartoons.
- When all groups have finished, ask everybody to come into plenary. Discussion:
o Did you like the activity? Was it hard or easy?
o How much or how little did you discover that you knew about human rights?
o Do you think the childrens rights are relevant to your own lives? Which ones?
o Are there any unresolved issues from the discussion that took place within the groups?

- Ask the students to make a small survey regarding violations of childrens rights within their school community
or their community. Students can identify the most prevalent violations that take place within their
Retrieved from
Group Work: Questions for Discussion Group Work: Questions for Discussion

Do you think that children need their own Do you think that children need their own
Convention? Why? Convention? Why?
What ages that Convention covers? If What ages that Convention covers? If
children have their own Convention, is children have their own Convention, is
there not a case for a Convention for there not a case for a Convention for
young people aged 18-30? young people aged 18-30?
It is one thing for children to have rights It is one thing for children to have rights
under the Convention on the Rights of the under the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, but in reality, how realistic is it for Child, but in reality, how realistic is it for
them to claim them? them to claim them?

How do people in general How do people in general

claim their rights? claim their rights?

To whom, in your society, can To whom, in your society, can

children turn, if they know children turn, if they know
of serious violations of their rights? of serious violations of their rights?

Group Work: Questions for Discussion Group Work: Questions for Discussion
Do you think that children need their own Do you think that children need their own
Convention? Why? Convention? Why?
What ages that Convention covers? If What ages that Convention covers? If
children have their own Convention, is children have their own Convention, is
there not a case for a Convention for there not a case for a Convention for
young people aged 18-30? young people aged 18-30?
It is one thing for children to have rights It is one thing for children to have rights
under the Convention on the Rights of the under the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, but in reality, how realistic is it for Child, but in reality, how realistic is it for
them to claim them? them to claim them?

How do people in general How do people in general

claim their rights? claim their rights?

To whom, in your society, can To whom, in your society, can

children turn, if they know children turn, if they know
of serious violations of their rights? of serious violations of their rights?

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To enable students to look for information and plan activities that will further enhance their learning.


- To acquire knowledge about the responsibilities and work of the Commissioner of Childrens Rights in Cyprus.
- To learn organizational skills.
- To acquire the ability of taking responsibility for own education.



- Ask the students if they have any questions related to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Ask the students to brainstorm abuses of childrens rights they can think of (i.e. sexual exploitation, child labor,
child soldiers, neglect, bullying, etc). Provide the opportunity to one of the students to write down the
ideas/reflections of the participants.
- Tell the students to circle the violations of rights that they believe currently happen in their school (keep the list
to be used in a future lesson).

Preparation for a field trip

- Give the opportunity and a time limit to the students to form by themselves 4 or 5 groups (according to the
number of computers available). The instructions can be similar to the following: For the following activity we
need 5 groups of students. You have 5 minutes to get into groups.
- Discussion:
o Do you think that you have done a good job?
o Was it easy or hard to form groups?
o What conditions did you take into consideration in forming your groups?
o Would it be beneficial or not to work with the same groups throughout the year? Why?
- Tell the students that you are planning a visit to the Commissioner of Childrens rights in Cyprus (other ideas can
be the social services, NGOs or other organizations that are related with children and/or human rights and so
- Ask the groups to visit the website of the Commissioner of Childrens rights in Cyprus
( and navigate through
the website.
- Provide sufficient time for the students to develop and organize the questions they would like to ask the
- Provide time to the students to finalize details regarding the field trip (i.e. who is going to ask the questions, who
is going to greet the Commissioner, who is going to arrange the meeting and so forth). Make sure that each
group has a responsibility to carry out and that all the groups will report back to the plenary session.

Time: 3-4 hours

Goal: To identify experts in the area of childrens rights and obtain information that will enable them to expand their


- To acquire knowledge about the responsibilities and work of the Commissioner of Childrens Rights in Cyprus.
- To learn organizational skills.
- To acquire the ability of taking responsibility for own education.


Field Trip

- Visit the Commissioner of Childrens Rights.


- Ask from the participants to write a reflection paper summarizing the gains from the field trip and the lessons so
far. Distribute the handout Reflection Paper to enable students to be aware of what you are looking for in
their papers.

Reflection Paper

This document aims to provide guidelines on what is expected to write in your paper. Remember that there is
no need to summarize or write exactly what has happened during the field trip. After all, we have been all there!

You can include the following on your reflection paper or anything else that you consider important and you
would like to share:

- The difference the field trip made in your knowledge, attitudes or behavior.
- Discuss your thoughts and feelings.
- Place the experience in a larger context.
- Link the field trip with the classroom activities that have taken place so far.
- Share some lessons learned.
- Consider actions that need to be undertaken/generate ideas.
- Identify questions that remained unsolved.
- Determine future expectations.
- Determine how you can use what you have learned in this field trip.
- Evaluate the way the field trip was organized and carried out. Write future recommendations.
- State your likes/dislikes and if your needs and interests have been addressed.
- Include pictures, comments and/or quotes.

Remember that you should use your critical and

analytical skills. These are your reflections and
there are no right or wrong answers.

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes) (more time can be devoted in case the whole school will be involved in the survey)

Goal: To evaluate the human rights climate within the school area.

Objectives (retrieved from University of Minnesota, Human Rights Resource Center, 2006):

- To assess human rights conditions within the school community.

- To reflect critically on forces at work within the school that affect the human rights climate.
- To develop an action plan to improve the human rights situation within the school.


- Ask students to share their experiences regarding the field trip.

What kind of education do we want? (30)

- Allow the students to sit in a circle.

- Provide multiple kinds of materials within the circle (i.e. balloons, papers, pencils, toothpicks, plasteline etc)
- Ask the students one at a time to identify the characteristics that they would like their education/school to have.
Ask from the students to represent it somehow with the materials they have in front of them (the students can
start from concrete things/objects such as buildings, and move on to more abstract concepts such as everyone
voices to be heard).
- Provide space for all individuals to contribute and create their ideal education/school. Allow space for
discussion and contribution (i.e. why students consider that element important).
- Discussion:
o Did you enjoy the activity? Why? Why not?
o Do you think that your education/school has all the elements that you have mentioned?
o Do you think it is possible for education/school to include all those elements?
o What is needed for an education/school to become like the one you have in mind?

Human Rights Temperature of Your School (60) (retrieved from University of Minnesota, Human Rights Resource
Center, 2006)

- Explain that the students will work individually to find out the human rights situation in their school.
- Distribute the Questionnaire on Taking the Human Rights Temperature of your School.
- Ask the students to complete the questionnaire individually.
- Collect the questionnaires after the students are done.
- Ask the students if they would like to distribute the questionnaire to the whole school and analyze the results
from the whole school. If not, proceed with analyzing the results from the individuals you have already worked
- Enable students to collect the data, analyze them, and make graphs.
- Discussion regarding the findings of the survey:
o In which areas does your school appear to be adhering to or promoting human rights principles?
o In which areas do there seem to be human rights problems? Which of these are of particular concern to
you? Elaborate on the areas of concern, providing examples, and identifying patterns in human rights
o How do you explain the existence of such problematic conditions?
o Do they have race/ethnicity, class, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation dimensions?
o Are the issues related to participation in decision making (who is included and who isnt)?
o Who benefits and who loses/suffers as a result of the existing human rights violations?
o Other explanations to consider?
o Have you or any of your fellow community contributed in any way to the construction and perpetuation
of the existing climate? (e.g. by acting in certain ways, by not acting to certain ways, ignoring abuses or
not reporting incidents)
o What needs to be done to improve the human rights climate in your school? What actions can you and
your group take to create a more humane and just environment where human rights values are
promoted and human rights behaviors practiced?
- Ask the group how they would like to work on creating an action plan that will address the results of their

Action Plan Writing (45)

- Ask the students to work in groups in order to create an action plan.

- Distribute the worksheet Action Plan for Our School so that the groups can base their work on it.
- Allow time for presenting the action plans and receiving feedback from classmates for improvements.
- Allow time for identifying ways to carry out their action plans.


- The action plans can be used as a form of evaluation.



The questions below are adapted from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). (The relevant
UDHR articles are included parenthetically in each statement.) Some of these issues correlate more directly to the UDHR
than others. All of these questions are related to the fundamental human right to education found in Article 26 of the
Universal Declaration. It asserts:

Everyone has the right to education... Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to
the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

When discrimination is mentioned in the questionnaire below, it refers to a wide range of conditions: race,
ethnicity/culture, sex, physical/intellectual capacities, friendship associations, age, culture, disability, social class/financial
status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, life style choices, nationality, and living space. This is a much more
expansive list than that found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but is more helpful in assessing the human
rights temperature in your school community.

The results should provide a general sense of the school's climate in light of principles found in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. Obviously more questions are needed and follow-up questioning during the discussion will enrich the
assessment. These questions can help to identify specific areas of concern that need to be addressed.


Directions: Take the human rights temperature of your school. Read each statement and assess how accurately it describes
your school community in the blank next to it. (Keep in mind all members of your school: students, teachers,
administrators, and staff). At the end total up your score to determine your overall assessment score for your school.

1 - no/never 2 - rarely 3 - often 4 - yes/always

____ 1. My school is a place where students are safe and secure. (Art. 3 & 5)

____ 2. All students receive equal information and encouragement about academic and career opportunities. (Art. 2)

____ 3. Members of the school community are not discriminated against because of their life style choices, such as
manner of dress, associating with certain people, and non-school activities. (Art. 2 & 16)

____ 4. My school provides equal access, resources, activities, and scheduling accommodations for all individuals. (Art. 2
& 7)

____ 5. Members of my school community will oppose discriminatory or demeaning actions, materials, or slurs in the
school. (Art. 2, 3, 7, 28, & 29)

____ 6. When someone demeans or violates the rights of another person, the violator is helped to learn how to change
his/her behavior. (Art. 26)

____ 7. Members of my school community care about my full human as well as academic development and try to help me
when I am in need. (Art. 3, 22, 26 & 29)

____ 8. When conflicts arise, we try to resolve them through non- violent and collaborative ways. (Art. 3, 28)

____ 9. Institutional policies and procedures are implemented when complaints of harassment or discrimination are
submitted. (Art. 3 & 7)
____ 10. In matters related to discipline (including suspension and expulsion), all persons are assured of fair, impartial
treatment in the determination of guilt and assignment of punishment. (Art. 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10)

____ 11. No one in our school is subjected to degrading treatment or punishment. (Art. 5)

____ 12. Someone accused of wrong doing is presumed innocent until proven guilty. (Art. 11 )

____ 13. My personal space and possessions are respected. (Art. 12 & 17)

____ 14. My school community welcomes students, teachers, administrators, and staff from diverse backgrounds and
cultures, including people not born in the USA. (Art. 2, 6,13, 14 & 15)

____15. I have the liberty to express my beliefs and ideas (political, religious, cultural, or other) without fear of
discrimination.(Art. 19)

____ 16. Members of my school can produce and disseminate publications without fear of censorship or punishment. (Art.

____ 17. Diverse voices and perspectives (e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, ideological) are represented in courses, textbooks,
assemblies, libraries, and classroom instruction. (Art. 2, 19, & 27)

____ 18. I have the opportunity to express my culture through music, art, and literary form. (Art. 19, 27 & 28)

____ 19. Members of my school have the opportunity to participate (individually and through associations) in democratic
decision-making processes to develop school policies and rules. (Art. 20, 21, & 23)

____ 20. Members of my school have the right to form associations within the school to advocate for their rights or the
rights of others. (Art. 19, 20, & 23)

____ 21. Members of my school encourage each other to learn about societal and global problems related to justice,
ecology, poverty, and peace. (Preamble & Art. 26 & 29)

____ 22. Members of my school encourage each other to organize and take action to address societal and global problems
related to justice, ecology, poverty, and peace. (Preamble & Art. 20 & 29)

____ 23. Members of my school community are able to take adequate rest/recess time during the school day and work
reasonable hours under fair work conditions. (Art. 23 & 24)

____ 24. Employees in my school are paid enough to have a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being
(including housing, food, necessary social services and security from unemployment, sickness and old age) of themselves
and their families. (Art. 22 & 25)

____ 25. I take responsibility in my school to ensure other individuals do not discriminate and that they behave in ways
that promote the safety and well being of my school community. (Art. 1 & 29)



Distributed from: D. Shiman & K. Rudelius-Palmer, Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective (Minneapolis: Human
Rights Resource Center, University of Minnesota, 1999)
Group Name: ______________________________________________________________________________

Group members: ____________________________________________________________________________


The questions below will help you transform the idea you have into an action. After you complete all the
missing spaces, you will have a plan, which will help you implement your idea. In such a way, your idea will
not stay in your head, but you will be able to see your project becoming real and successful.







Define the timeline you need to implement your idea.




Define the space that you need in order to implement your idea.


Describe in detail exactly what activities/actions your idea includes.




Division of labor: who is going to do what (i.e. John will arrange the bus)






Materials/Equipment Needed: ______________________________________________________



Estimated Expenses: _______________________________________________________________



Sources of funding or acquiring equipment: __________________________________________


Anticipated problems/obstacles/difficulties and ways to overcome them:




Other comments/suggestions: ______________________________________________________



Revised from an action plan retrieved from:

Lyras, A., Kotziamani, E., Votsis, E., & Moese, M. (in progress). A mixed methods assessment of the Sport Education and
Development Unit, which is a part of the at risk youth Doves Project. Project funded by UNDP-Act.

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To understand the prevalence of violence in our everyday lives.


- To identify sources of violence within their communities.

- To realize how violence is being celebrated within their communities.
- To provide arguments on why humans use violence.
- To find ways to inform the public about their surroundings which promote violence.


Forming groups (5)

- Ask participants to get into groups with people they have never worked with before or worked with in a minor

Newspaper Time (20)

- Provide newspapers to the participants. Ask them to use markers and circle all the events that show an
expression of violence.
- Ask the groups to cut and glue the events that show expression of violence within their communities on the left-
hand side of the classroom and events that show expression of violence internationally on the right-hand (there
can be two body figures of the size of the students on the two different sides of the classroom and students can
fill them with pictures and titles from newspapers throughout the week. The figures can be left on the walls
throughout the academic year).
- Discussion:
o How is violence expressed within our community?
o What are the causes of the particular identified expressions of violence?
o How is violence expressed internationally?
o When violence is used, how the human rights of individuals are affected?
o Do newspapers present mostly peaceful or violent events? Why do you believe they do so?
o How is peace or violence promoted through the media? Would the world be different if there was a
different promotion on behalf of the media?

Peaceful or Violent Expressions in our Daily Lives (10)

- Divide the whiteboard into two sides: one side with names that are related with war, and another side with
names that are related with peace. Allow each student to name his/her street address and assign one student
to write the street names to either the one or the other side of the whiteboard accordingly.
- Discussion:
o Which side do most street names fit into? Why do you think that happens?
o Can you think of other examples in our community/country where violence/war is being celebrated or
given prestige (i.e. museums, monuments, exhibitions, events etc)?
o How do you think they affect us?
o Why is there so much violence?

A Television Debate (40)

- Inform the students that a simulation will take place in a while. Assign to each student a role they will need to
carry out during the simulation (the role cards can be found below). Explain that the theme of todays
discussion is Why is there so much violence in our communities today? Are human beings genetically violent?
- Allow 10 minutes for the different roles to prepare. The people who are assigned the same roles can work
together during this preparation phase.
- Bring all individuals back. Provide seating arrangements according to their roles. Allow time for the simulation.
- Discussion:
o Which arguments were mostly used by each side?
o Is there a basis for those arguments?
o What did you like the most from the activity? What did you learn?

Seville Statement on Violence (20)

- Distribute the handout The Seville Statement.

- Allow time for reading.
- Discussion:
o What is the main argument of this document?
o What are the evidences supporting that argument?
o What is the importance of that document?

Action/Evaluation (40)

- Write an article to a newspaper related to the findings regarding the war related articles reported on one day
and their thoughts about it.
- Write a letter to the municipality about the findings regarding the war related monuments/street names/
museums that can be followed by possible ways of action.
Role Cards

SCIENTISTS A: You belong to a group of scientists who believe that humans are biologically violent.
According to that view, there are specific genes that are related with aggressive behavior and human
beings are predisposed to those genes. It is thus, inevitable to avoid violence and war. During the
television debate you will present that point of view. Prepare your arguments. Make sure to identify
examples that can reveal that your argument indeed is valid.

SCIENTISTS B: You belong to a group of scientists who believe that violence is not biologically inherited
to human beings. According to that view, violence is not genetically programmed to human nature.
Rather, violence and aggression are learned practices shared by our cultures. It is thus, possible to
avoid violence and war. During the television debate you will present that point of view. Prepare your
arguments. Make sure to identify examples that can reveal that your argument indeed is valid.

AUDIENCE: During this television debate you will be part of the audience. You will listen to arguments
from scientists who believe that violence is genetically programmed to humans, in other words
humans are born violent and cannot avoid it. At this debate scientists who believe that violence is a
learned behavior and not part of the genes of the humans, will also share their views. You will listen
carefully to both sides of the debate. Please write down questions, clarifications, or any other
comments you would like to make at the end of the debate. The scientists are here to address your
concerns and questions.

MODERATOR: During this television debate you will be the moderator. Your guests will be scientists
who believe that violence is genetically programmed to humans, in other words humans are born
violent and cannot avoid it. You will also have as guests, scientists who believe that violence is a
learned behavior and not part of the genes of the humans. Make sure that you start the show with
an introduction. Present your guests and provide enough time for both groups to present their
arguments. You can ask each group for elaboration or further clarifications. Make sure that all the
members of each group are provided the opportunity to express their views. Allow interruptions
from one group to another. Do not allow though a monopolization of the discussion by one group or
some members of the group. At the end provide the opportunity to the audience to actively
participate in the debate.
Seville Statement on Violence, Spain, 1986

Believing that it is our responsibility to address from our particular disciplines the most
dangerous and destructive activities of our species, violence and war; recognizing that science is
a human cultural product which cannot be definitive or all-encompassing; and gratefully
acknowledging the support of the authorities of Seville and representatives of the Spanish

We, the undersigned scholars from around the world and from
relevant sciences, have met and arrived at the following Statement
on Violence. In it, we challenge a number of alleged biological
findings that have been used, even by some in our disciplines, to
justify violence and war. Because the alleged findings have
contributed to an atmosphere of pessimism in our time, we submit
that the open, considered rejection of these mis-statements can
contribute significantly to the International Year of Peace.

Misuse of scientific theories and data to justify violence and war is

not new but has been made since the advent of modern science. For example, the theory of
evolution has been used to justify not only war, but also genocide, colonialism, and suppression
of the weak.

We state our position in the form of five propositions. We are aware that there are many other
issues about violence and war that could be fruitfully addressed from the standpoint of our
disciplines, but we restrict ourselves here to what we consider a most important first step.

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war

from our animal ancestors. Although fighting occurs widely throughout animal species, only a
few cases of destructive intra-species fighting between organized groups have ever been
reported among naturally living species, and none of these involve the use of tools designed to
be weapons. Normal predatory feeding upon other species cannot be equated with intra-species
violence. Warfare is a peculiarly human phenomenon and does not occur in other animals.

The fact that warfare has changed so radically overtime indicates that it is a product of culture.
Its biological connection is primarily through language which makes possible the co-ordination of
groups, the transmission of technology, and the use of tools. War is biologically possible, but it is
not inevitable, as evidenced by its variation in occurrence and nature over time and space. There
are cultures which have not engaged in war for centuries, and there are cultures which have
engaged in war frequently at some times and not at others.

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war or any other violent behavior is

genetically programmed into our human nature. While genes are involved at all levels of nervous
system function, they provide a developmental potential that can be actualized only in
conjunction with the ecological and social environment. While individuals vary in their
predispositions to be affected by their experience, it is the interaction between their genetic
endowment and conditions of nurturance that determines their personalities. Except for rare
pathologies, the genes do not produce individuals necessarily predisposed to violence. Neither do
they determine the opposite. While genes are co-involved in establishing our behavioral
capacities, they do not by themselves specify the outcome.
IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that in the course of human evolution there has
been a selection for aggressive behavior more than for other kinds of behavior. In all well-
studied species, status within the group is achieved by the ability to co-operate and to fulfill
social functions relevant to the structure of that group. 'Dominance' involves social bindings and
affiliations; it is not simply a matter of the possession and use of superior physical power,
although it does involve aggressive behaviors. Where genetic selection for aggressive behavior
has been artificially instituted in animals, it has rapidly succeeded in producing hyper-aggressive
individuals; this indicates that aggression was not maximally selected under natural conditions.
When such experimentally-created hyper-aggressive animals are present in a social group, they
either disrupt its social structure or are driven out. Violence is neither in our evolutionary legacy
nor in our genes.

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that humans have a 'violent brain'. While we do

have the neural apparatus to act violently, it is not automatically activated by internal or
external stimuli. Like higher primates and unlike other animals, our higher neural processes filter
such stimuli before they can be acted upon. How we act is shaped by how we have been
conditioned and socialized. There is nothing in our neurophysiology that compels us to react

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY INCORRECT to say that war is caused by 'instinct' or any single

motivation. The emergence of modern warfare has been a journey from the primacy of
emotional and motivational factors, sometimes called 'instincts', to the primacy of cognitive
factors. Modern war involves institutional use of personal characteristics such as obedience,
suggestibility, and idealism, social skills such as language, and rational considerations such as
cost-calculation, planning, and information processing. The technology of modern war has
exaggerated traits associated with violence both in the training of actual combatants and in the
preparation of support for war in the general population. As a result of this exaggeration, such
traits are often mistaken to be the causes rather than the consequences of the process.

We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war, and that humanity can be freed
from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the
transformative tasks needed in this International Year of Peace and in the years to come.
Although these tasks are mainly institutional and collective, they also rest upon the
consciousness of individual participants for whom pessimism and optimism are crucial factors.
Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who
invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us.

Seville, 16 May 1986

Source retrieved from: UNESCO. (1986). Seville Statement on Violence. Retrieved from

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To become aware that violence, aggression, and military might are funded by governments.


- To become aware of the funding that goes to military expenses each year in the countries.
- To understand how services provided by the government are interrelated and how the military expenses deprive
from other services.
- To design and distribute the allocation of the budget in Cyprus.


How much of our money (45)

- Explain to students that they will work in pairs. Distribute the handout Budget allocation. Tell the students
that they are government officials and they have to decide on how to spend the money for the government this
year. Ask them to identify and draw with different colors the domains that they will allocate the money to and
the proportion of the budget that they will allocate to each domain (i.e. education %, transportation %,
justice %, etc).
- Allow time for sharing. After some pairs present, other pairs can add domains that were not included by the
previous pairs.
- Distribute the graph titled Budget details for the USA.
- Ask students to make comments on the graph.
- Discussion:
o Why do you think so much money is spent in military expenses in the United States?
o Do you think that this is a fair allocation?
o What could have happened if those funds were allocated differently?
o Are there any countries that do not have militaries, thus do not have to allocate budget for those? Are
they successful in keeping out of war?
o Do you know how the funds are allocated in Cyprus?


- Students are asked to identify sources and graph the budget allocation for Cyprus. A leaflet can be prepared by
the students and used in variable ways.
Budget Allocation

Budget Details for the USA

Retrieved from


Time: 90 minutes

Goal: To expand their knowledge regarding refugees and apply this knowledge in real-life cases.


- To acquire knowledge regarding refugee status and refugee rights.

- To identify the reasons enforcing thousands of people in becoming refugees.
- To identify refugees given case studies.
- To promote integration within the society of people who are refugees in their own country.


Forming groups (5)

- Divide the class into two groups according to the seating arrangement (Group A and Group B). Ask the two
groups to seat separately. Divide the two groups into 2 subgroups according to the seating arrangement (the
groups are: UNHCR representatives A, governmental officials A, UNHCR representatives B, governmental
officials B).

Simulation (retrieved from University for Peace, 2010b) (85)

- Distribute the handout Background information for the Exercises.

- Allow time for silent reading.
- Provide the handout titled Simulation exercise: UNHCR representatives to UNHCR representatives A and B,
and the handout titled Simulation exercise: Governmental officials to governmental officials A and B. Allow 5
minutes for silent reading.
- Explain that a role-play will follow.
- Allow 15 minutes for the members of the subgroups to discuss their positions and strategy of negotiation.
- A meeting with the members of the two subgroups (UNHCR representatives with governmental officials) must
be held (30 minutes).
- Provide additional information related to the simulation (i.e. another 5 000 people just crossed the border).
- Allow a new meeting with the government and reach a second agreement (20).
- Ask all participants to come into plenary. The two groups share their agreements and how easy or hard was to
come up with those agreements.


- Ask the students to find out if there are any conventions that are related with refugees and if so to read them.

Country A

Armed conflict, forced displacement and human rights violations

For several years, Country A has been torn apart by a violent civil war. Left-wing insurgent groups (rebels) advocating
for a more equal distribution of land and resources clash regularly with the army of Country A in their fight for control of
the territory.

According to the UN and non-governmental human rights organizations, the general human rights situation in Country A
has been deteriorating. Kidnappings, rapes, forced recruitment, assassinations, and massacres have become routine. Rebel
deserters have suffered reprisals by both the rebels and the regular army including arbitrary detention, torture and
extrajudicial killing. Forced displacement of the civilian population is no longer a by-product of the conflict, but has been
used deliberately by the rebels and the regular army to strengthen their control over the territory. International human
rights reports have highlighted that the civil authorities of Country A have become increasingly unable or unwilling to
address these human rights abuses /violations. As a result of the conflict, more than 1 million persons have been displaced
within Country A.

While the rebels have been operating in an organized manner virtually throughout the country, including in the capital,
their stronghold is Department A in the north of the country where they are able to carry out sustained armed operations
against the regular army. The conflict is particularly violent in Department A as the army tries to regain control over that
part of the country. Both the army and the rebels frequently carry out violent incursions into areas considered to be under
the control of the opposing group. A large number of people, mostly women and children, have been displaced within
Department A during the past twelve months. They find shelter in public buildings, such as schools, in nearby towns or
stay with friends of family members. Some humanitarian organizations have set up tented camps for them; other camps
have been set up by the regular army. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in constant fear of being attacked by one of
the parties to the conflict.

Geographic and socio-economic information

Country A is hilly and covered with forests and rivers. There is no road access to many parts of the country, especially in
Department A in the north, which borders Country B. A 20km jungle separates Country A from Country B. There are no
roads, only jungle paths. One can travel from Country A to Country B by boat or by plane. The climate is generally
tropical, and malaria is endemic. Pneumonia and respiratory infections kill many children under five. The economy and its
agriculture sectors remain poorly developed as a result of the armed conflict.

The northern department is populated mainly by poor farmers who cultivate mostly maize and rice. Some of them also
cultivate plants that are used to make illegal drugs and/or process drugs that they then sell to drug traffickers who bring
them to neighboring countries.

The presence of international humanitarian organizations

Various UN organizations have been running humanitarian programs in Country A for the past years. UNHCR has
established offices in the capital and in Department A. UNHCRs activities are mainly aimed at strengthening the
governments capacity to handle the countrys huge IDP population. Other humanitarian organizations, such as ICRC and
various international NGOs, have been operating throughout the country, including in the northern department.

International obligations of Country A

Country A is Party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the most important international human
rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (and its Optional Protocols), the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the
Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
regional human rights instruments, and all instruments related to international humanitarian law.
Country B

Bilateral relations with Country A

Relations between the governments of Country B and Country A have been tense. The government of Country B fears
that the conflict in Country A will spill over into Country B. The government of Country B is also afraid that drug
traffickers and other criminals from Country A will use its territory for their operations.

Against that background, the government of Country B has adopted a restrictive immigration policy regarding citizens
from Country A. Citizens from Country A need a visa to enter Country B. In recent years, increasing numbers of people
from Country A have arrived in the capital of Country B and applied for asylum. During the past two months,
approximately 50 asylum-seekers from Country A have been registered by Country Bs refugee status determination
board. Additionally, over the past years around 50.000 nationals from Country A have settled in border areas of Country
B to flee the effects of the armed conflict. The government of Country B
considers them as irregular migrants and regularly carries out deportations.

Geographic and socio-economic information

A 20km jungle separates Country B from Country A. Department B, which borders Country A, is a jungle area that is
scarcely populated. There are no roads to or within Department B. Access to the department is either by air, in small
aircraft, or by sea or river. There are small villages in the department, accommodating 500 to 1,000 inhabitants each.
These villages are populated by poor fishermen and farmers. There is virtually no public infrastructure. The climate is the
same as in the border department of Country A. The living conditions are harsh.

Security situation in Department B

The army of Country B has increased its presence in Department B at the border with Country A. The objective has been
predominantly to prevent irregular armed groups from Country A from crossing into Country B. Nonetheless, rebels from
Country A have reportedly continued to use the territory of Country B for their armed operations by establishing various
camps inside Department B, close to the border.

The presence of UNHCR

UNHCR has an office in the capital of Country B which is some 150 km from the Department B. The government of
Country B has been reluctant to grant UNHCR access to the border department. Country B is Party to the 1951
Convention and the most important international human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the
Child (and its Optional Protocols), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture, regional human rights instruments, and all
instruments related to international humanitarian law.

Retrieved from UNHCR materials (University for Peace. (2010b). International Refugee Law Class. UNHCR
materials. Photocopy, Costa Rica: University for Peace).

20 000 people flee from Country A to Country B

The human rights situation in the northern department (Department A) of Country A has dramatically
deteriorated over the past weeks. Clashes between the rebels and the regular army have worsened. An
increasing number of communities have come under fire; residents have had to evacuate. Various communities
have suffered massacres at the hands of the rebels and the regular army because they were suspected to have
collaborated with the enemy. Insecurity threatens both IDPs and the humanitarian agencies working in the area.
As a result, humanitarian aid cannot be delivered.

On day 1, 20 000 people flee from Little A and other border communities in Department A because of violent
clashes between armed groups. They walk for three days through the jungle until they enter country B. On day
four, they arrive in the small border community of Little B, 5km from the border, in Department B of Country
B. Most of those who have fled are women and children. They are exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and ill. Some of
the men among them are armed. There are rumors that they are rebels from Country A.


This is a fictional role-play. You are representing the UNHC office in Country B. You have been informed by
your colleagues in Country A that the human rights situation in Country A has significantly worsened recently.

Your interests are that people fleeing from Country A:

- Have access to humanitarian aid and enjoy basic human rights

- Are not sent back to Country A
- Are recognized as refugees in Country B

In your negotiation with the government of Country B regarding the protection of the 20 000 people from
Country A, your position should reflect, to the greatest extent possible the above interests.


Discuss with your colleagues in the groups the position and negotiation strategy you will adopt in the meeting
with the government (15 min).

Meeting with the government and first agreement on how the 20 000 people from Country A should be treated
(30 min).

Retrieved from UNHCR materials (University for Peace. (2010b). International Refugee Law Class. UNHCR materials.
Photocopy, Costa Rica: University for Peace).

20 000 people flee from Country A to Country B

The human rights situation in the northern department (Department A) of Country A has dramatically
deteriorated over the past weeks. Clashes between the rebels and the regular army have worsened. An
increasing number of communities have come under fire; residents have had to evacuate. Various communities
have suffered massacres at the hands of the rebels and the regular army because they were suspected to have
collaborated with the enemy. Insecurity threatens both IDPs and the humanitarian agencies working in the area.
As a result, humanitarian aid cannot be delivered.

On day 1, 20 000 people flee from Little A and other border communities in Department A because of violent
clashes between armed groups. They walk for three days through the jungle until they enter country B. On day
four, they arrive in the small border community of Little B, 5km from the border, in Department B of Country
B. Most of those who have fled are women and children. They are exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and ill. Some of
the men among them are armed. There are rumors that they are rebels from Country A.


This is a fictional role-play. You are representing governmental officials in Country B. You have been
informed that the situation in Country A is becoming more violent recently and that people are fleeing from
Country A to your country, with the numbers increasing every day.

Your interests are that people fleeing from Country A:

- Will not spread violence and conflict into Country B and will not affect the resources that your people
- Are sent back to Country A
- Are not recognized as refugees in Country B

In your negotiation with the UNHCR representatives regarding the protection of the 20 000 people from
Country A, your position should reflect, to the greatest extent possible the above interests.


Discuss with your colleagues in the groups the position and negotiation strategy you will adopt in the meeting
with the UNHCR representatives (15 min).

Meeting with the UNHCR representatives and first agreement on how the 20 000 people from Country A
should be treated (30 min).

Retrieved from UNHCR materials (University for Peace. (2010b). International Refugee Law Class. UNHCR materials.
Photocopy, Costa Rica: University for Peace).

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To expand their knowledge regarding refugees and apply this knowledge in real-life cases.


- To acquire knowledge regarding refugee status and refugee rights.

- To identify the reasons enforcing thousands of people in becoming refugees.
- To identify refugees given case studies.
- To promote integration within the society of people who are refugees in their own country.


The Language Barrier (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 228) (30)

- Distribute the worksheet Application for Asylum without saying anything.

- Tell the students that they have five minutes to complete the form, but dont say anything else. Ignore all
questions and protests. If you have to communicate speak another language (or a made-up language) and use
gestures. Keep all communication to a minimum. Remember that the refugees problems are not of your
concern; your job is only to hand out the forms and collect them in again!
- When the five minutes are up, collect the forms without smiling or making any personal contact.
- Call a name from the completed forms and tell that person to come forward. Look at the form and make up
something about how they have filled in the form, for instance, you didnt answer question 8 or I see you
answered no to question 6. Asylum denied. Tell the person to go away. Do not enter into any discussion. Go
straight on to call the next person to come forward.
- Repeat the process several times. It is not necessary to review all the applications, only continue for as long as
necessary for the participants to understand what is happening.
- Finally break out of your role and invite participants to discuss what happened.
- Discussion:
o How did the participants feel when they were filling out an unintelligible form?
o Was this a realistic simulation of an asylum-seekers experience?
o Do you think that in your country asylum-seekers are treated fairly during their application for asylum?
Why? Why not?
o What could be the consequences for someone whose asylum application is refused?
o Have the participants ever been in a situation where they could not speak the language and were
confronted by an official, for instance a police officer or a ticket-controller? How did it feel?

Presentation (60)

- Present to the students the main concepts around refugees found in the presentation (the presentation was
revised from University for Peace, 2010b). Ask for students participation throughout the presentation.
- Allow for discussion or questions at the end of the presentation.

Action/Evaluation (retrieved from UNCHR materials, University for Peace, 2010b)

- Ask the students to briefly describe the situation of refugees in their home country: is it a refugee-producing
country? Is it a host country for refugees? What are the main reasons that cause people to flee their country?
What is the refugee population in their home country (estimate)? What are some of the main protection
concerns they face? Students may want to visit UNHCRs official websites in order to gather information about
these topics: and The following website may also contain relevant information:

Asylum Application Form

1. Csaldi s utnv
2. .........................................................................................................................
3. Viimeisin osoite
4. ..
5. ..

6. .
7. Meio e local de entrada no pas .
8. Ghaliex titlob ghall-azilju?

10. Avez-vous prsent une demande d'asyle auparavant?
Veuillez donner des dtails sur les pays, les dates et les motifs .
11. Dali imate rodnini ili poznanici vo ovaa zemja? Ako imate, navedete gi iminjata i adresite ..

12. .

Asylum Application Form

13. Csaldi s utnv

14. .........................................................................................................................
15. Viimeisin osoite
16. ..
17. ..

18. .
19. Meio e local de entrada no pas .
20. Ghaliex titlob ghall-azilju?

22. Avez-vous prsent une demande d'asyle auparavant?
Veuillez donner des dtails sur les pays, les dates et les motifs .
23. Dali imate rodnini ili poznanici vo ovaa zemja? Ako imate, navedete gi iminjata i adresite..

24. .

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To expand their knowledge regarding refugees and apply this knowledge in real-life cases.


- To acquire knowledge regarding refugee status and refugee rights.

- To identify the reasons enforcing thousands of people in becoming refugees.
- To identify refugees given case studies.
- To promote integration within the society of people who are refugees in their own country.


Forming groups (10)

- Protect your group: Participants form a circle and five group leaders are assigned (A, B, C, D, E). The leaders
must be standing spread in the circle. Then, the leader A starts the game by saying one name of the
participants. The person who heard his/her name called must run towards the leader who called him/her and
become a member of that group. The leader who used to be closer to that person though before s/he heard
his/her name tries to prevent him/her from going by extending his/her arm or grabbing him/her in any way.
Then leader B calls a name and the game keeps on until all groups are formed. If a group reaches the maximum
number of members, then it withdraws from the game and let the other participants continue forming the

Case Studies (retrieved from University for Peace, 2010b) (35)

- Distribute the case studies to the groups. Allow time for group work. Ask the students to go through all the
case studies and determine if the applicant qualifies for a refugee status or not.
- During the plenary session, groups share one case at a time and their rationale behind their decision.


- Encourage students to make contact with a local non-governmental organization that works for refugees and
find ways to get involved (for example, in Cyprus the Future Worlds Center collects toys during the Christmas
holidays and redistributes them to refugee children).


Mona (45), a nurse, is originally from Riverland. She left her country three years ago to seek better employment
opportunities abroad and succeeded in finding a job in Batavia.

Last year, an armed conflict broke out in Riverland. Armed forces of a neighboring country invaded Riverland and have
since been fighting to try and establish a regime controlled by the ethnic group to which Mona belongs. One of the
consequences of the armed conflict is that the security forces of Riverland, which are controlled by another ethnic
group, have begun to randomly arrest and detain members of Monas ethnic group. There are reports that some of
those detained were subjected to torture or killed.

Mona never faced any security problems while living in Riverland. However, she believes that it is safer for her to seek
asylum in Batavia and submits a request for recognition as a refugee to the asylum authorities in which she explains that
she is afraid to return. Batavia is Party to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, but not to any regional refugee


Bashir (19) is a citizen of Oberon. He belongs to a minority ethnic group. Fifteen years ago, the Government of Oberon
stripped the members of his ethnic group of their citizenship and took their land. The authorities stopped issuing
identity documents to members of this minority. Instead, they are designated as foreigners or unregistered and on
this basis their stay in Oberon is tolerated.

Oberon is not a prosperous country, and members of Bashirs ethnic minority have only limited access to the labor
market. They are not entitled to public education, nor are they allowed to form political parties or other organizations.
Some members of the ethnic group who have spoken out and demanded respect for the human rights of the members
of the group have been imprisoned and mistreated.

For all these reasons, Bashir feels that he has no future in Oberon. He crosses the border and applies for refugee status
in neighboring Titania. The asylum authorities in Titania reject Bashirs application on the basis that the circumstances
on which he based his claim i.e. that he has no future in Oberon are not foreseen by the 1951 Convention and do
not give rise to refugee status.


John was a member of the armed forces in his country. He did not like the totalitarian regime which governed his
country and soon joined a small group of like-minded officers. The group decided to make some sort of public
demonstration against the government. Unable to legally demonstrate against the government within the country, they
decided to hijack an air force plane, fly it to a neighboring country, and make a press statement there, condemning the
human rights abuses of their government. It was decided that John would choose the plane to be hijacked, as he worked
in the radio tower. The leader of the group would embark on the plane and hijack it. Although the leader would be
armed, it was decided that there should be no violence.

The hijacking was a failure. No one knows exactly what happened, but the plane crashed and all aboard died. The
government learned of the plot and arrested John and five others. They were convicted to 15 years in prison for
hijacking. While waiting to be transferred to prison, three of Johns colleagues were summarily executed. John then
escaped, fearing the same. He left his country without the necessary exit visa and is now claiming refugee status.


Silvia (23) is a national of Alphastan, a country whose economy is controlled by organized crime. In recent years, one
branch of the local mafia has started sending young women abroad in order to exploit them as prostitutes in Betastan.
Most of the women are from small towns and villages in Alphastan. They are taken abroad after being promised
relatively well-paid employment as factory workers in foreign countries and signing contracts with local offices
established by the mafia. Some government officials have tried to close these offices and stop the practice, but due to
widespread corruption within the police and the civil administration, they have not succeeded in doing so.

Once in Betastan, some of the women were able to escape from those guarding them, but in a number of cases, they
were detained by the authorities in Betastan and returned to Alphastan, only to be killed by the mafia for having
disobeyed. Their asylum applications in Betastan were rejected, because the asylum authorities considered that the
women had signed up voluntarily to go abroad and in any case, they simply were the victims of crime. The media in
Alphastan, under threats from the mafia, did not report these killings, but renowned human rights organizations abroad
have issued a number of reports in which they expressed their concern. These reports also document a pattern of
impunity in Alphastan, which is also said to be due to corruption.

Silvia is currently in detention, awaiting deportation to Alphastan. She has submitted an asylum application, in which
she stated that she did not want to return, because she feared that the mafia would force her back into prostitution and
that the police could not do anything about it.

Betastan is party to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. You are an adjudicator at the asylum authority, and Silvias
case has been assigned to you.


Milan (37) is a farmer from Verdana. He belongs to a religious minority. His religion is not banned as such, although the
Government, which keeps tight control over the opposition, has sometimes prohibited ceremonies, for fear that they
might turn into expressions of political dissent. This happened in the capital of Verdana. In Milans village, the members
of the religious minority have always been able to perform their rites without any problems. Milan is an active member
of the religious community but he is not interested in politics.

Some months ago, a political opposition group started an armed insurrection. This group is a secular movement, which
is not linked with any religious group. Soon, the group received support from the armed forces of neighboring country
Bantana, and intensive fighting broke out in different parts of Verdana. Milans village, which is close to a strategically
important mountain pass, was particularly affected by shelling from both sides. Fearing for his life, Milan left the village
and crossed the border into Amarillo, also a neighbor of Verdana.

Upon arrival, Milan was interviewed by a commission of the asylum authority of Amarillo, which is party to the 1951
Convention/1967 Protocol and has adopted, under its national legislation, a provision which replicates the wider refugee
definition contained in the 1984 Cartagena Declaration. He explained why he had left his country.

Retrieved from UNHCR materials (University for Peace. (2010b). International Refugee Law Class. UNHCR
materials. Photocopy, Costa Rica: University for Peace).

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To become familiar with the concept of child soldiers and stand against it.

Objectives (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 11):

- To define a child soldier.

- To identify the physical and emotional challenges faced by child soldiers.

Special Note to Teachers: Some of the testimonials are graphic and might be of concern to some parents. Please use
your professional judgment to evaluate the appropriateness of these testimonials for your students.


Voices of the Child Soldiers (revised from Finken, 2004) (90)

- Describe todays goal. Provide the definition of child soldiers and put it on a visible place throughout the class so
that students can revisit whenever they need to.
- Distribute the handout Child Soldiers Stories. Explain to the students that they should read the questions and
have them in mind during the following activity. Provide time for the students to read the 7 questions.
- Ask from 5 students to help you carry out the next activity. Distribute to those 5 students the handout Voices
of the Child Soldiers. Assign four of them to be the four child soldiers, and the other one to read the
introduction and ending paragraphs. Ask from the rest of the students to take notes on their handout.
- Have the 5 students start reading aloud the document.
- Facilitate a discussion around the 7 questions on the handout.


- Ask the students to write a letter to be send to the United Nations. Give the following guidelines: You are a
child and you have been called to represent your country at the General Assembly of the United Nations. You
have to write a report on the issue of child soldiers, that you are going to read in front of everyone at the
Assembly. Explain the consequences on both the children and the societiy and define an action plan that should
help toward its elimination. Your purpose is to make your audience take immediate actions in order to stop the
use of children in war activities and/or hostilities.
According to the Child Soldiers 1379 Report, the CSC
defines a child soldier as:

any person under 18 years of age

who is a member of or attached to the
armed forces or an armed group,
whether or not there is an armed
conflict. Child soldiers may perform
tasks ranging from direct participation
in combat; military activities such as
scouting, spying, sabotage, acting as
decoys, couriers or guards; training,
drill and other preparations; support
functions such as portering and
domestic tasks; sexual slavery and
forced labor. (p. 7).

Retrieved from Finken, H. (2004). Child Soldiers. Iowa City: University of Iowa Center of Human Rights (p. 12).
Child Soldiers' Stories
Listen to the stories of child soldiers and try to answer the questions.

1.How do child soldiers' lives change once they become warriors?

2. What physical abuses do they face?

3. What emotional hardships are related to being a child soldier?

4. How do child soldiers cope with physical and emotional exploitation?

5. When a government allows the use of child soldiers what is lost by the country, the society
and individuals?

6. What war crimes have child soldiers committed? Should child soldiers be considered
criminals or victims?

7. What dreams do child soldiers have for the future?

Retrieved from Finken, H. (2004). Child Soldiers. Iowa City: University of Iowa Center of Human Rights (p. 33).
Voices of the Child Soldiers
The four boys at St. Francis Primary School don't stand out much. They're just a bit bigger than other fourth
and fifth graders crowded onto rough benches in the otherwise bare classrooms. And teachers at St. Francis say the
four are doing well--eager to learn, more disciplined than their younger classmates. But look closely, and you see
that the four are different from their fellow students in other ways. Their knees are battered from crawling through
the West African bush, and they have ugly welts from incisions once stuffed with heroin and cocaine. The letters
RUF--for Revolutionary United Front--are carved across the chest of one boy. And the external marks only hint at
the scars within--at the horrors the boys suffered, and perpetrated, as forced conscripts in an unimaginably brutal
civil war.

The four boys from Makeni, Sierra Leone, won't be among child delegates joining more than 60 heads of
state at United Nations headquarters in New York this week. They 've barely thought about one of the main issues
involved in the U.N. Special Session on Children--how the international community can roll back the growing
exploitation of children in war. Experts say soldiers under the age of 15 have fought in more than half of the
world's 55 ongoing or just-ended wars. Children are easy to recruit, low cost and malleable. From the "little bees"
of Colombia to the "baby brigades" of Sri Lanka, they have become the cannon fodder of choice.

In a world absorbed with the "war on terror," with headlines blaring about terrified Americans and
terrorized Israelis or Palestinians, the atrocities committed against some of these children almost demand a new
language to encompass a further extreme of horror. The kids of the Mideast get more attention, either as disciples
of terror or as victims of occupation. But nobody has been more exploited than the kids of Sierra Leone. They may
not come from a strategically important country, or a place that, for now anyway, represents a danger to the
world's rich nations. But the growing use of children has changed the dynamics of warfare, and must be treated as
a new security threat. The question before the United Nations this week will be how to muster the will to enforce
longstanding international conventions and three new resolutions on children and armed conflict. The latest
protocols on children's rights took force in February, and condemned the use of child soldiers and their sexual

Some may dismiss teenage ex-combatants as war criminals who don't have much to contribute to a debate
on human rights. Indeed, these boys say they can now look only to God for forgiveness. Yet they are, in a very
intimate way, the world's leading experts on child warfare. And their eyewitness accounts--shocking as they are--
convey the unthinkable inhumanity of those who coerced them into combat. To that end, NEWSWEEK recently
spent three days debriefing these four young veterans, selected from among 25 ex-combatants who attend the
1,023-student primary school in Makeni, a rundown market town 90 miles northeast of the capital, Freetown. All
lost close relatives in the war; two stammer uncontrollably. Abdul Rahman Kamera,15, still lives with the rebel
commander who nicknamed him "Go Easy"; he can find no living relative. Zakaria Turay, 14, whose war name was
"Ranger," and Abbas Fofanah, 16, who went by "G-Pox," live with aunts. Only Alieu Bangura, 14, called "Major" by
his fellow warriors, has been reunited with his mother. All are destitute, barely getting enough to eat. Their stories:


Abdul Rahman: I remember that my grandmother used to prepare cooked food to sell. Early in the morning she
used to take food to where she was selling it. I would go and collect the dishes. After school I would go to the
house, get drinking water, wash my uniform and go to my companions to play football. I liked to play defense. In
the house, we played a board game with seeds, called Tin Tan Ton. When the moon was full we used to take our
mats outside and tell stories and then sing. We would swim in a stream. The older ones would dunk us. My favorite
time was when I came home from school and my grandmother was still selling. I would go and eat, and she would
put in a lot of extra meat for me.

Abbas: In the morning my mother would ask me to sweep and clean. My father drove a big truck. When the moon
was full I would play with my companions. We would bounce a ball and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. We
lived in Bo, near where the Makeni vehicles used to park. My grandmother sent word from Burkina Faso that she
had no child to play with. I was sent to Burkina. I used to sell for my grandmother. She gave me palm oil and onions
to go and sell.

Alieu: In the morning I would sweep under our mango tree, then wash my face and go to school. At night we used
to tell stories in the moonlight. My father was the superintendent of our district [in Makeni]. On weekends I would
go with my father to his farm. I carried water for him.


Alieu: I was abducted during Operation Pay Yourself, in 1998. I was 9 years old. Six rebels came through our yard.
They went to loot for food. It's called jaja--"get food." They said, "We want to bring a small boy like you--we like
you." My mother didn't comment; she just cried. My father objected. They threatened to kill him. They argued with
him at the back of the house. I heard a gunshot. One of them told me, "Let's go, they've killed your father." A
woman rebel grabbed my hand roughly and took me along. I saw my father lying dead as we passed.

Abdul Rahman: I was in class, second grade. I was 8 years old. They threatened to kill us. In front of us, they
brought a grown-up man, going gray. They put his hand on a stump and amputated it. They gave me a gun and I
refused it. They fired between my feet. I took the gun.

Abbas: I was on my way to the market when a rebel demanded I come with him. The commander said to move
ahead with him. My grandmother argued with him. He shot her twice. I said he should kill me, too. They tied my
elbows behind my back. At the base, they locked me in the toilet for two days. When they let me out, they carved
the letters RUF across my chest. They tied me so I wouldn't rub it until it was healed.

Zakaria: I was captured in Freetown on May 25, 1997. I was carrying pans in the street. A rebel told me, "Put your
pans down and come carry our load." We walked all the way to Makeni.


Alieu: We smoked jambaa [marijuana] all the time. They told us it would ward off disease in the bush. Before a
battle, they would make a shallow cut here [on the temple, beside his right eye] and put powder in, and cover it
with a plaster. Afterward I did not see anything having any value. I didn't see any human being having any value. I
felt light.

Zakaria: My missions included diamond mining near Kono, drug purchasing, collecting ammunition in Liberia,
looting villages and capturing civilians. I used to buy drugs at the Liberian border from a man called Papi. They
forced us to take them. This is where they would cut and put the "brown-brown" [heroin]. [He shows a raised welt
on his left pectoral.] We would then inhale cocaine. During operations, I sometimes would take it two or three
times a day. I felt strong and powerful. I felt no fear. When I was demobilized I felt weak and cold and had no
appetite for three weeks.
Abbas: They gave me injections in the leg [shows track marks] and cut the back of my head to put in cocaine
[shows scar]. The smaller ones are the ones who stand in front, the elder ones behind. So they give the boys the
injections. It happened any time we were going on the attack--more than 25 times.


Alieu: The first time I killed anybody was during my first battle, at Lunsar. We captured 10 civilians. The CO
[commanding officer] was asking them where the government soldiers were, and they refused to say. The CO told
me to kill one of them, or he would shoot me. I shot [the civilian] in the chest... After Lunsar, I was a small-boy
commander. I commanded 10 boys, aged 10 to 16.

Abbas: When we caught kamajors [pro-government militiamen] we would mutilate them by parts and display them
in the streets. When villagers refused to clear out of an area we would strip them naked and burn them to death.
Sometimes we used plastic and sometimes a tire. Sometimes they would partially sever a person's neck, then leave
him on the road to die slowly. I saw a pregnant woman split open to see what the baby's sex was. We had met her
on the streets of Kabala. Two officers, "O5" and "Savage," argued over it and made a bet. Savage's boys opened the
woman. It was a girl. The baby lived.

In Kabala I was forced to do amputations. We had a cutlass, an ax and a big log. We called the villagers out
and let them stand in line. You ask [the victims] whether they want a long hand or a short hand [the amputation at
the wrist or elbow]. The long hand you put in a different bag from the short hand. If you have a large number of
amputated hands in the bag, the promotion will be automatic, to various ranks.

We gang-raped women, sometimes six people at a time. I didn't feel much because I was drugged and I was
just there for sex. One of my friends was having sex with a girl when she complained she was tired. He took out his
pistol and shot into her vagina. But usually we would let them stagger and go.

I remember one tough operation. We were dressed all in black, we were the ones they called the cobras.
We killed people, we cooked them, we ate them and then we broke their pots.

Zakaria: I remember when I was manning the heavy machine gun. No one dared stand in front of me. I killed when
I said, "You! If you leave I will kill you!" We were the men who amputated hands and used the same cut hand to
slap the victim. We beat and killed people, not even afraid of the consequences. We were ready to commit any
crimes. We were the rough ones.

Abdul Rahman: My schoolmates and I met our old teacher, and we knocked him down. We killed the teacher and
we took his books and burned them, and then we took some of the papers to the toilet to wipe ourselves.

Zakaria: They [older rebels] would [impale people] when the drugs had taken hold and they wanted to play wicked
games. They want to see blood. Some of them drink blood. Especially on the war fronts, where there's no food, no
water, when we killed civilians we would cut a hole on the top of the arm, above the wrist, and press on the arm,
and drink.


Abbas: Sometimes I feel dizzy, and I feel like doing bad things. I go in the house and lie down... Three months ago a
friend insulted me, called me a rebel who killed so many people and destroyed the whole world. I said, "You won't
make remarks like that again." I met a woman slicing potato leaves. I snatched the knife from her and stabbed him.
I ripped his skin... When I see a pretty woman passing I think of the times in the bush when we were raping
women, when I could just call her and say, "Come here, let's go."

Alieu: If someone offends me, I think back: if I had been in the bush, how I would have dealt with him. I feel
ashamed of myself... I dream about what happened. Sometimes I feel scared, because I've killed, I've drunk blood,
I've smoked jambaa--I worry that these things will take over, that they'll lead me to do bad things again. The drugs
we took made me feel very light. I worry that I'm not as intelligent as I was before.

Zakaria: Most times I dream, I have a gun, I'm firing, I'm killing, cutting, amputating. I feel afraid, thinking perhaps
that these things will happen to me again. Sometimes I cry... When I see a woman I'm afraid of her. I've been bad
with women; now I fear that if I go near one she'll hit me. Perhaps she will kill me.


Abdul Rahman: The only thing I'm thinking about is to go further with my schooling, and let me reap the benefits.
That's all I pray for. We're all human beings, and you [foreigners] sat and watched this country being destroyed.
You have the money and you will not help.

Abbas: Right now I want to be a doctor or teacher. I want to go to America to learn a very powerful job. Let me be
able to do something for my people.

Alieu: After I have finished my university I want to be a doctor or a teacher. Father God, I have a future plan for this
country that will make this country develop. I thank God that I have survived; they did not kill me in the bush. They
used to punish me, do all kinds of bad things to me, but they did not kill me... Please support us. Right now we
don't have books, we don't have pens, we don't even have uniforms. Let them send some things for us.

Zakaria: I am praying for forgiveness so that more fruitful things can come our way, praying that God will help us to
become good people.


Abbas: We need a leader who would take good care of this country. The rebellion started because of bad
leadership. God must forgive boys like us. It was not our fault. It was the fault of the elders. Those who committed
the highest crimes should be punished.

Alieu: The guilty can be prosecuted. They should be taken to court, and let them explain what happened. Thinking
about the part I've played, I'm thinking I may be liable to appear in court.

Zakaria: Right now, the war is over, but what happened to us should not repeat itself with our children. With only
small things to compensate us for what we've been through, we will be able to pick ourselves up.

The task of prosecuting those who exploited such children is monumental. In West Africa, Liberia's Charles
Taylor pioneered the use of "small-boy units" during his drive for power in the 1990s. Security analysts estimate
that he and others used 15,000 children as combatants in that war, and now Taylor is Liberia's president--and
fending off a new rebellion. Neighboring Sierra Leone's war was an extension of Liberia's brutal conflict. The RUF
gained control of the country's rich diamond fields, selling through Liberia. Sierra Leonean commanders who had
served under Taylor took an estimated 10,000 children as combatants during the decade-long conflict, which the
United Nations officially declared finished only this year.

At least the world will try to punish the boys' bosses. Last month U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
appointed a U.S. Defense Department lawyer as chief prosecutor for the U.N.'s Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal.
David Crane will head prosecutions at a court charged with trying violations of Sierra Leonean and international
humanitarian law since Nov. 30, 1996the date when rebels signed a peace accord that later collapsed. RUF rebel
leader Foday Sankoh will be among the first to go to trial. He has been jailed since May 2000.

But many of the big fish may wriggle free. The rebels didn't keep good records. Unlike the Balkans, where
war-crimes cases are succeeding, none of Sierra Leone's neighbors supports prosecutions; these countries are all
implicated. The biggest fish of all is Taylor, who has no interest in cooperating. If the West hopes to extract pledges
of support from other countries in the region, it will have to condition aid on their compliance. Finally, the
victimized societies need to look inward, to ask themselves hard questions about what they have done to
encourage the treatment of people as commodities. A nation like Sierra Leone will cheat itself if it expects
foreigners alone to deliver a cure. Child warriors everywhere need elders to look up to.

Retrieved from Finken, H. (2004). Child Soldiers. Iowa City: University of Iowa Center of Human Rights (p. 27-32).

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To become familiar with the concept of child soldiers and stand against it.

Objectives (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 21):

- To evaluate the morality of using children as soldiers.

- To form an opinion about whether child soldiers are victimizers or victims.
- To form an action plan related to eliminating the use of child soldiers.


Movie (135)

- Have students brainstorm some of the reasons that some children end-up as soldiers (expected answers can be
forced recruitment, poverty, lack of alternatives, powerlessness, etc).
- Watch the movie Lost boys of Sudan or any other movie related to child soldiers.
- Facilitate a discussion around the movie.


- Ask students to think of ways to make a difference in what happens now in Sudan. They can visit the following
website and find a way to help (i.e. sending a letter to the Sudanese government)

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To become familiar with the concept of child soldiers and stand against it.

Objectives (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 21):

- To evaluate the morality of using children as soldiers.

- To form an opinion about whether child soldiers are victimizers or victims.
- To form an action plan related to eliminating the use of child soldiers.


Statement Response (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 22) (90)

- In pairs ask the students to think of what the society loses when children are used as soldiers.
- Write a response to South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond M. Tutus statement:
It is immoral that adults should want children to fight their wars for them There is simply no excuse, no
acceptable argument for arming children.


- The above activity can be also used as a form of evaluation.


Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To make students aware that as young people can be agents of positive change.

Objectives (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 52):

- To become aware of childrens movements which have taken action to promote peace.
- To compare and contrast the circumstances, fears and dreams of a child soldier in Colombia and a member of
the Childrens Movement for Peace.
- To reflect on how the conflict in their own country affects their lives and determine ways to act.


The Optional Protocol (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 42) (20)

- Ask students what actions the world community might take in order to reduce the forced recruitment of
children. Chart student ideas on the board.
- Explain to the students that the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the
Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts bars ratifying countries from using force to recruit children under 18
into government armed forces. It further recommends that these countries take steps to ensure that children
under 18 and already in the government armed forces not participate in direct hostilities.
- Discuss why states would or would not be willing to ratify the Optional Protocol.
- Ask students to find out which countries have not ratified the Optional Protocol.

The Childrens Movement for Peace in Colombia (40)

- Introduce students to the Childrens Movement for Peace in Colombia. It is a group of youth who organized
and petitioned for a national special election about the future of Colombia. The Childrens Mandate for Peace
and Rights election was held in October 1996. Over 2.7 million Colombian children voted in the election.
UNICEF, The National Network for Peace Initiatives, the Red Cross, the Scout Federation, and the Catholic
Church supported the initiative. Subsequently, the Childrens Movement for Peace was nominated for a Nobel
Peace Prize (the first time children had ever been nominated) and five members were invited to participate in
the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference on May 11-15, 1999, in the Netherlands. The movement is an example
of how youths can be positive change agents in the world (retrieved from Finken, 2004, p. 53).
- Explain to students that they will work in groups of 3. One student will role-play a child soldier in Colombia,
another student will role-play a child involved in the Childrens Movement for Peace, while the third student will
interview the other two.
- Provide some time for the students to prepare.
- Allow time for the interviews.
- Back to the plenary session, the interviewers give the perspectives of the two children.

Children as Agents of Change (75)

- Divide the students in groups and distribute the handout Youth as agents of change in Cyprus.
- Allow time for students to work in groups.
- Into the plenary session, groups share their work.
- Along with the students, define a plan on how to proceed with the implementation.


- Enable students to proceed with the plans they have agreed on at the previous activity.

Identify ways that the Cyprus problem has affected your lives in different domains.











Read the following statement from the Childrens Movement for Peace in Colombia (retrieved
from Finken, 2004, p. 54).

The real achievement of the Movement is the light it sheds on how young people must be involved in
peace making. It isn't enough to just protect or even just to educate those who live with violence. We
have to help young people understand that they have the power and the capacity to build a different
world -- and one that doesn't rest on more violence. Too often such kids have only two choices, to hide
from violence or to join in with it. As adolescents they want to define who they are. If they have been
driven from their homes by war they may lose faith in their parents, their community leaders, their
government to protect their futures. They see those who drove them from their homes by force as
having the greatest power. It's a "logical" step then to see force and violence as the answer to
protecting your own future (as well as seeking revenge.) The Children's Movement taught me that
when young people talk openly about what war does to them, when we find ways to help them
engage in finding solutions, in helping other younger kids, in improving their communities in whatever
way, we give kids affected by violence a third choice... and a way out of war. In some ways it means
letting kids put their education to work faster, sooner proving to them that learning works.
How young people in Cyprus can contribute to a culture of peace?


Define some obstacles young people may face and ways to overcome them.


1._____________________________ 1._____________________________

2._____________________________ 2._____________________________

3._____________________________ 3._____________________________

4._____________________________ 4._____________________________

5._____________________________ 5._____________________________

How different elements in the society (i.e. educational system, media, etc) can help in those

_________________________________ ____________________________________

_________________________________ ____________________________________

_________________________________ ____________________________________

_________________________________ ____________________________________

_________________________________ ____________________________________

What is your personal commitment to contributing toward a culture of peace in Cyprus?

Please have in mind that it is not obligatory to have one.


Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To understand the factors that can lead to genocide and how humanity should aim toward its prevention.


- To become aware of the events that led to the Rwandan genocide.

- To understand how contextual factors can trigger violence or genocide.
- To analyze the Convention on Genocide.


Timeline Rwanda (45)

- Distribute the paper with the handout The Rwandan genocide. Allow time for silent reading.
- Create a line on the board. Start creating with the students the timeline with the key events on Rwanda history.
Stop and ask for clarifications or other explanations to make sure that students have an understanding of the
sequence of the events (an example of such a timeline can be found below).

Defining Genocide (45)

- Ask students what genocide is and if they are aware of genocides that have taken place. Allow for their
- Distribute the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Go through it with the
students until Article 10.
- Discussion:
o Why a specific convention related to genocide is needed?
o What is the role of this Convention?
o When was this Convention created and what were the events that led to its creation?
o What makes genocide different from other violent acts?
o Who decides on what is genocide and what is not and why is it important to name an act as genocide?
o What are some interesting or contradictory parts of this Convention?
o Does the Convention leave room for avoidance of punishment in cases of non-intervention?
o How do you think genocide can be prevented?
o Do by-standers have a responsibility in the cases of genocide?

- Ask the students to find information on the internet or other sources regarding another genocide (or a violent
act if that is not consider by all as genocide), and write a paragraph why they believe that event is a genocide or
not. The students must use argumentation and the knowledge they have gained by reading the Convention.

Never Again"
Heard often in commemorations of the Holocaust, the phrase "never again" has come to be associated
with the commitment that genocide would never again take place. Yet the international community did little in
1994 when extremists in the Rwandan government and their supporters conducted a brutal, systematic
campaign to eliminate an entire people. In many ways, the genocide in Rwanda is comparable to the genocide
in Central Europe. In both cases, killing took place on a massive scale. For the first 100 days, the rate of killing
in Rwanda even exceeded that of the Nazi death camps. The genocide in Rwanda was no less horrifying.
Exhorting their supporters over the public airwaves and executing those who refused to go along, the
perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide churned up a nightmare, where the majority of victims were killed by
machete, where streets and roads were piled with corpses, where women and children were killed in some cases
by women and children.

The Nation of Rwanda

Rwanda is situated in the Great Lakes region of Africa, so named for the area's many magnificent bodies
of water, including Lake Victoria, Lake Kivu, Lake Tanganyika and others.
The region was originally inhabited by the Twa, who lived in the forests as hunters and gatherers. The
Twa were forced deeper into the forests upon the arrival of the Hutu, who felled trees, raised crops, and
introduced more complex forms of social organization centered around clans. The Hutu were followed by the
Tutsi, who through their ownership of cattle came to enjoy a position of prominence in the region.
Over time, Hutu and Tutsi intermarried and came to share the same language, Kinyarwanda. Through a
feudal system known as ubuhake, those who tilled the soil, who were mostly Hutu, pledged their services to the
cattle-owning aristocracy, who were mostly Tutsi.
When German colonists arrived in the region at the end of the 19th century, they found a highly-
organized society, ruled by a Tutsi king, or mwami, and a hierarchy of chiefs, both Hutu and Tutsi. With the
acquiescence of the mwami, the Germans established a protectorate in 1899, but the Germans would not be in
Rwanda for long.

Belgian Administration
World War I
During the First World War, Germany lost the territory that would eventually become Rwanda. The
territory was placed under Belgian administration by the League of Nations. With its substantial technical and
military superiority, Belgium easily ruled over the native population, and the region enjoyed a long period of
peace, which was based though on the superior technical and military capability of the Belgians.

Sharpening Ethnic Distinctions

In reports in the media in 1994, the Rwandan genocide was often portrayed as a conflict based on
ancient hatreds, between peoples who had been killing each other in such a manner for hundreds of years. These
reports were greatly misleading. Throughout its history, the Great Lakes region had not been free from conflict;
however, there was no pattern of inter-communal violence between Hutu and Tutsi, and nothing approached or
even suggested the level of violence of the 1994 genocide.
In pre-colonial Rwanda, the terms "Hutu" and "Tutsi" had, after centuries of intermarriage, come more
closely to represent distinctions of economic class rather than ethnic origin. A Hutu who gained in wealth could
become a "Tutsi," and conversely, a Tutsi could fall in economic stature and become a "Hutu."
In 1926, however, the Belgians established policies to sharpen distinctions between Hutu and Tutsi.
Those who owned more than 10 cows were designated as Tutsi and all others as Hutu, with no possibility of
movement between the two groups. What had been a fluid distinction, developed over time and custom, was
abruptly replaced by an inflexible, permanent categorization. In addition, the Belgians greatly favored the upper
echelon of Tutsi, offering the wealthiest among them superior opportunities for education and economic
advancement, and using them as administrators to enforce Belgian colonial rule.

Identity Cards
As part of their system of codifying ethnic distinction, the Belgians issued identity cards to all
Rwandans. Modeled after similar cards used in Belgium, which helped to codify the distinction between the
Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons, the Rwandan identity cards made clear into which
ethnic group each individual had been classified.

Violence and Independence

As tensions increased, unstable peace gave way to crisis in the late 1950s. The Belgians, who had
favored the Tutsi throughout the colonial period, switched sides in 1959. They withdrew their support from
Tutsi administrators, replacing them in all but a few cases with Hutu, and made little effort to stop outbreaks of
violence. Periodic political violence began in 1959 in the form of clashes between members of newly formed,
ethnically-based political parties, or in the form of attacks on Tutsi orchestrated by newly appointed Hutu
This violence left hundreds of Tutsi dead and tens of thousands more displaced. Each violent incident
prompted scores of Tutsi to flee the country. By 1961, some of the refugees had formed commando groups and
launched the first of several, mostly ineffective, incursions into Rwanda.
Hutu-led political forces succeeded in abolishing the Tutsi monarchy in 1961, and a new colonial
administrator, in concert with Hutu politicians, guided Rwanda to independence by July 1, 1962. With this
victory, the Hutu proclaimed a republic and drafted a constitution. At independence, the Belgians transferred
power to the Hutu, who proceeded to exercise a monopoly over political, economic and social affairs.

Post-Colonial Struggles
Guerrilla Incursions
After independence, refugee paramilitary commando units continued to mount periodic incursions into
Rwanda, attacking local officials. Levels of violence rose briefly from those associated with crisis to those
associated with war. Hutu authorities used each attack as an excuse to strengthen their authority by massacring
Tutsi civilians, causing more Tutsi flight. Following a particularly well-organized Tutsi raid in late 1963,
rampaging Hutu killed an estimated 10,000 Tutsi civilians and drove another 200,000 into exile. By the end of
1964, 336,000 Rwandan Tutsi, nearly half the Tutsi population at that time, had officially become refugees in
neighboring Tanzania (then Tanganyika), Burundi, the Congo, and Uganda.
Tutsi commando incursions and Hutu reprisals ended for the most part in 1967. Crisis prevailed until
mid-1972, when large-scale massacres occurred in Burundi. There, minority Tutsi army units and their
supporters killed an estimated 80,000 Hutu. This exacerbated Rwandan mistrust of Tutsi. In early 1973 various
Hutu groups in Rwanda began a campaign of intimidation and assaults on Tutsi to enforce a newly-introduced
ethnic quota system in education and the workforce. This triggered another wave of Tutsi flight, including
university students who feared they were targeted for death.

Coup d'Etat
In 1973, Army Chief of Staff Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, carried out a bloodless coup d'etat and
declared himself president of Rwanda. While promising to improve conditions for Tutsi in Rwanda, he quickly
consolidated power, banning all political parties but his own and quashing political dissent. Through heavy-
handed methods, he contained the violence in the region, with unstable peace prevailing throughout much of his
rule. But the reduced tension came at significant cost.
In public service employment, the new president continued to enforce a strict policy of ethnic quotas.
The Tutsi still living in Rwanda, who like all Rwandans still carried their identity cards, were restricted to 9%
of available jobs in the public sector and to places in the schools and universities. Throughout the 1970s and
1980s, Tutsi in Rwanda suffered through a growing number of policies that amounted to official discrimination.
They became a favorite target of rising Hutu politicians, who blamed them for any number of the new nation's
woes, and they continued to fear for their physical safety as convenient targets of military reprisal.

Formation of the Rwandan Patriotic Front

From the beginning, Tutsi refugees in the countries neighboring Rwanda faced difficult circumstances.
Many left Rwanda with nothing more than they could carry. The Great Lakes region is extremely poor, and with
their status as refugees the Tutsi had little means to improve their lot.
In 1987, the refugees formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), an organization dedicated to the
democratization of Rwandan society and the return of Rwandan refugees. The organization was officially
committed to achieving this repatriation through peaceful means; however, the Rwandan President insisted that
the country had no room for the return of Tutsi exiles, and clashes between the Government and the RPF were
In 1988, massacres of Hutu occurred again in Burundi. Following Hutu attacks on Tutsi civilians, the
Tutsi-dominated army killed up to 50,000 Hutu in retaliation. This heightened Rwandan anxiety about the
return of exiled Tutsi. Eventually, the Rwandan Patriotic Front formed the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA),
which, in a surprise move, invaded Rwanda in October 1990. Although it was initially pushed back into
Uganda, the RPA continued to wage a low-intensity war at the Rwandan-Ugandan border until the two sides
agreed to a cease-fire and began peace negotiations in July 1992. By then, there were about 600,000 displaced
persons inside Rwanda as a result of the conflict.

Peace Process
Under pressure from Western governments, the Rwandan President launched political reforms that saw
political parties legalized in 1991 and a multi-party government headed by an opposition Prime Minister
installed in early 1992. The new government's priority was to negotiate peace with the RPF. In mid-1992, the
two sides agreed to a cease-fire and launched peace negotiations aimed at integrating the RPF into Rwandan
political and military institutions.
The President never publicly endorsed the peace process. Nor did he stop his supporters from instigating
widespread violence in late 1992 that culminated in a massacre of Tutsi and opposition followers in early 1993.
In February 1993 the RPF retaliated, launched a fresh offensive and drove to the outskirts of Kigali, the
Rwandan capital. One month later, the Government and the rebels reached agreement on a new cease-fire and
resumed negotiations on political and military reform.

Zero Network and Interahamwe

Despite ongoing peace negotiations, the Rwandan President was forging alliances with the radical Hutu
Power movement that rejected the power-sharing arrangements agreed in the talks. Pro-Hutu political party
cadres, known as the Interahamwe ("those who attack together"), were transformed into militia, guns were
issued to civilians, and the Zero Network, a clandestine group of Presidential confidants, was formed. The party
cadres, drawn mainly from the ranks of young, unemployed men, committed violence and carried out scattered
massacres against Tutsi civilians and Hutu political opponents.
Arusha Accords
In August of 1993, the Government and the RPF signed a new, comprehensive agreement in Arusha,
Tanzania. The Arusha Accords provided for substantial power sharing, but vocal Hutu in Rwanda denounced
the agreements, and with the President's history of bad faith negotiations, many wondered how serious he would
be in implementing the new agreements.

Planning and Preparation
When the killing began, it seemed sudden and spontaneous. Only later did the world at large become
aware of the extensive planning and preparation that took place in advance of the genocide.

Presidential Assassination
In April 1994, the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were both killed when their plane was shot down
with a surface-to-air missile as it approached the airport in Kigali. Many have come to suspect Hutu extremists
of committing the attack, either out of fear that Habyarimana would finally implement the Arusha Accords, or
for the express purpose of touching off the genocide. Whatever the case, over the radio and in newspapers
extremists in Rwanda blamed Tutsi for the murder and urged Hutu throughout the country to take swift revenge.

Mass Killing
In response, the Presidential Guard in Kigali, the Rwandan Army and the Interahamwe militias began
systematic and unrelenting attacks on Tutsi civilians. In a carefully orchestrated set of maneuvers, specific
groups set up road blocks to close off escape routes, while others went from door to door to flush the victims
out. Extremist radio stations not only cheered the killers on, but in some cases also directed their movements.
Those bearing identity cards that said "Tutsi" were killed. Those without identity cards were assumed to
be Tutsi and killed. Politically-moderate Hutu, those supporting power sharing with the Tutsi, were singled out
and killed along with them, as were Hutu who refused to participate in the killing, creating a climate of terror
among Hutu and Tutsi alike.

The Withdrawal of the International Community

However, in spite of some advance warning, the UN did nothing to avert the catastrophe. The UN force
there was relatively small. As deaths continued to mount, local UN commanders warned their superiors in New
York of the nature and extent of the killing; however, member nations on the Security Council decided to
reduce the UN force to a bare minimum. The United States, stung by recent military casualties in Somalia, was
among those nations that advocated the reduction. As UN peacekeepers pulled out, thousands of civilians who
had taken shelter in UN compounds were massacred.

Victory of the RPF

Without support from the international community, the Rwandan Patriotic Army was on its own in
trying to stop the genocide. To save innocent civiliansin many cases, friends and family memberssoldiers
in the RPF fought furiously, cutting rapidly through Government lines. By mid-July, the RPF had taken control
of the country and installed itself as the new authority in Kigali.
Although isolated killings continued, the genocide was over. In just 100 days, an estimated 800,000
Rwandan civilians, almost all Tutsi, had been killed.

Retrieved from United States. Institute for Peace. (2008). Certificate Course in Conflict Analysis. Retrieved April 20, 2010 from

1918 Under Treaty of Versailles Rwanda-Urundi to be governed by Belgium

1926 Ethnic identity cards introduced to differentiate Hutus from Tutsi

1959 Belgians switch sides and support Hutus

1959 Hutus rebel. 250 000 Tutsi flee to Burundi

1960 Hutus win municipal elections

1961-1962 Massacre of Tutsis. Half of the Tutsi population is living outside Rwanda

1967 Renewed massacres of Tutsi.

1973 Habyarimana gets in power

1986 Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) formed

1988 Massacres of Hutu in Burundi

1989 Coffee prices collapse

July 1990 RPF guerillas invade Rwanda from Uganda

1990-1991 Rwandan army begins to train and arm civilian militias known as Interhamwe

Feb 1993 RPF guerillas reach the outskirts of Kigali

Aug 1993 Habyarimana and the RPF sign a peace accord. 2500 UN troops are deployed in Kigali

April 6, 1994 President Habyarimana and the president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, are killed. That night

the genocide begins.

Retrieved from Amnesty International. (2005). Hotel Rwanda: Teachers Guide. New York: Amnesty International USA
and United Artists.
Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948.
Article 1
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under
international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Article 2
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3
The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are
constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article 5
The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give
effect to the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of
genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Article 6
Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the
State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with
respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Article 7
Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.
The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in

Article 8
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the
United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts
enumerated in Article 3.

Article 9
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention,
including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3, shall be
submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

Article 10
The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the
date of 9 December 1948.
Article 11
The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations
and of any non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the General Assembly.
The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of
the United Nations.
After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any
non-member State which has received an invitation as aforesaid.
Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 12
Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the
application of the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct of whose foreign relations that
Contracting Party is responsible.

Article 13
On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall
draw up a process-verbal and transmit a copy of it to each Member of the United Nations and to each of the non-member
States contemplated in Article 11.
The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument
of ratification or accession.
Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth day following the
deposit of the instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 14
The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten years as from the date of its coming into force.
It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at
least six months before the expiration of the current period.
Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 15
If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the present Convention should become less than sixteen, the
Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these denunciations shall become effective.

Article 16
A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a
notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General.
The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such request.

Article 17
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the United Nations and the non-member States
contemplated in Article 11 of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with Article 11;
(b) Notifications received in accordance with Article 12;
(c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in accordance with Article 13;
(d) Denunciations received in accordance with Article 14;
(e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with Article 15;
(f) Notifications received in accordance with Article 16.

Article 18
The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to all Members of the United Nations and to the non-member States
contemplated in Article 11.

Article 19
The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into
force. (Retrieved from

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To understand the factors that can lead to genocide and how humanity should aim toward its prevention.


- To become aware of the events that led to the Rwandan genocide.

- To understand how contextual factors can trigger violence or genocide.
- To empathize with ordinary citizens during the Rwandan genocide.


Hotel Rwanda (90)

- Show the film Hotel Rwanda. Allow time for reflections at the end of the movie.


- Divide the groups into four groups. The four assigned groups are: Hutu, Tutsi, United Nations, Media. Have
them write a personal diary on how they viewed the situation on April 5, 1994 (a day before the genocide
began) and on April 10, 1994 (four days after the genocide began).

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To understand the factors that can lead to genocide and how humanity should aim toward its prevention.


- To understand how contextual factors can trigger violence or genocide.

- To empathize with ordinary citizens during the Rwandan genocide.
- To ask from international community to intervene to stop the current events which take place in Sudan or other
areas that are troubled with conflict.


Group work (45 in classroom and more time as homework)

- The groups work on different issues with the purpose of becoming experts on their domain and present their
main outcomes and learning to the rest of their classmates. The groups can be provided time within the
classroom, but they can also arrange time for collaboration outside the classroom. The articles found below can
help the groups during their work (Note for the educators: the articles are long and it depends on each educator
to modify them accordingly to fit the students needs and level). The groups will work on the following topics
and they are free to present their themes in any way they want:
o The role of the media
o The role of the international community
o The role of the religious leaders
o Reconciliation and justice
o Can genocide be prevented?
- Allow time for each group to present. Allow time for groups to address questions coming from their classmates.

Laying the Foundation Stones for Genocide (25)

- Into the plenary session, ask the students to identify the factors or events that became the stones that
permitted the genocide to happen.
- Allow time for reflection on how contextual factors can lead to conflict and genocide.

If I were a Hutu (65)

- Students work in pairs. One student becomes a Hutu and the other a reporter from an international media
radio. Provide time for the reporters to write 10 questions that they would like to ask their interviewees, and
the Hutus to prepare for the interview.
- The pairs proceed with the interviews.
- In the plenary session, ask for some pairs to share their interviews. If there is extra time, all the pairs can
proceed to sharing or the interviews can be written down and used as an evaluation,

Action (retrieved from HREA, 2007, p. X)

- Referring to what you know about genocide and war crimes, write a persuasive essay addressed to the
Secretary General or a leader of a member state to convince them to send troops to intervene in the conflict in
Sudan. In your essay, refer to the Genocide Convention and other international standards that apply.


It is generally agreed that the mass media played a central role in the preparation and conduct of the
Rwandan genocide. The media were used as instrument of propaganda, hatemongering, conspiracy,
incitement, surveillance and tactical operations for the mass killings. The media, especially radio, enabled and
incited the Rwandan society to kill the Tutsi population with the sanction, if not reward, of governmental
The fact that government officials and other authority figures in the society owned and controlled
RTLM and other media outlets provided justification to the masses to act on their murderous messages.
During the genocide, lists of killed Tutsi and moderate Hutus were read and presented as victories, murders
and perpetrators of massacres were singled out and presented as heroes, which encouraged more killings. In
Rwandas context of ethnic division and historical cycle of violence and revenge, a call to kill that was
broadcast openly and publicly in channels of authority could predictably lead to the genocide that occurred.
The Trial Chamber in the Media Case noted that the editorials and articles from Kangura that it
consistently portrayed the Tutsi as wicked and ambitious, using women and money against the
vulnerable Hutu. In many other articles, however, the intent, as evidenced by the vitriolic language,
was to convey a message of ethnic hatred, and to arouse public hostility towards the Tutsi population.
In articles such as Cockroach Cannot Give Birth to a Butterfly" the Tutsi were portrayed as innately

The presentation of Tutsi women as femmes fatales focused particular attention on Tutsi women and
the danger they represented to the Hutu. This danger was explicitly associated with sexuality. By
defining the Tutsi woman as an enemy in this way, Kangura articulated a framework that made the
sexual attack of Tutsi women a foreseeable consequence of the role attributed to them.

Another role of the Rwanda media in the genocide was to spread propaganda. However, this
propaganda focus did not develop suddenly in Rwanda. President Habyarimana and officials around him had
for years cultivated and used propaganda to manipulate and control the Rwandan population to maintain
themselves in power. Members of the genocide regime recruited propagandist who were trained at university
level to sway public opinion in the country. Manuals, historical publications and notes on domestic application
of Nazi propaganda techniques were found in government offices in Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide.
It has been reported that copies of films about Hitler and Nazism were found in Habyarimanas residence after
the family fled at the start of the genocide in April 1994.
Dehumanization is one of the main propaganda techniques for building hatred and to justify the use of
violence against an opponent or enemy to be vanquished. Rwandan hate media utilized this propaganda
technique in demonizing and dehumanizing the Tutsi victims by describing them as cockroaches (Inyenzi) and
snakes that must be killed. The name calling propaganda technique was evident in frequent reference to Tutsi
as Inyenzi and to RPF soldiers as Inkotanyi.
Another successful propaganda technique that hate media use to spread fear and suspicion in
Rwandan society was that of ascribing superhuman/magical powers to the enemy. Hate media put the
population in fear by reporting that the enemy RPF soldiers were able to transform themselves, blend into the
normal society and deceive their targets for destruction. In the case of RTLM, The station described the
rebels as devils unable to control their impulse to kill. Therefore, conventional warfare would not work. Their
extermination was the only solution.
Rwandan hate media used exaggerated and inflammatory language to induce guilt and fear in the
majority population. Nahimana and others preached Hutu power ideology based on an ethnic element that
the minority Tutsi were historic economic oppressors and natural enemies looking to regain advantage. Their
message to the masses was clear-- if Hutus wanted to survive they had to exterminate Tutsi.
While the state had earlier evoked a fear of the past based on comparison to produce assent, RTLM
brought the past into the present, producing a more profound horror intended to prompt action. Indeed the
Tribunal recognized that, radio heightened the sense of fear, the sense of danger and the sense of urgency
giving rise to the need for action by listeners. The denigration of Tutsi ethnicity was augmented by the visceral
scorn coming out of the airwavesthe ridiculing laugh and the nasty sneer. These elements greatly amplified
the impact of RTLM broadcasts.
The genocide regime successfully used the media to conduct its propaganda using the accusation in a
mirror technique which calls for accusing the enemy (Tutsi) with exactly what the perpetrators and their
party were planning to do. By reporting the false accusation that Tutsi were planning to assassinate Hutu
leaders and exterminate Hutu, the media tried to justify their call for the extermination of the Tutsi by the
Hutu majority.
Hate media used the propaganda technique of blaming and accusing the victims for acts committed by
their assailants and to make the argument that the Tutsi brought extermination upon themselves. The Trial
Chamber found that, the clear message conveyed by the articles published in Kangura in the first three
months of 1994 was that an RPF attack would provoke the slaughter of innocent Tutsi within the country and
that the RPF would be responsible for having triggered this killing.
The genocide era media claimed that the RPF insurgent army planned to take over the country in order
to reestablish the old Tutsi monarchy and return the Hutu to slavery and servitude. The singer Simon Bikindi
stressed that danger in one of his most famous songs that was repeated endlessly on RTLM. Bikindis song, I
Hate Hutu also warned of the return of the Tutsi monarchy and promoted Hutu solidarity, particularly among
the majority in Butare province who where thought to be sympathetic to feudalism.
In 1991, Leon Mugesera, one of the governments genocide propagandists, wrote a pamphlet in which
he accused the Tutsi of planning to establish an empire in east-central Africa and also compared Tutsi to Nazis
imperialists who saw themselves as a superior race. Mugeseras linking the plot for a Tutsi empire to the
Nazis was picked up by Kangura several months later. In its September 1991 issue, it repeats the charge that
neo-Nazi Tutsi, nostalgic for power, dream of colonial expansion.
Through use of tested propaganda techniques, hate media were successful in brainwashing and
manipulating the public creating a fear of attack from the RPF, fear of reprisal for not participating in the
genocide plan and fear that their loyalty to the regime and their ethnic group would be questioned.
Propaganda methods, like presenting a specific intolerant opinion as the ordinary mans, were used. The
second step was to sew division and fear so it would lead to conflict.
The genocide organizers used hate media to spread their ideology of ethnic hatred. By attacking the
Arusha Accords and portraying the RPF, and all Tutsi, as demons and devils, hate media was building an
argument that Hutu and Tutsi could never live together in peace and equality. The media presented the social
relations between the two groups as a zero-sum relationship in which one group must win all and the other
loses all. The media reinforced the division between the groups and emphasized the need to take sides in an
all out-war of survival.
RTLM broadcasts went well beyond advocacy of hatred and genocide ideology. The station incited the
population to murder and other criminal acts. On several occasions, the broadcasts called on listeners to kill
Tutsi. Valerie Bemeriki an RTLM journalists, was convicted and is serving her sentence in Rwanda for her role
in the genocide. She admitted that she and other journalists used RTLM broadcasts to guide the military and
para-military death squads to their enemies, the Tutsi.
The call to extermination was euphemistically referred to as working. One researcher has argued
that hate media was successful because it framed schedules and provide a routine for work by the general
population. Regardless of whether all of the news it passed on was true or not, those who killed still built
their schedules in part around RTLM and used its broadcasts to help guide the details and schedules of work.
RTLM was the first media organization to announce the April 6 shooting down of President
Habyarimanas plane and the inauguration of the self-proclaimed interim government on April 8. RTLM
provided surveillance for the genocide and gave directions for targeting and killing Tutsi. It directed people to
man roadblocks and gave instructions and orders for civilians to hunt down and kill Tutsi. The station
broadcast the names of victims to be killed. It provided reports of their whereabouts, gave addresses, car
number plates and other information to identify targets and prevent their escape. RTLM also urged listeners
to call in and give information to help find specific people to be killed.
Without the expressed acknowledgement of genocide perpetrators, it is impossible to prove that it
was mass media propaganda and that propaganda alone which motivated Rwandans to kill their neighbors,
friends, even their own spouses and offspring. However, we can reasonably conclude that hate media created
a poisonous environment of ethnic animus and generated a political context in which ordinary Rwandans
developed tolerance for, if not acceptance and approval of, the Hutu-power and genocide ideology. The
genocide had been meticulously prepared and the media played an important role because they were
deliberately used by authorities to promote hate and violence. Thus massacres could be perpetrated with
peoples acceptance and participation because of the indoctrination which had been carefully thought of by
the promoters of hate media.
The appeal to propaganda as the primary cause of the genocide, suffers from the weaknesses inherent
in the bullet or hypodermic needle theory on which early communication research was based. In fact, it was
the attempt to understand and perfect propaganda techniques during World War I that lead to theorizing for
modern communication science research. Under this theoretical approach, the mass media are credited with
having very powerful effects on the audience. This was a concept of the media with direct, immediate, and
powerful effects on any individual they reached.
Although new models have been developed for explaining the effects of persuasive communication,
there is still a strong belief in powerful media effects, especially when it comes to wartime propaganda.

Retrieved from The Role of Rwandan Mass Media in Genocide and Reconciliation, p. 7-11.


How the Media Missed the Rwandan Genocide

From April to July 1994, approximately 500,000 Rwandan Tutsi, some 80% of the countrys Tutsi
population, were exterminated in the most efficient and complete genocide of modern times. Western media
blame the international community for not intervening quickly, but the media must share blame for not
immediately recognizing the extent of the carnage and mobilizing world attention to it. They failed to report
that a nationwide killing campaign was under way in Rwanda until almost 3 weeks into violence. By that time,
some 250,000 Tutsi had already been massacred.
During those first weeks of genocide, western reporting was marred by four lapses. First, it mistook
genocide for civil war. The country had been wracked by a low-level civil war from 1990 to 1993 between the
government, controlled by the Hutu majority, and a rebel force comprised mainly of Tutsi. Though a minority,
the Tutsi had ruled until the late 1950s when the Hutu took power and forced many Tutsi to flee as refugees.
Conflict continued through the next three decades, so upon the outbreak of genocide on April 6, 1994,
Western correspondents reported the initial burst of violence in the capital Kigali as resumption of a bloody
civil war.
On April 11, an editorial in Londons Times pondered international calls for a cease-fire and asked
rhetorically, Which parties would be asked to cease fire against whom?
An April 12 report in Belgiums De Standard on government violence in Kigali added that it is
absolutely certain that a large number of acts of terror were committed as well in the area controlled by the
rebels. Early reports also indicated that the Tutsi rebels were winning the civil war and had rejected
government offers of a nationwide cease-fire, which contradicted any notion of Tutsi as victims. By April 13,
Paris Radio France International reported that the fall of Kigali seems imminent. On April 14, Le Monde and
The London Times reported that it was now the Hutu who feared vengeance from Tutsi rebels who had gained
the upper hand in Kigali.
Violence was then reported on the wane when in fact it was mounting. On April 11, just four days after
the fighting had started, The New York Times reported that fighting in Rwanda had diminished in intensity.
Three days later Le Monde said that a strange calm reigns in downtown Kigali. On April 15 it reported this
calm spreading to the capitals suburbs, allowing humanitarian organizations to cautiously resume their
activities. Only on April 18 did Brussels La Une Radio Network question this consensus by explaining that the
decline in reports of violence was because most foreigners have left, including journalists.
The exodus of reporters was so thorough that it virtually halted Western press coverage. European
newspapers that had been providing daily coverage of the violence in Kigali stopped cold on April 18, for four
days in Frances La Monde and seven in Britains Guardian. Ironically, this was when the slaughter reached its
Early published death counts were gross underestimates, sometimes by a factor of ten. On April 10,
three days into the killing, The New York Times quoted estimates of 8,000 or tens of thousands in Kigali.
However, during the second week media estimates did not rise at all. The estimates did not rise to levels that
commonly would be considered genocidal for a country of 8 million with 650,000 Tutsi. On April 16, the
Guardian still reported only an estimated 20,000 deaths. Two days later, The New York Times repeated this
same statistic, underestimating the actual carnage at that point by about tenfold. Not until a few days later
did the scope of killing rapidly emerge.
Fourth, for nearly two weeks, Western news organizations focused almost exclusively on Kigali, a city
that contained only 4% of Rwandas population, and did not report the far broader tragedy unfolding around
them. The few reports of violence in the countryside seemed to indicate renewal of mutual communal strife or
civil war, rather than genocide. On April 11, Paris Europe No. 1 Radio reported that Hutus are hunting down
Tutsis throughout the country, but then added, and the other way round. Brussels La Une Radio Network
reported that killing and looting in Rwandas southwest was targeted against the opposition, rather than an
ethnic group. Likewise, on April 12 The Washington Post wrote, sketchy reports said fighting has spread to
Rwandas countryside, but in a context suggesting combat between government troops and armed rebels.
The first report of a large-scale massacre outside the capital came on April 16.
American newspapers failed to convey the nationwide scope of the violence until April 22 when The
New York Times belatedly reported that fighting bands had reduced "much of the country to chaos." Still,
many foreign observers could not conceive that genocide was under way. On April 23, The Washington Post
speculated that the dearth of Tutsi refugees fleeing Rwanda was because "most of the borders have been
sealed." Only on April 25 was the riddle solved when The New York Times reported that violence had
"widened into what appears to be a methodical killing of Tutsi across the countryside," and that the missing
refugees "either have been killed or are trying to hide."
At least three factors help to account for these reporting lapses. First, the evacuation of foreign
nationals left few reporters in the country after the first few days or in the capital after the first week. Second,
the situation was legitimately confusing. Tutsi rebels were winning the civil war and retaliating against
suspected civilian Hutu extremists at the same time that the civilian Tutsi population was being systematically
exterminated. Third, even experts were slow to appreciate what was happening. The commander of Belgian
peacekeepers stated on April 15 to Paris Radio France International that "the fighting has ... all but stopped."
No human rights group even suggested the possibility of genocide until April 19.
In the wake of Rwanda's tragedy, the media harshly criticized the United Nations and its Western
members for not immediately recognizing the killing campaign and reacting to prevent it. Such criticism is only
partially valid. American and other Western officials dragged their feet after the genocide was reported,
avoiding use of the word genocide for weeks afterward for fear of being compelled to intervene. But the
media must share the blame for failing to provide prompt notice of the genocide. In obscure parts of the
world, where Western governments do not invest significant intelligence assets, the news business is relied
upon to serve as a surrogate early-warning system. In Rwanda, it did not fulfill this role.
Partially in reaction to this reporting failure in Rwanda, Western media have suffered from exactly the
opposite problem ever since. They now exaggerate the extent of civilian atrocities in ethnic conflict. Around
the world, rebels and human rights groups learned the lesson from Rwanda that they must declare "genocide"
to have any hope of Western intervention. Because the press does not want to get caught napping again, it
duly reports such claims even though it cannot confirm them. Thus, Western readers were told for months
that genocide was raging in Kosovo, but forensic investigators have been able to find just 2,000 corpses to
date, some of whom may have been armed rebels.
Likewise, Western media reported that genocide was occurring in East Timor after its vote for
independence, but subsequently only about 200 bodies were found. This is not to say that a few hundred or
thousand deaths are unimportant. But they do not comprise genocide by any other reasonable definition. The
UN defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial
or religious group as such." The definition has been broadened in practice to include destruction of political
Perhaps the main reason that Western correspondents have had difficulty reporting ethnic violence
accurately is that at least one of the sides doesn't want them to, and reporters cannot confirm many
allegations without risking their lives by visiting combat zones. There is no moral requirement for journalists to
make such a personal sacrifice. But so long as reporters do not confirm the facts on the ground, they must try
to do everything else possible to piece together the real story for readers - in full awareness that combatants,
governments and private agencies are all trying to manipulate them.
Rwanda's Hutu government wanted reporters to think that violence was civil war rather than genocide.
In a similarly manipulative way, the Kosovo Liberation Army wanted reporters to think that Yugoslav
government violence prior to NATO's bombing was genocide or ethnic cleansing rather than
counterinsurgency. In both cases, Western reporters were fooled. They should take a lesson from this as they
continue their vital task of informing Western policymakers and publics about violent conflicts around the

Retrieved from Kuperman, J. A. (2000). How the Media Missed Rwandan Genocide. First Quarter.


The United Nations

As we have already seen, both the Security Council and the UN Secretariat had compiled an entirely
inglorious record in the months preceding the genocide. We must record our grave disappointment that the
response after Habyarimana's plane was shot down on April 6 does little to add to the credit of either.
Within hours of the crash, UNAMIR Commander General Romeo Dallaire cabled New York, writing,
Give me the means and I can do more. According to one senior Pentagon African specialist, Dallaire saw
sooner than just about anybody else what was unfolding. I think he would have played a more vigorous,
helpful, possibly decisively positive role had he been given authority permitting him to do that. The
Secretariat knew full well that UNAMIR was barely equipped even for a minimalist role, let alone an expanded
one. Almost immediately after the conflict erupted, Dallaire and Booh-Booh summarized their dire logistical
condition. Most units had drinking water for two days at most, rations for no more than two days, and fuel for
perhaps three days; many had less of each commodity. Lack of small arms and ammunition was a critical
problem for all units.
Neither new authority nor fresh supplies was to be granted. Dallaire summed up the response from the
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) to his urgent plea to be given the means to do more:
Nobody in New York was interested in that. Tragically for Rwanda, nobody who counted ever was.
On the following morning, knowing she was targeted by the Hutu radicals, Prime Minister Agathe
Uwilingiyimana fled over the wall of her own Kigali residence and sought refuge at a nearby UN compound.
Dallaire immediately called Iqbal Riza in New York, informing him that force might be required to save the
Prime Minister. Riza confirmed the rules of engagement: that UNAMIR was not to fire until fired upon. The
killers could do their worst; so long as they did not directly attack Blue Helmets, they could get away with
murder. About 40 minutes after the telephone call between Dallaire and Riza, Rwandan soldiers entered the
UN compound, found the Prime Minister, and shot her to death.
We have to point out that one notable exception was made to the rigid interpretation of the mandate
that New York resolutely imposed on UNAMIR. Whatever their roles on the Security Council, France, and the
United States had no illusions about the real situation in Rwanda, as was demonstrated immediately after the
plane crash. As General Christian Quesnot, then head of military affairs for the French Presidency, told the
French parliamentary legislative inquiry: *P+olitical as well as military leaders understood immediately that we
were headed towards a massacre far beyond any that had taken place before.
Operations to evacuate their nationals were instantly mounted by France and the US, as well as by
Belgium and Italy. On April 9, a cable from Kofi Annan signed by Iqbal Riza instructed Dallaire to co-operate
with both the French and Belgian commanders to facilitate the evacuation of their nationals and other foreign
nationals requesting evacuation. You should make every effort not to compromise your impartiality or to act
beyond your mandate but may exercise your discretion to do [so] should this be essential for the evacuation
of foreign nationals. This should not, repeat not, extend to participating in possible combat, except in self-
It is just as important to underline what did not happen in those few early days. Suddenly, some 1,500
well-armed, well-trained soldiers from France, Belgium and Italy materialized in Kigali. (The Americans had
many others only 20 minutes away in Bujumbura.) It was these European troops that UNAMIR was ordered to
assist with the evacuation of foreign nationals. Yet these soldiers were never ordered to muster beyond the
airport to work with UNAMIR to protect the lives of Rwandans. The moment their nationals had all been
evacuated, the troops disappeared, leaving UNAMIR and Rwandans isolated once again.
As we will see below, on the day after the plane crash, government soldiers beat and killed 10
disarmed Belgian Blue Helmets. Belgian politicians panicked, immediately withdrawing their remaining troops.
Since fully one third of UNAMIR's 1,260 military personnel were Belgian, this was a disaster for UNAMIR.;
Dallaire described it as a terrible blow to the mission. He also made clear a crucial point that we have
emphasized elsewhere: the singular aberration of the Belgian soldiers aside (they were deliberately targeted
by Hutu radicals for tactical reasons), even a small number of Blue Helmets were able to protect significant
numbers of Rwandans. As early as April 8, Dallaire had advised New York that UNAMIR camps have sheltered
civilians terrified by the ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing and terror. The Belgian government was
unmoved. It decided that its humiliation would be at least tempered if it were shared, and it strenuously
lobbied members of the Security Council to disband UNAMIR entirely
On April 17, Dallaire cabled General Baril that UNAMIR's troops were increasingly demoralized and
were not merely refusing to protect civilians, but actually surrendering them to the killers without a fight. It
was also known that, in several instances, leading Rwandans notably former Chief Justice Joseph
Kavaruganda, former Foreign Minister Boniface Ngulinzira, and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Landoald
Ndasingwa were abandoned by UNAMIR troops to be brutally murdered, the latter together with his
mother, wife, and two children. On April 12, 10 days into the genocide, the Security Council passed a
resolution stating that it was appalled at the ensuing large-scale violence in Rwanda, which has resulted in
the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children. It then voted unanimously to
reduce UNAMIR to a token force of about 270 personnel and to limit its mandate accordingly. Thankfully,
Dallaire postponed acting on this resolution and was able to keep some 450 men.
There was no issue of insufficient information in the US. Human Rights Watch and the US Committee
for Refugees, both of whom had first-hand knowledge from within Rwanda, persistently held public briefings
and issued regular updates on the course of events. That it was a genocide was beyond question. Within two
weeks, the International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that perhaps hundreds of thousands were
already dead and that the human tragedy was on a scale the Red Cross had rarely witnessed. At the same
time, the Security Council strategy, driven by the US, had been criticized for its irrationality. Human Rights
Watch, for example, quickly reminded the UN that Keeping the peace is not a goal of the authorities in Kigali,
and that a cease-fire between the warring parties is largely irrelevant to the mass slaughter of non-
combatants being carried out throughout Rwanda... by the army and militia.
James Woods, the former Pentagon African specialist, believes that the principal problem at the time
was a failure of leadership, and it was deliberate and calculated because whether in Europe or in New York or
in Washington, the senior policy-making levels did not want to face up to this problem. They did not want to
admit what was going on or that they knew what was going on because they didn't want to bear the onus of
mounting a humanitarian intervention probably dangerous against a genocide... I think much of this
[pretence about whether or not it was genocide] was simply a smokescreen for the policy determination in
advance: We're not going to intervene in this mess, let the Africans sort themselves out.'
Nevertheless, lives could be saved, and the Secretary-General pushed the Security Council to
reconsider its determination to be militarily passive and politically neutral. The Council, however, was in no
hurry to act. Regardless of what was happening in Rwanda, more talk and more paperwork seemed obligatory
at the Security Council. At every stage, as we have seen earlier, US Ambassador Madeleine Albright could be
found tossing up roadblocks to speedy decisions for effective action. Finally, on May 17, the Security Council
agreed to establish UNAMIR II with 5,500 men and a Chapter VII mandate to use all necessary force to carry
out its mission.
Moreover, thanks yet again to the United States, there was another extraordinary delay. This time the
issue was money. The Clinton Administration promised to lease to UNAMIR 50 armored personnel carriers
(APCs), which Dallaire believed could play a significant role in freeing trapped civilians. Washington decided to
negotiate with the UN over the terms for leasing the vehicles, and to negotiate from strength. Before it would
agree to send its APCs to Rwanda, the world's wealthiest nation raised the original estimate of the cost of the
carriers by half, and then insisted that the UN (to which the US was already in serious debt) must pay for
returning the carriers to their base in Germany. The entire exercise cost $15 million.
Equally disturbing was the failure to find transport to fly a fully equipped, trained, and available
Ethiopian contingent to Rwanda as part of UNAMIR II. Somehow, none of the western powers that had
immediately sent planes to evacuate their nationals after Habyarimana's plane crash was able to assist. The
Ethiopian government formally committed 800 troops on May 25; no transport was found for them until mid-
August, one month after the end of the genocide. In fact, no soldier representing UNAMIR II the Security
Council's only positive initiative during the entire genocide ever reached Rwanda before the slaughter was
ended by the RPF's military victory. From beginning to end, the UN record on Rwanda was appalling beyond
belief. The people and government of Rwanda consider that they were betrayed by the so-called international
Nevertheless, beyond these, the evidence is clear that there are a small number of major actors whose
intervention could directly have prevented, halted or reduced the slaughter. They include France in Rwanda
itself; the US at the Security Council, loyally supported by Britain; and Belgium, which fled from Rwanda and
then tried to have UNAMIR dismantled altogether after the genocide had begun. Nigeria's Permanent
Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, has reminded us that, There is nothing wrong with
the United Nations that is not attributable to its members, which led him to conclude: Without a doubt, it
was the Security Council, especially its most powerful members, and the international community as a whole,
that failed the people of Rwanda in their gravest hour of need. In the bitter words of General Dallaire, echoed
by his second-in-command, Colonel Marchal, the international community has blood on its hands.

The Belgians played an important diplomatic role in Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide.
Belgian troops were sent immediately after the October 1990 RPF invasion to protect the large number of
Belgians in the country some 1,700, a hangover from colonial times but when it became evident that
Belgian citizens were not threatened at all, the soldiers were quickly withdrawn. In an impressive initiative,
Belgian Prime Minister Willy Martens and Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens flew to eastern Africa two weeks
later to meet with the Presidents of Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya in an attempt at regional mediation.
Domestic differences at home over Rwanda led to the end of both actions, however, and the Belgian soldiers
withdrew by month's end.
No diplomats in Kigali had better sources than the Belgians, as the commission's report made evident.
Brussels had known that some calamity approaching a genocide was a distinct possibility and that Hutu Power
leaders had become bitterly anti-Belgium, considering it to be pro-Arusha and pro-Tutsi. Radio station RTLMC,
the radical Hutu propaganda organ, had made a particular point of targeting Belgian Blue Helmets as enemies
of the Hutu people, and later accused Belgium (along with the RPF) of shooting down Habyarimana's plane.
The Belgium government's courageous decision to join UNAMIR was taken with the knowledge that anti-
Belgian feelings were running high among volatile and unstable Hutu fanatics. The specific threat to Belgian
soldiers mentioned in the Dallaire cable of January 11 was of course widely known as well.
UNAMIR would make its greatest contribution to Rwandans at risk by protecting them with their very
presence. For several days, Tutsi had been gathering at a school in Kigali called the cole Technique Officielle
(ETO) where 90 UNAMIR Belgian troops had been posted. By April 11, the school grounds held 2,000 people,
at least 400 of them children. Rwandan soldiers and militia hovered outside, waiting. Some Tutsi had begged
the Belgian officers to shoot them rather than leave them to die at the hands of the genocidaires. Shortly after
noon, the Belgian commander, acting on direct orders from Brussels to evacuate the country, ordered his
troops to quit the school. As they drove out one gate of the school, the killers rushed in another, while the
Tutsi tried to flee through a third. Large numbers were immediately killed. The rest soon encountered
Rwandan soldiers and militia. They were rounded up and attacked with guns, hand grenades, and finally
machetes. Between the two massacres, most of the 2,000 were killed that afternoon, within hours of the
departure of the peacekeepers from ETO.
Even after the betrayal at ETO, there was more to come. Contrary to a commitment by Marchal to
Dallaire, the troops were ordered to take all their equipment and weapons with them. Worst of all, apparently
embarrassed by their withdrawal and anxious to save face, Belgium lobbied vigorously at the UN for the entire
UNAMIR mission to be cancelled. If the Belgians were not there, presumably it was preferable that there be no
troops at all. France, the US, and Britain initially supported the Belgian lobby.

France and Opration Turquoise

Initially, therefore, the French establishment chose to do nothing whatsoever to address the genocide
in its backyard. A delegation of French aid workers who knew Rwanda well met with Mitterrand's advisers
on Africa to urge them to use their influence to stop the atrocities being carried out in the genocide. But as Dr.
Jean-Herve Bradol of Mdecins Sans Frontires reported: I was completely depressed because I realized...
they did not have any will to stop the killings.
On the other hand, based on a great deal of evidence well known to Paris, the possibility of serious
violence and disorder could hardly be ruled out. Both French citizens in Rwanda and Rwandan friends of
France could be endangered. As a result, with no warning to the UN or to UNAMIR, on April 8th and 9th, some
500 French troops landed at Kigali airport to evacuate French citizens as well as some 400 Rwandans, many of
them linked to the Habyarimana family. Some were leading Akazu members, including, most notably, Madame
Habyarimana herself, who was flown out on the very first plane to leave. No Tutsi were flown out, not even
those who had long worked for French organizations, and scarcely any Hutu targeted by the plotters.
The result of this French action, writes one scholar, is captured in the images of the women, men, and
children who climbed the gates of the French embassy, and of those [Rwandans] who had served the French
government but were left to fend for themselves in the face of genocide, while those who for years had sown
the seeds of ethnic hatred and helped build a vast machinery of death were lifted to safety in French planes.
The French troops did not take the slightest action against their Hutu allies and comrades-in-arms who had
initiated the genocidal rampage from which the soldiers were rescuing their fellow French citizens.
Whatever the combination of motives, through "Opration Turquoise" French soldiers were to return
to Rwanda to save those Rwandan citizens not yet slaughtered at the hands of the very forces that France had
advised and trained. Once it arrived, France declared its intention to carve out a "safe zone" in south-western
Rwanda. This move was in fact foreshadowed in the mission's original orders, which was to carve out as large
an area as possible in which Hutu rule would prevail after the inevitable RPF victory. Hundreds of thousands of
Hutu fleeing the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) rushed to camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the
zone, seeking safety and hoping that the country might perhaps be partitioned and that the people in the
south could remain free from Tutsi domination. At one stage, more than a million people, including some
Tutsi, had found their way to the zone.
Most of the genocidaire regime, large numbers of high-ranking military officers, as well as thousands of
heavily armed interahamwe and the majority of the Rwandan forces (now called Ex-FAR) managed to escape
the inexorable RPF advance by retreating to the convenience of the safe zone. Indeed, France actually
declared that it would use force against any RPF encroachment on the zone. Once it was clear the RPF could
not be halted, however, France took the next logical step and facilitated the escape of much of the Hutu
Power leadership into Zaire.
France would not agree to arrest officials accused of genocide who were taking sanctuary in its safe
zone. Survivors bitterly complained later that the French refused to detain genocidaires even when given
detailed evidence of their crimes, including reports that some continued to threaten survivors in the safe zone
Throughout this period, the Ex-FAR continued to receive weapons inside the French zone via Goma
airport in adjacent Zaire. Some arms shipments had French labels, although the pertinent documents revealed
that they did not come from France. Other shipments did come from France. Although French officials have
consistently maintained that all arms shipments to the Habyarimana government ended right after his
murder, the evidence tells a different story.
The consequences of French policy can hardly be overestimated. The escape of genocidaire leaders
into Zaire led, almost inevitably, to a new, more complex stage in the Rwandan tragedy, expanding it into a
conflict that soon engulfed all of central Africa. That the entire Great Lakes Region would suffer destabilization
was both tragic and, to a significant extent, foreseeable. Like the genocide itself, the convergent
catastrophes that followed suffered from no lack of early warnings. What makes these developments doubly
depressing is that each led logically, almost inexorably, to the next. What was lacking, once again, was the
international will to take any of the steps needed to interrupt the sequence. Almost every major disaster after
the genocide was a result of the failure to deal appropriately with the events that preceded it, and what was
appropriate was evident enough each step of the way.

The Organization of African Unity

Throughout April, May, June, and July, the OAU, like the UN, failed to call genocide by its rightful name
and refused to take sides between the genocidaires (a name it would not use) and the RPF, or to accuse the
one side of being genocidaires. On April 7, the slaughter was denounced as carnage and bloodletting or
massacres and wanton killings, but the condemnation was strangely impartial; no group was condemned by
name, implying that the two combatants were equally culpable. Both parties were urged to agree to a cease-
fire and to return to the negotiating table. In early June, at long last, 14 individual heads of African states
condemned the genocide by name, but only days later at the OAU Summit, the interim government was
welcomed as the official representative of Rwanda.
Under the circumstances of the time, this Panel finds that the silence of the OAU and a large majority
of African Heads of State constituted a shocking moral failure. The moral position of African leaders in the
councils of the world would have been strengthened had they unanimously and unequivocally labelled the
war against the Tutsi a genocide and called on the world to treat the crisis accordingly. Whether their actual
influence would have been any greater we will, of course, never know.
In any event, the OAU and various African leaders threw themselves into attempts to end the massacres and
settle the conflict as swiftly as possible. Tragically, none of these efforts succeeded. Just as Rwanda, when the
crunch came, did not finally matter to the international community, neither did the world heed the appeals of
Africa's leadership.
Throughout April, May, and June, the OAU continued to call for greater and more effective UN
involvement in Rwanda, while senior OAU officials held a series of meetings with delegations from the US,
Belgium, France, and other western countries. The OAU Secretary-General also tried a more concrete
initiative. In May, in Johannesburg, taking advantage of Nelson Mandela's inauguration as President of South
Africa, he met with the heads of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, and Senegal, all of
whom were prepared to contribute contingents to a strengthened version of UNAMIR; Ethiopia and Mali were
equally forthcoming. The OAU Secretary-General then saw both Boutros-Ghali and US Vice-President Al Gore,
also attending the great occasion, and pleaded for logistic support for these African troops. Once again he got
nowhere. Even though the OAU well understands that when people want to deploy with great speed, they do
so, the first African troops with UNAMIR II arrived only in October, three months after the war and the
genocide had ended.
But the OAU's reluctance to take sides in the Rwandan conflict continued to result in practices that this
Panel finds unacceptable. It was bad enough that the genocide was never condemned outright. But this failure
was seriously compounded at the regular Summit meeting of OAU Heads of State in Tunis in June, where the
delegation of the genocidaire government under interim President Sindikubwabo was welcomed and treated
as a full and equal member of the OAU, ostensibly representing and speaking for Rwandan citizens. If it was
intolerable, as so many have angrily said, for this government to be allowed to keep its temporary seat on the
Security Council in New York throughout the genocide, and for its ministers to be welcomed at the French
presidential palace, how much more offensive for it to have been treated at Tunis with the same respect and
the full paraphernalia of protocol as other legitimate African governments?
In the meantime, realizing that an RPF victory was only a matter of time, the OAU turned its attention
to the causes that had triggered the conflict, especially the refugee situation, which had now taken on truly
monumental proportions. The genocide in one country, it was already abundantly clear, was about to trigger a
continent-wide crisis.

Retrieved from Caplan, G. (2000). Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide. In University for Peace, The Role of
the Media in the Rwandan Genocide (p. 123-140). Costa Rica: University for Peace.

When the war and the genocide ended on 18 July 1994, the situation in Rwanda was almost
indescribably grim. Rarely had a people anywhere had to face so many seemingly insuperable obstacles with
so few resources. Their physical and psychological scars were likely to linger for decades. The country was
wrecked, a wasteland. Of seven million inhabitants before the genocide, as many as 15% were dead, two
million were internally displaced and another two million had become refugees. Many of those who remained
had suffered horribly. Large numbers had been tortured and wounded. Many women had been raped,
tortured and humiliated, some becoming infected with HIV. Of the children who survived, 90% had witnessed
bloodshed or worse. An entire nation was brutalized and traumatized. They were, in their own phrase, "the
walking dead". Yet killers and survivors had no alternative but to resume living side-by-side on Rwandas
thousands of hills. This was the situation a new inexperienced government had to face

As with all societies in transition from tyranny and terror, among an endless host of problems that
continue to bedevil Rwanda have been highly complex questions and dilemmas of justice, guilt and
reconciliation. In the insightful words of scholar Mahmood Mamdani, a few years after the genocide, "The
Tutsi want justice above all else and the Hutu want democracy above all else. The minority fears democracy.
The majority fears justice. The minority fears that the demand for democracy is a mask for finishing an
unfinished genocide. The majority fears the demand for justice is a minority ploy to usurp power forever."
Since then, the government and President have both faced elections, which they won handily, though once
again critics have contended that the process was hardly democratic.

Since hundreds of thousands of ordinary Rwandans had picked up their machetes and clubs and
actively participated in the genocide, Rwanda after the 100 days faced an unprecedented situation. Largely to
atone for their guilt, the UN Security Council set up an International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in
Arusha, Tanzania, aimed at trying "the big fish". Rwanda itself created two distinct judicial systems, the
conventional judicial structure wholly destroyed during the genocide, and a grass roots institution known as
gacaca. In all of these, the process of trying accused genocidaires has been long, complicated and frustrating.
But if there are more effective ways to deal with this issue, they are not readily apparent.

As of mid-2009, after almost 15 years of work, the court has convicted only 39 people and acquitted six
others; nine of the convicted have appealed their sentences (a dozen of the most wanted men from 1994
remain at large, as do many hundreds of lesser fugitives). Nevertheless, even within this somewhat derisory
number, the ICTRs achievements must be recorded:
The court interpreted the definition of genocide as presented ambiguously in the 1948 Convention for
the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.
It defined the crime of rape as a crime against humanity.
It convicted, for the first time, a leader of a government for the crime of genocide.
It ruled that the media can be a tool of genocide for which those in charge are responsible, even if
they never themselves kill anyone.
It convicted Theoneste Bagosora, the man widely considered the ringleader of the genocidaires.

In Rwanda, a totally decimated judicial system had the responsibility for dealing with some 120,000 Hutu
rotting in prisons in appalling circumstances, often without proper charges. The task defied capacity. When, in
2004, only some 6500 had been tried, new measures were urgently needed. At this rate, it was estimated, it
would take two to four centuries to clear the backlog. The government resorted to two dramatic steps. To the
chagrin of the voluble survivors umbrella organization, Ibuka, it released some 20,000 of those charged with
lesser crimes or for whom no credible documentation existed.
Beyond that, it embarked on one of the most remarkable social experiments of our time: local courts
called gacaca, an attempt to blend traditional and contemporary mechanisms to expedite the justice process
while promoting reconciliation. To clear the enormous backlog of cases, 12,000 gacaca courts were appointed,
each made up of 19 locally elected judges. A staggering 250,000 Rwandans were trained for their roles. After
some years of fine-tuning, the system was launched in 2005.

From the first, some human rights advocates were concerned that these grassroots courts would operate
as a kind of mob justice, with no properly trained professionals and no capacity to adhere to international
standards. However, most observers felt there was little practical alternative and began watching the gacaca
panels with much interest. As the gacaca process concludes its mandate, some 1.5 million cases will have been

As in all things Rwandan, great controversy revolves around its success. Has justice been done? Have the
courts helped or undermined the cause of reconciliation? The Government, of course, believes they have been
an unmitigated success, and a number of outside authorities more or less agree. Others are far more critical,
even arguing that the reconciliation process has been set back. Clearly more research is required before a
balanced judgment about the effectiveness and fairness of this bold innovation can be made.

In the meantime, questions of justice and reconciliation, perplexing in any post-conflict situation let alone
a genocide, will remain to bedevil official actions and popular expectations. The government has created a
series of structures and institutions designed to foster reconciliation and unity, but on its own terms. Ethnicity
can no longer be recognized except as a destructive aberration of the past a radical proposition given the
past century. There can be only one identity Rwandan and any attempt to resurrect old ethnic issues is
pounced on as unacceptable "divisionism". Government argues this is the only way to forge a united people.
To the governments opponents, in and out of the country, it is merely a convenient excuse to suppress
legitimate democratic opposition. The annual weeks-long commemoration of the genocide concentrates solely
on Tutsi victims, arguably implying that all Hutu were complicit. Yet how else recognize the realities of 1994?
What the vast majority of Rwandans in the hills really think, what young Rwandans think fifteen years later,
whether traditional stereotypes have evaporated because they are no longer legal, is not easy to say.

Retrieved from Caplan, G. (2009). The 1994 Genocide of the Tutsi of Rwanda (p. 19-23).


There must be justice for the genocide, political murders, and other violations of human rights in
Rwanda in 1994. The guilty must be punished and prevented from inflicting further harm. The innocent must
be freed from unjust assumptions about their culpability and, if they are jailed, they must be released.

Demanding justice is morally and legally right and it is also politically sound. Without justice, there can
be no peace in Rwanda, nor in the surrounding region. This truth, widely acknowledged in 1994, has become
even clearer in the four years since: insurgents, including some responsible for the 1994 genocide and RPA
soldiers are killing and will keep on killing civilians until they become convinced that such a course is futile and

Establishing the responsibility of individual Hutu is also the only way to diminish the ascription of
collective guilt to all Hutu. The unexamined and incorrect assumption that all Hutu killed Tutsi, or at least
actively participated in the genocide in some way, has become increasingly common both among Rwandans
and outsiders. Fair trials, as well as other mechanisms for discovering the truth, such as missions of inquiry,
can help establish a record of the events of 1994 that is credible to all Rwandans and thus useful in promoting
reconciliation, distant though that prospect may be.
In addition, judicial decisions about responsibilities are necessary before the courts can decide on
reparations, including allocating damages to the victims. Although such payments can never compensate for
the suffering of victims, survivors must at least be able to recuperate lost property and see their destroyed
homes rebuilt.

The international community, the Rwandan state, and other nationsall participants in some way in
the genocide or witnesses to itmust share the burden of rendering justice for the crimes committed in
Rwanda in 1994. All recognize this responsibility but are slow to fulfill it. The international community took
months to establish the international tribunal and then at first failed to fund it adequately or to oversee its
proper administration. The new Rwandan government needed considerable foreign assistance to rebuild its
devastated judicial system. Even after funds and technical assistance began to arrive, authorities required two
years more before beginning trials. Two years after that, fewer than 1,500 people had been tried while some
135,000 others were detained and awaiting trial. Other national governments hesitate to prosecute alleged
perpetrators because they expect the trials would be complex and expensive. Whatever the causes, the
inadequate delivery of justice in all jurisdictions has aggravated the crisis in Rwanda and the larger region.

Rwandan government officials will be tried for their participation in the genocide, but foreign leaders
whose inaction contributed to the scale and duration of the catastrophe will likely face the judgment only of
history and public opinion. Some international authoritiesincluding the U.N. secretary-general, the U.S.
president, and leaders of the Belgian Senatehave rightly recognized their responsibility for failing to avert
and halt the genocide. Some policymakers, however, have confused an appropriate recognition of the debt
they owe to Rwandan genocide victims with a sense of obligation to current Rwandan authorities. This sense
of obligation helps keep them silent before past and present abuses of the RPA, thus perpetuating the pattern
of impunity for massive abuses. International efforts at justice will gain full credibility only if the victors in 1994
are held accountable for their alleged violations of international humanitarian law just as the losers are
brought to justice for the genocide they executed.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

On April 30, just over three weeks after the start of the genocide, the Security Council issued a
presidential statement recalling the definition of genocidestill without using the termand asking the
secretary-general to make proposals for investigating such serious violations of international humanitarian
law. Following this first indication that the guilty would face international prosecution, other international
actors began calling for justice for the genocide, adding to the demands of human rights and humanitarian
organizations. Once the U.N. special rapporteur for Rwanda and a Commission of Experts named by the
Security Council both concluded that Rwandan authorities had committed genocide and that soldiers of the
RPA were guilty of violations of international humanitarian law, the Security Council established the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in November 1994.

Following the precedent of the International Tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia, the tribunal for Rwanda was
established under Chapter VII of the U.N. charter, concerning threats to international peace. Acting under this
authority, the council required member states of the U.N. to cooperate fully with the tribunal and to enact
whatever domestic legislation was needed to do so. The tribunal is to judge persons accused of genocide,
crimes against humanity, and violations of article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Protocol II
Additional to the Conventions. It is accorded jurisdiction over persons of whatever nationality accused of
committing such crimes in Rwanda and over Rwandans charged with such crimes in neighboring states as well.
The mandate of the tribunal extends to crimes committed from January 1, 1994 to December 31, 1994. In the
limitation of the period covered by its mandate, the Rwandan tribunal differs from that for ex-Yugoslavia, for
which no final date to its jurisdiction has been set.
The tribunal is competent to judge persons who planned, instigated, ordered, committed or
otherwise aided and abetted in executing the crimes within its jurisdiction. Since much of the planning took
place before January 1, 1994, however, prosecuting planners of the genocide may be hampered by the time
limits placed on the mandate. The Security Council intended the tribunal to try government authorities and
specified that having held an official position at the time of the crime shall not relieve such person of criminal
responsibility nor mitigate punishment. Officials are held responsible for the acts of subordinates, if they
knew or had reason to know such acts were planned and failed to halt them. Subordinates who committed
crimes on the orders of their superiors cannot be exonerated for that reason, although the tribunal may take
that into consideration in setting the punishment.

The tribunal operates with a synthesis of common and civil law procedures, with heavier weight given
to the common law system. In contrast to Rwandan courts where victims claiming damages as a result of the
crime may speak at the trial, the international tribunal hears victims only if they are called to testify and then
they speak as witnesses, not as injured parties. The tribunal operates with all the generally-recognized
guarantees of due process, including the right to appeal the judgment. It may order punishment up to life
imprisonment, but in accord with growing international practice, it does not impose the death penalty. It may
order those found guilty to restore property taken from victims, but it has no procedure for ordering the
payment of damages to the injured.

When the Rwandan tribunal was first being discussed, Judge Goldstone hoped that the court would
be established in Rwanda and that some of its sessions might even take place outside the capital, as near as
possible to the site of the crimes. The Security Council, concerned about the safety of staff and trial
participants as well as about logistical considerations, decided to place the trial chambers in Arusha, a small
city in neighboring Tanzania. Although not much closer to major international airports than Kigali, Arusha
offers a large conference center for the trial chambers. The office of the deputy prosecutor and his staff is
located in Kigali. The division of personnel between the two African sites in addition to the distance of both
from the general headquarters of the tribunals in The Hague complicates and slows communication among

The initial indictments submitted by prosecutors made no mention of rape and other crimes of a sexual
nature. After a coalition of nongovernmental organizations drew the attention of the tribunal staff to the
importance of prosecuting these crimes as a category of genocide, the prosecutors amended the indictment
against Akayesu and stated their intention to give greater attention to this matter in the future.

Rwandans and the International Tribunal

After having requested the establishment of the tribunal, the new government of Rwanda voted
against the resolution creating the court because it was dissatisfied with some of the terms of its mandate.
When the Office of the Prosecutor began its work in Rwanda, its staff encountered an atmosphere of general
hostility to the U.N. Rwandans in general were disillusioned with its failure to intervene in the genocide and
some authorities were dissatisfied with the ongoing operation of various of its agencies. In 1997 the Rwandan
government sharply criticized the tribunal. It demanded that Judge Arbour be removed and that a separate
prosecutor be designated exclusively to handle cases in Rwanda. Bernard Muna, appointed Deputy Prosecutor
at this time, succeeded in improving relations with Rwandan authorities. The new good feeling between the
tribunal and the Rwandan government was reflected in a statement made by Vice-President Kagame when the
tribunal registrar, Agwu Ukiwe Okali, visited Kigali in July 1998. Kagame noted that his government and the
tribunal were partners, congratulated the tribunal on the significant progress made under difficult
circumstances, and offered to provide any assistance needed in the future. When the first verdict was
announced in September 1998, however, Gerald Gahima, secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice, again
expressed skepticism about the tribunal and declared that had Rwanda received one twentieth of the funds
given to the tribunal, it would have gone a long way towards solving our problems. He remarked, I think
there is something perverse about aspiring to provide good justice for genocide. And he continued, People
should aspire to prevent these crimes, not to punish them adequately after they have been committed.

Rwandan law provides for the death penalty. In the years just before the genocide, there were no
official executions of condemned criminals, but most Rwandans anticipated that the leaders of the genocide
would be executed if found guilty. As with other aspects of court procedure, little has been said to Rwandans
to explain why the international tribunal will not condemn those found guilty to death. With Rwandan courts
prepared to execute some convicted of genocide even if they never exercised responsibility at high levels, the
refusal of the tribunal to execute persons who directed the genocide at national level is doubly
incomprehensible to some Rwandans.

According to the statute of the tribunal, the convicted are to serve their sentences in prisons in
Rwanda or in other countries, as arranged by the tribunal. Imprisoning the criminals in European or North
American jails would anger those Rwandans who imagine foreign jails to be places of comfort, if not luxury.

The Rwandan Prosecution of Genocide

Justice, important in any orderly society, is arguably even more essential in a society that has suffered
the trauma of a genocide. The guilty must be found guiltyand found guilty of crimes that they actually
committed. Condemning a person for one crime even if he is in fact responsible for another allows a
perpetrator to go unpunished and raises doubts among those who know that the judgment was wrong. To
allow the innocent to be wrongly accused or, even worse, to find them guilty of crimes they did not commit
makes the judicial process appear to be nothing more than politically-driven, organized reprisals. Without
justice, there is no reliefpsychological and materialfor the victims and there is no hope of reconciliation
for the society.

The proper prosecution of the genocide could permit the Rwandan state both to end impunity and to
lay the foundation for the rule of law. These trials offer an opportunity to establish the independence of the
judicial system from political influence and to set the courts on the path of respect for the rights of all citizens,
whether victims, accused, or neither.

Yet delivering justice after a genocide is extraordinarily difficult because of the enormous scale of the
crime and because of the extent of suffering it has caused. Remarkably enough, some Rwandans who have
suffered enormously recognize the need for fairness and honesty in judging alleged perpetrators. One woman
who was raped during the genocide testified at the international tribunal: Not all the Hutu had wild hearts....I
cannot say that all the Hutu have killed. There is a difference between Hutu and assassins.


After long and bitter debate among advocates of different approaches to identifying and punishing
those guilty of genocide, the Assembly passed a law on August 30, 1996 to regulate prosecutions for genocide,
crimes against humanity, and other crimes committed in connection with them. The law divided the accused
into four categories according to the extent of their alleged participation in crimes committed after October 1,
1990 and before December 31, 1994. Category one included the planners, organizers, inciters, supervisors,
and leaders of genocide and crimes against humanity, including anyone who acted in a position of authority
from the national level down to the level of the cell in political parties, the army, religious organizations, or the
militia. It included all those who committed criminal acts or encouraged others to commit them. It also
included notorious murderers, those known for the brutality of their crimes, and persons who committed acts
of sexual torture. Category two included the authors of or accomplices in homicides or attacks that resulted in
the death of the victim. Category three comprised those who caused serious injury to victims and category
four included persons who committed crimes against property.

Those found guilty in category one were liable to punishment up to and including the death penalty.
Legislators did not intend the death penalty to be mandatory, as was shown by their deleting the word gusa
(only) from the kinyarwanda text of the law, but many Rwandans expect that those condemned as category
one criminals will be sentenced to death and in practice that has been the case.

Persons found guilty of category two crimes were to be sentenced to punishment up to life
imprisonment. Those convicted in category three were subject to imprisonment and the payment of damages
as specified in the ordinary criminal code while those in category four were not to be imprisoned at all but
were merely to deliver reparations to their victims in an amount settled by discussion between the parties and
with the mediation of their fellow citizens in the community.

In 1994, the RPF spokesman spoke of trying 2,000 persons for genocide, a figure later raised by judicial
authorities to 10,000 and then increased by political leaders to 30,000. In mid-1998, some 135,000 persons
were incarcerated in prisons and communal lockups, most of them charged with genocide or related crimes.
Even four years after the defeat of the genocidal government and over a year after the end of the massive
return of Rwandans, who had fled to Zaire, Rwandan authorities were continuing to arrest persons for


As the prison population swelled, trials progressed very slowly. The first began at the end of December
1996 and by the end of December 1997, 322 persons had been judged in 105 trials held in the specialized
chambers created by the genocide law. Of this number, 111 of the accused were found guilty and sentenced
to death while another 109 were condemned to life in prison and eighty-one to shorter terms. Nineteen
persons were acquitted.

Acknowledging the extraordinarily slow rate of trialsa pace which would require literally hundreds of
years before judging all those detainedRwandan authorities set a goal of trying 5,000 persons during 1998.
To this end, they began prosecuting larger groups of defendants together, the largest of which was fifty-one
persons tried in the prefecture of Byumba. This practice offered some hope of disposing more rapidly of cases,
but the confusion and logistical problems in dealing with such a large number of defendants at one time may
prejudice the rights of some of them. The Rwandan government stated that during 1998 courts had judged
864 persons, a considerable improvement over the previous year but still far short of their announced goal.

When trials began, many judges were completely inexperienced and had just completed a four month-
long training program. Not surprisingly, many made errors, some of which violated the rights of the
defendants. In some cases, for example, they failed to inform the defendant of his right to have legal counsel
or they refused to grant a postponement to permit the defendant to consult his file. In many of the early trials,
neither the prosecution nor the defense presented witnesses and the judgment was based solely on the
written file, including a summary of evidence by the prosecutor, and on any comments or responses made by
the defendant. According to Rwandan law, prosecutors have the duty to seek out and present evidence that
might establish the innocence of defendants, but they rarely did so.


In the first year after the genocide law was passed and the accused were offered the chance to confess
in return for a reduction in punishment, fewer than sixty persons took advantage of the plea-bargaining
opportunity. The number increased in 1998, particularly after the first executions. By the end of 1998, 8,615
people had begun the process of making confessions. Others refused to do so, citing mistrust of governmental
authorities or fear of reprisals against themselves or members of their families. Some fear reprisals from
fellow prisoners because in most prisons those who confess are not separated from the rest of the prison

Taking Responsibility

In May 1994, U.N. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali admitted that the international community had
failed the people of Rwanda in not halting the genocide. From that time through 1998, when U.S. President
Bill Clinton apologized for not having responded to Rwandan cries for help and Secretary-General Kofi Annan
expressed regret in vaguer terms, various world leaders have acknowledged responsibility for their failure to
intervene in the slaughter. The archbishop of Canterbury has apologized on behalf of the Anglican Church and
the pope has called for clergy who are guilty to have the courage to face the consequences of their crimes.

Members of the Belgian Senate were the first to initiate an examination of the failures of their political
leaders during the genocide. Spurred by a probing report by a preliminary ad hoc commission and by pressure
from the families of the slain peacekeepers, the senators launched a broad inquiry into Belgian policy and
actions during the genocide. After long hearings, they produced an extensive report in 1997 which lays out the
successive errors in policy but does not treat the personal responsibility of the decision makers.

The next year, members of the French National Assembly investigated the policies of France, other
foreign actors, and the U.N. in Rwanda, but unlike the Belgian senators, they did not take testimony under
oath and they heard many important witnesses in closed session. In a report published at the end of 1998,
they recognized that the French government had erred in supporting a government bent on genocide. They
published less pertinent information on how decisions were made than did their Belgian counterparts and
thus remained even further removed from establishing accountability for various political and military leaders.

The United Nations examined the conduct of its peacekeeping operation in Rwanda, but the inquiry
focused more on the technical and logistical aspects of UNAMIR than on the larger issue of responsibilities of
senior U.N. officials and of member states in failing to act vigorously to avert or halt the genocide. U.N.
authorities permitted General Dallaire and Captain Lemaire to testify at the international tribunal but only on
a limited range of questions. Otherwise, the U.N. has indicated that U.N. personnel will not be permitted to
testify in such national investigations as that of the Belgian Senate.

These inquiries and others by the press and human rights organizations have revealed something of
the roles played by individuals who were in positions of national or international authority during the
genocide. Much of the truth remains hidden, however, by the laws, regulations and practices long used to
protect political leaders from accountability. With the exception of the complaints against former ministers
Delcroix and Claes in Belgium, no effort has been made to hold policymakers personally and legally
responsible for refusing to halt the slaughter. Researchers must continue trying to go beyond the relatively
painless, generalized confessions of political leaders to analyze the decisions taken by individuals, so that
those persons can be obliged to acknowledge their responsibilities at least in the public domain, if not in a
court of law. Only in this way can we hope to influence decision makers in the future to never again abandon a
people to genocidal slaughter.

Retrieved from HRW Report. (1999). Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Retrieved May 20,
2010 from

The Churches
Within the first 24 hours, it became clear that Tutsi clergy, priests, and nuns would not be exempt from
the slaughter, nor would churches be treated as sanctuaries. On the contrary, these became primary killing
sites. Many churches became graveyards. The very first massacre on the morning of April 7 took place at the
Centre Christus in Kigali. The victims were Rwandan priests, seminarians, visitors, and staff. It was a portent of
things to come, since as many as one-quarter of the Catholic clergy died in the genocide. As one missionary
put it, There are no devils left in Hell. They are all in Rwanda. It was one of the most extraordinary
phenomena of the genocide that large numbers of these devils were devout, church-going Christians who
slaughtered fellow devout Christians.
Despite the massacre at Centre Christus, the Hutu leadership of the Catholic and Anglican churches did
not abandon their traditional close relationship with the Hutu establishment. They were anything but neutral
in their sympathies. It is not too much to say they were at the very least indirectly complicit in the genocide for
failing over the years and even during the genocide itself to dissociate themselves categorically from race
hatred, to condemn ethnic manipulation, and to denounce publicly human rights violations. Some believe, as a
staff member with the All-Africa Conference of Churches has written, that, Church pulpits could have
provided an opportunity for almost the entire population to hear a strong message that could have prevented
the genocide. Instead, the leaders remained silent. The churches were the clearest embodiment of moral
authority in the communities; their silence was easily interpreted by ordinary Christians as an implicit
endorsement of the killings. Indeed, one scholar goes so far as to say that the close association of church
leaders with the leaders of the genocide [was interpreted] as a message that genocide was consistent with
church teachings.
As we recorded earlier, the Hutu Catholic archbishop of Kigali was a strong supporter of Hutu Power
and had long served on the MRND central committee until forced by Rome to resign. The church leaders did
nothing to discourage the killings. At a press conference as late as June, two months into the genocide, the
Anglican archbishop refused to denounce the interim government in unequivocal terms. When that
government fled from Kigali to a temporary new capital, the Catholic archbishop moved with them. As a
report published by the World Council of Churches put it, the statements of church leaders often sounded as if
they had been written by a public relations person for the interim government.
Many priests and pastors committed heinous acts of betrayal, some under coercion, others not.
Significant numbers of prominent Christians were involved in the killings, sometimes slaughtering their own
church leaders. Priests turned fellow priests over to the butchers. Pastors witnessed the slaughter of their own
families by those they had baptized.
There were strange variations on the nature of the involvement. Some clergy refused to help Tutsi out
of sheer terror for their lives. Others protected the majority of Tutsi who came for sanctuary, but allowed
militia members to remove and execute selected individuals. Many pastors and priests just ran away from
their congregations.
Over 60 per cent of Rwandans, both Hutu and Tutsi, belonged to the Catholic Church, yet all through
Rwanda, churches were desecrated by the violence and carnage. Often the killing was committed by members
of the congregation: 20,000 people died in Cyahinda Parish; at least 35,000 were killed in the Parish of
Karama. Anglican, Protestant, Adventist, and Islamic places of worship were also the scenes of mass killings.
Many churches have been memorialized by the present government, with rows upon rows of skulls, bones,
and rags left as witness to what some Christians did to other Christians. Rwanda's small Muslim community
alone refused to partake in the madness.
Not even the Pope's demand for an end to the killings swayed his representatives in Rwanda. It was
five weeks into the genocide before four Catholic bishops, together with Protestant leaders, produced
anything remotely like a conciliatory document, and even then they could bring themselves to do no more
than blame each side equally and call on both to stop the massacres. The word genocide was never
But we must not end this section without pointing to the impressive number of individual church
leaders who heroically risked their lives to protect their people and were killed. We want to recognize them
and their extraordinary courage in hellish circumstances. They knew the penalty for their efforts, and most
paid it. Hundreds of nuns, pastors and priests, both Rwandans and foreign, hid the hunted and the vulnerable,
tended the wounded, reassured the terrified, fed the hungry, took in abandoned children, confronted the
authorities, and provided solace and comfort to the exhausted and the heart-broken.
History must recognize these remarkable individuals. One particular example is Father Boudoin
Busungu of the Parish Nkanka in Cyangugu, who became known for his great kindness to refugees who took
shelter at his church. As a testament to the emotional chaos unleashed by the genocide, Busungu's own
father, Michel, was an interahamwe leader; his courageous son ended up fleeing to Zaire. Father Oscar
Nkundayezo, a priest in Cyangugu, and brother Felicien Bahizi, a trainee priest in the Grand Seminary in Kigali,
also hid as many people as they could, provided food and medical care and set up a sophisticated network
that aided a substantial number of refugees to flee to safety.
Andr Sibomana was another remarkable priest as well as a human rights activist whose name should
stand with those honored German clerics who defied the Nazis. He was editor of the newspaper Kinyamateka
and created the human rights group, Association Rwandaise pour la Dfense des Droits de la Personne et des
Liberts Publiques (ADL). Using both these forums, he denounced the regime and its abuses of power,
breaking with the archbishop and others in the hierarchy who continued to give Habyarimana largely
unquestioning support.

Retrieved from Caplan, G. (2000). Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide. In University for Peace, The Role of
the Media in the Rwandan Genocide (p. 116-118). Costa Rica: University for Peace.


There is wide recognition among both Muslims and non-Muslims in Rwanda that the vast majority of
the Muslim community did not participate in the genocide, but rather acted positively, with many Hutu
Muslims protecting Tutsi Muslims and non-Muslims. We heard examples both of passive resistance, where
people did not participate in the violence and killing, and active resistance, where people took risks to protect
others and defend themselves, sometimes losing their own lives in the process. This was true across the
country, in both rural and urban Muslim communities. This information was corroborated by stories from
Biryogo, Kibagabaga, Rwamagana, Mabare and Mugandamure.

There are some notable exceptions, everyone agrees. People cited a handful of Muslims who
participated, and did so with fervor. We will discuss those later as counter-examples that show the limits of
the positive community actions.

Many reminded us that the President of Rwanda made a public statement in 1995 in recognition of the
communitys positive behavior, at a ceremony celebrating the appointment of the first Muslim member of
Cabinet (Minister). He said that Muslims in Rwanda did not participate in the genocide, and called upon them
to teach other Rwandans how to live together.

There were four elements people repeatedly told us as proof concerning Muslims actions

No Muslim religious leaders have been charged or arrested for participating in the genocide.

No people who sought refuge at mosques were killed with the collusion of the Muslim leadership. This is in
contrast to a trend across the country where those seeking safety at churches and state offices were often
killed at the order or with the cooperation of religious and state leaders (who would either directly order the
killings, or disclose to the militia the location where people were hiding). When people died at mosques, they
were killed despite the active resistance of Muslims and non-Muslims protecting them (described below).

After the genocide, it became clear that a disproportionate number of survivors, both Muslim and non-
Muslim, had been protected by Muslims (that is, those who had hidden in Muslim communities survived).

There are very few Muslims in prison. (There are no accurate statistics available, so this is based on word of

People outside the Muslim community reported that during the genocide, it was not common
knowledge that Muslims were hiding and protecting people. That is, victims were not necessarily deliberately
seeking out Muslims to protect them. Rather, in the aftermath of the genocide, people realized that those
who had hidden at mosques were more likely to have survived, and that many survivors had been protected
by Muslims.

To understand the actions and behavior of the Muslim community, we have found it helpful to
separate out the actions of the leadership and the community. The following examples were described as
occurring in each of the communities we visitedthat is, none is an isolated incident, unless noted as such;
rather they represent patterns of actions. (Analysis and explanation for these actions will be discussed

Muslim Leadership Actions

Background on Muslim Leadership

In 1994, there were two branches to the Muslim religious leadership: AMUR (Association des
Musulmans du Rwanda) was the organization that represented all Muslims in Rwanda. AMUR was created in
the mid-1960s as an attempt to coordinate Muslim development efforts by consolidating community
representation. AMUR was considered the Muslim establishment, based in Kigali. Ansar Allah was a
relatively new, upcoming group of preachers that did conversion in the rural areas. It was created in 1982 by a
Libyan religious teacher at the Islamic Cultural Center of Kigali. Though initially the two organizations co-
existed with no problems, tensions developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Ansar requested
recognition from the government, which would mean it was no longer under the authority of AMUR. AMUR
felt that Ansar, as a Muslim organization, should remain under AMURs leadership. Ansar, on the other hand,
wanted independence and financial support that they felt they did not receive while under the authority of
AMUR. From 1991 through 1993, the tensions between the two organizations remained high

Leadership Actions

As noted above, no Muslim religious leaders have been implicated in the genocide. We heard of many
concrete actions taken by the Muslim leadership to proactively shape the communitys actions. (We specify
which leadership branch in the examples below, or refer to leadership in general when actions were carried
out by both branches.)

The leadership corrected each otherif they perceived that others were becoming too closely involved in
negative politics or other activities. Leading up to the genocide, AMUR was a supporter of the ruling party
(MRND). Ansar Allah approached AMUR and cautioned them to avoid getting too close to the government,
highlighting the importance of remaining neutral.

Leaders in the Muslim communityboth religious leaders and teachersanticipated the increasing violence
and the potential for further escalation in the period prior to the genocide, and took steps within the
community to sensitize the Muslim population, to counter the hate propaganda. They based this on ideals
within the Koran. In the early 1990s, Ansar Allah as an organization instructed its members not to adhere to
political parties, as the political landscape in Rwanda was tainted with ethnic affiliation At the urging of
Muslim religious leaders, Muslim teachers did a sensitization campaign with their students, actively teaching
that people are all equal, ethnicity should not be divisive, and people should not kill, but rather should try to
rescue victims. As one described, The Prophet tells us that a time of temptation will come, and we considered
this a time of temptation. At the end of Ramadan, just a few weeks before the genocide began, Ansar Allah
distributed pamphlets to Muslims around the country that implored people to remain calm, and to avoid
getting caught up in ethnic polarization.

During this period before the genocide, the leadership spoke out publiclyi.e. in a way that could be heard
by non-Muslims, and was therefore quite riskyagainst violence and the increasing ethnic polarization. In
1993, as the situation across the country was becoming increasingly volatile and violent, the Muslim
leadership issued a pastoral letter calling upon Muslims to avoid becoming involved in any political parties
that involved ideologies or actions counter to the teachings of the Koran. This message was posted in mosques
around the country. The leadership issued announcements to be read on the government-owned radio
station (the only radio station) telling Muslims that there were hard moments coming, and appealing to them
to adopt positive values and not be implicated in the coming events. While some of these broadcasts were
censored, several got through. This is particularly significant because the radio was being used as a source of
negative propaganda, and is commonly understood to have played a central role in fomenting ethnic
polarization and contributing to the genocide. (One person mentioned that Muslim leaders wrote letters to
the President as the situation was escalating, imploring the state leadership to recognize its responsibility to
the people and end the violence. We were unable to get additional information on this).

During the genocide, there were some Muslim leaders who spoke in the mosques against the killings. No one
reported Muslim leaders speaking in support of the killings, or appealing to followers to participate (while
many Muslims and non- Muslims reported that other religious leaders either actively or covertly condoned the
killings). While they were unable consistently to broadcast radio announcements, many leaders made the
same type of announcements in the places people were praying. As one 2 It is not clear exactly why some
radio broadcasts got through and others did not. It was explained to us that messages sent out over the radio
during the genocide were contradictory at times, sometimes intentionally. For instance, on some occasions
the radio announced declarations against the genocide, and some Interhamwe who did not follow these
directions were killed, but most believe that those announcements were only intended to create a false sense
of security to lure Tutsis out of hiding and to give the international community the impression that things were
under control. At other times, the announcer would simply read a message he was handed without
considering the content first, or would not know from whom the message came and therefore whether or not
it should be censored. As with the rest of the country, the radio suffered from confusion and inconsistency.
Community described, Even though it was a hard period of war and genocide, religious leaders continued to
teach publicly that killing was a serious sin, and asked people to be calm and patient. Another community
member described, During the genocide, the Muslim leaders were saying Dont do this, protect people if you
can. Overall, these actions are seen as different from other religious leadership. People say religious leaders
of other faiths did not speak out publicly against the genocide, some even spoke obliquely in favor of it, and
many religious leaders of other faiths have been implicated and convicted of participating in the genocide.

Muslim Community Actions

Background on Muslim Community

The Muslim communities in Rwanda are characterized in two basic ways: The former Muslim settlement areas
are predominantly Muslim, with families that have been Muslim for generations. Most former settlement
areas are urban. The areas of Muslim expansion include a mixture of Muslims and non-Muslims, as those who
converted remained in their homes. These areas are largely rural, and are predominantly areas where Ansar
Allah has worked.

Muslim Community Actions

We heard many stories of different ways that Muslim community members acted positively during the
genocide. This involved a range of actions, as follows.

Muslims hid both Muslim and non-Muslim people who were being hunted (mostly Tutsis). This was the most
frequently reported example. As one Muslim described, You will find very few Muslims who did not hide
others. When militia would come to kill people, rather than turning the wanted people in, Muslims would
protect them, often sending the sought-after person over the back fence to another Muslim persons home
for protection. As one Muslim described, Whoever managed to arrive in our quartier was hidden and
protected, and survived. Muslims described hiding people in their ceiling rafters, and giving women veils and
scarves to disguise themselves. Many suggested that Muslims did this rather than leave to seek refuge, at a
time that much of the rest of the country was fleeing. As someone described, When people were massively
running away before the RPF advancement, Muslims continued to hide their wanted colleagues. Many
mentioned that the positive role of the Muslim community was noticed after the threat was gone. As one
person described, At the arrival of the RPF forces, RPF commanders asked about people they thought would
have undoubtedly been killed, and were surprised to find out that many of them were alive.

Muslims who were not being hunted (i.e. mostly Hutu Muslims) refused to serve as accomplices to the
militias for hunting down the wanted Muslims (i.e. mostly Tutsi Muslims). Many took advantage of their
comparative position of safety to protect others. Most Muslims did not reveal the hiding places of people
being protected, or otherwise collude to trap and capture people. As one person described, There were
Tutsis brought to Mugandamure residents by the militia with orders to kill them. Instead, the Mugandamure
Muslims hid them. Hutu Muslims who could move about and travel would buy food, drink, and medicine, and
bring them back for the people who were being hidden and protected. Hutu Muslims in several communities
put up road blocks to prevent people from coming in, and therefore used these blocks to protect Tutsis, while
elsewhere in the country, similar roadblocks were being used as barriers for catching and killing fugitive Tutsis.
In some cases, people cited that no one died at these barriers, but rather, survived because of them.

Muslims took steps to correct each others actions. Many Muslims tried to correct and shape the behavior of
Muslims within their community who seemed to be leaning towards violence. For example, when one Muslim
community member in Mugandamure encouraged his colleagues to get involved in the escalating violence,
the community in the mosque told him, Do you really want to do that? If so, we would have to start with your
wife, since she is Tutsi. He did not provoke any further. In Rwamagana, Muslims attacked and destroyed the
residence of an Interhamwe militia member who tried to provoke killings, in order to compel him to stop.
Many Muslim fathers encouraged their children not to get involved in the fighting, and often prohibited them
from bringing arms into the house. Carrying a gun was seen as an overt proof of active involvement in the
genocide. Thus, those carrying arms were perceived not only as supporters of the genocidal government but
also as active members of the killing squads.

Many Muslims engaged directly with those who were killing in an effort to get them to stop, at great
personal risk. For example, a powerful Hutu Muslim who was well known in Kibagabaga appealed to the
broader community not to kill, saying If you want to fight the RPF, go up in the hills and fight, but do not kill
civilians. They told him, You are a Hutu. You must kill, and told him to kill someone. He refused to do so,
and was killed. Some Muslims offered to pay militias not to kill people being protected (Muslims or non-
Muslims). Others said Youll have to kill me first.
Many Muslim community members organized into resistance movements to defend themselves and protect
others against attacks from militias. Often non-Muslims joined them.

Some Muslims took steps to pretend they were going along with the genocide, in order to defer suspicion
and avoid attack, all the while protecting people. Some Muslims chopped down banana trees and organized
burials for the trunks, in order to pretend that they were burying people they had killed. In Rwamagana,
people told us that they did this after the councilor had launched an appeal to his population that he wanted
to see Tutsi bodies lying all over the place. Some Hutu Muslims infiltrated and spied on the militias in order
to inform the Tutsis about the time of the killers attacks, so that they could be prepared and hide elsewhere.

Muslims went out of their way to bring people to safety. Many Muslims organized rescue operations for Tutsi
neighbors who were attacked by militias, and brought them to safe areas, protected by Muslims.

Many also explained that those Muslims who did participate nearly always refrained from killing other
Muslims. As several described, This is proof that Muslims do not kill Muslims. We will discuss this in more
detail along with the other exceptions, below.

The examples above were repeated to us across all the different Muslim communities. It is interesting
to note that in the former settlement areas, people did not tend to hide in mosques, rather people hid in
houses, where Muslims protected them by moving them from house to house. On the other hand, in areas of
Muslim expansionwhere Muslims tended to be more intermingled with non-Muslimspeople grouped in
mosques because, as one described, They were afraid their neighbors could take advantage of the situation
to kill them. In general, the former settlement areas were more passive in their non-participation, while the
areas of Muslim expansion were more active in their resistance (Mabare and Kibagabaga, for example).

Retrieved from Doughty, C. K. & Ntambara, M. D. (2005). Resistance and Protection: Muslim Community
Actions During the Rwandan Genocide (p. 8-15). USA: Collaborative for Development Action.

Eight Stages of Genocide, by Gregory H. Stanton presented at the Yale University Center for International
and Area Studies in 1998.

Genocide is a process that develops in eight stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each
stage, preventive measures can stop it. The later stages must be preceded by the earlier stages, though earlier
stages continue to operate throughout the process.


All cultures have categories to distinguish people into "us and them" by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality:
German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi,
are the most likely to have genocide. The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop
universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and
understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Catholic Church could have
played this role in Rwanda, had it not been driven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society.
Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania or Cote d'Ivoire has also promoted transcendent
national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.


We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people "Jews" or "Gypsies", or distinguish
them by colors or dress; and apply them to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are
universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to the next stage,
dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah
groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer
Rouge Cambodia. To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas) as can hate
speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal
limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden
words in Burundi until the 1980's, code-words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of
symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, when many non-Jews chose to wear the yellow star,
depriving it of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews. According to legend in Denmark, the Nazis did not
introduce the yellow star because they knew even the King would wear it.


One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects
or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate
propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. In combating this dehumanization,
incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional
protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than in democracies. Hate radio
stations should be shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly


Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, though sometimes informally (Hindu mobs led by local RSS
militants) or by terrorist groups. Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for
genocidal killings. To combat this stage, membership in these militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should
be denied visas for foreign travel. The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of
countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in
post-genocide Rwanda.


Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Laws may forbid
intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the
center. Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups.
Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d' Etat by
extremists should be opposed by international sanctions.


Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up.
Members of victim groups are forced to wear identifying symbols. They are often segregated into ghettoes,
forced into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. At this stage, a Genocide
Alert must be called. If the political will of the U.S., NATO, and the U.N. Security Council can be mobilized,
armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance to the victim group in preparing for
its self-defense. Otherwise, at least humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief
groups for the inevitable tide of refugees.


Extermination begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called "genocide." It is "extermination" to
the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the
armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by
groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). At
this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee
escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. The U.N. needs a Standing
High Readiness Brigade or a permanent rapid reaction force, to intervene quickly when the U.N. Security
Council calls it. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N., led by NATO or a regional
military power, should intervene. If the U.N. will not intervene directly, militarily powerful nations should
provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene with U.N.
authorization. It is time to recognize that the law of humanitarian intervention transcends the interests of


Denial is the eighth stage that always follows a genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal
massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence
and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on
the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force,
when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured
and a tribunal is established to try them. The best response to denial is punishment by an international
tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the
Yugoslav, Rwanda, or Sierra Leone Tribunals, an international tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia,
and ultimately the International Criminal Court must be created. They may not deter the worst genocidal
killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some mass murderers may be brought to
The eight stages of genocide in Rwanda

Classification - The ethnic distinction between Hutus and Tutsis, whether actual or supposed, had been the
central political factor in Rwanda for over a hundred years. This was entrenched by President Habyarimana's
policies after the 1990 invasion by the RPF;

Symbolization - Identity cards established by the Belgian colonial authorities in the early 1930s, right up to
the post-invasion policy of identifying every Tutsi as a potential threat. A sense of enmity played upon by the
media as in Kangura's 'Hutu Ten Commandments';

Dehumanization - Labels like inyenzi (cockroaches); aliens from English-speaking Uganda or Egypt and

Organization - Akazu begins to organize. Recruitment of Interahamwe;

Polarization - Radio stations broadcast lies about Tutsi massacres of Hutus;

Preparation - Lists are prepared of Tutsis to be killed. Secret death squads are formed;

Extermination - The massacres of 1990 to 6 April 1994 soon turns to extermination in earnest after
Habyarimana's plane is shot down;

Denial - Killers flee to refugee camps across the border in Zaire and deny what they have done. Even today
large numbers of Hutu in the diaspora deny there ever was a genocide and deny too any guilt or complicity.

Retrieved from University for Peace. (2005). The Role of the Media in the Rwandan Genocide. Costa Rica:
University for Peace.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To explore issues about the consequences of poverty and the opportunities in life which are denied to the poor.

Objectives (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 145)

- To reflect on both the lack of opportunities poor people have, and the difficulties they face in taking those which
are presented.
- To understand the cycle of poverty.
- To promote social justice, human dignity, and responsibility.


Food List (retrieved from Cawagas et al., 2009, p. 53) (30)

- Divide the group into two. Group 1 will be the rich people from the city (middle class and above). Group 2 will
be the poor people from the city or the urban people.
- Ask each group to identify its sources of income and amount (including sources of credit beyond salary and
work-earned income).
- Ask each group to identify the kind of food they consume (cost, quantity, where they buy them); and what other
consumer items they can afford to buy after meeting their basic needs.
- Ask each group to report results to the bigger group.
- Discussion:
o What differences did you see between the reports of the two groups?
o What do you think are the causes for these differences?
o What similarities do you see between the game and real life?

Horoscope of Poverty (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 145) (60)

- Introduce the activity. Talk briefly about horoscopes in general. Do participants ever read them? Do they
believe them? What sorts of information do they usually give?
- Divide the participants into three small groups and give each one a set of Life Cards together with the
corresponding Horoscope cards.
- Give the groups twenty minutes to write fantasy horoscopes for the four lives on their cards. They should use
their imagination, intuition, and general knowledge to foretell what will happen to the people in the coming
year. Stress that there are no right or wrong answers, but that they should try to make predictions within the
scope of reality.
- When they have finished, call people into plenary. In turn, ask each group to present their work. They should
first introduce the characters and then they should read out the horoscopes.
- Discussion:
o What images do participants have of people who are poor? In their own country and in developing
countries? Are these stereotypes? How well-founded are these images? Where do people get their
information from?
o What do participants understand by the term poverty?
o In your society, why are some people rich and others poor?
o What are the main passports out of poverty, both in your country and in Eritrea, one of the poorest
countries in the world? Having a rich uncle? Winning the lottery? Having an education? Being healthy?
Knowing the right people? Working hard? What else?
o How easy is it for people who are poor to break the circle of poverty?
o What kinds of opportunities do people have when they are rich/poor?
o Is it peoples own fault that they are poor? Is it their fate? Is it because of social, political, and economic
o Poverty often goes hand in hand with poor health, hunger and malnutrition, lack of education, poor
work skills and unemployment. Is it a coincidence or are they connected?
o In general how do people view/treat poor people?
o What sort of political and social policies lead to the best opportunities for life for all citizens?
o To what extent is education a key to reducing poverty in your country?


- Discuss with students problems of poverty that exist in their community/country and find ways to get involved
in fighting injustices.
- Create a story book about the cycle of poverty where they promote ways of social justice and they try to find a
way to publish it and administer it. It can be a childrens book or an adults book.

Maria, a single mother with three children, lives in a very poor suburb in Madeira, Portugal. Her latest
companion has just left her. She works as a maid for a wealthy family, but for how much longer? Someone
recently stole an expensive ring from the lady of the house, who suspects one of the maids. They cant find
out who is guilty, so all the maids are going to be sacked and replaced. Maria is Capricorn.

Amina is from Turkey. She lives in a small village in one of the poorest region of the country. She is 12 years
old and her parents - very poor peasants- are talking about looking a husband for her. But she does not want
to get married; instead she decides to run away from home and travel to the capital where she hopes to have
a brighter future. Amina is Gemini.

Misha is from Tomsk in Siberia. He has been unemployed for many months and he does not know what to
do. His wife is very ill and has to stay in bed all day. He has four children aged 20, 18, 10, and 8 and the two
youngest are disabled. Misha is Virgo.

Bengt is a young Swedish skinhead. He has been arrested twice this year for violent behavior. He has been
out of work for two years now and despite this, refuses all the offers that have been made to him. He prefers
to spend his time training his dog, a pit-bull terrier, doing body-building, and being in the streets with his
mates, who have been linked to several recent racist incidents. Bengt is Aries.

Ricardo lives on his own in Barcelona, Spain, in a tiny apartment he can hardly afford. He has been ill for
many months and lives off social security payments from the government. He used to work doing odd jobs.
His wife took the children away and abandoned him when she heard that he has AIDS. He is Libra.

Krista, 20 years old, rents a tiny flat in a very poor suburb of Prague and dreams of living in Germany. She has
read an advertisement offering jobs in Berlin. She called the number and met a man who promised to get her
out of poverty saying that she will easily find a job in Berlin. She decides to trust the man and to take the
change to go to Germany. Krista is Sagittarius.
Jane is an elderly widow who lives in Scotland. Her husband was alcoholic and hardly ever worked. She
survives on the very small state pension but now needs extra care as her health is worsening. Jane is Pisces.

Angelica lives together with her sister Bella in Palermo in Italy. Their parents died when the girls were sixteen
and seventeen, which meant that they had to leave school and work to support themselves. They are now 22
and 23. Bella has two jobs and she also looks after Angelica, who is a drug addict. Angelica often steals her
sisters wages to buy drugs. She has been on and off drugs for many years but finds it very difficult to control
her addiction. Angelica is Scorpio.

The twins, Moktar and Ould, were born in Paris in France. They are the children of Abdul, a migrant worker,
originally from Mauritania. The whole family, their parents, four older brothers as well as their grandparents
all live in one apartment in a poor area of Paris. The twins are now 12 years old and have lots of problems at
school. They refuse to study, skip classes, very often hang around with their friends in the suburbs of Paris
and refuse to obey their parents, with whom they fight a lot, sometimes violently. Reports from school show
that they are becoming increasingly aggressive. Moktar and Ould are Aquarius.

Yuriy lives with his parents and three younger brothers in Tomsk in Siberia. He is twenty years old and a very
promising ice-hockey player. His uncle in America has offered to try to find him a scholarship to study in an
American college. Yuriys father, Misha, has been unemployed for many months and at the moment, the only
source of family income is from odd jobs that Yuriy does. Yuriy does not know what to do. His mother is ill,
two of his younger brothers are disabled and the family relies on him. Yuriy is Cancer.

Bella, lives together with her sister, Angelica, in Palermo in Italy. Their parents died when the girls were s16
and 17, which meant that they had to leave school and work to support themselves. They are now 22 and 23.
Bella has two jobs; she works as a maid during the day and as a cleaning lady in a hospital at night. She also
looks after Angelica, who is a drug addict. Bella refuses to let her sister down because she knows how much
her sister suffered from their violent father. Bella has problems with her own temper, that she finds hard to
control and which has caused her to lose her job on two recent occasions. Bella is Taurus.

Abdoul came from Mauritania many years ago to look for work in the French capital, Paris. He spent the first
years alone but was later able to bring over his wife and four sons as well as his grandparents. They all live in
one apartment in a poor area of Paris. For a while things went well, especially when Abdouls wife gave birth
to twins, but it has proved a struggle to bring the children up to keep the Mauritanian traditions. The twins
are now 12 years old. They are having lots of problems at school and often refuse to obey their parents.
Recently, Abdoul, lost his job because of the general economic downturn. Abdoul is Leo.

Aries (Bengt) Libra (Ricardo)

(22 March 21 April) (22 September 21 October)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health
Taurus (Bella) Scorpio (Angelica)
(22 April 21 May) (22 October 21 November)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health
Gemini (Amina) Sagittarius (Krista)
(22 May 21 June) (22 November 21 December)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health
Cancer (Yuriy) Capricorn (Maria)
(22 June 21 July) (22 December 21 January)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health
Leo (Abdul) Aquarius (Moktar and Ould)
(22 July 21 August) (22 January 21 February)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health
Virgo (Misha) Pisces (Jane)
(22 August 21 September) (22 February 21 March)

Love Love

Work Work

Health Health

The current lesson plan was retrieved in its entity by COMPASS, 2007, p. 80.

Time: 180 minutes (4 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To explore issues about the consequences of poverty and the opportunities in life which are denied to the poor.


- To understand the complexities of human rights issues.

- To compare different ways of decision-making (adversarial approach, consensus approach).
- To learn the skills of communication and co-operation.


The Trial (70)

- Set the scene. HIV/AIDS is a very serious epidemic throughout the world, but especially serious in Africa. It is a
big issue in South Africa where millions of poor people are suffering and dying unnecessarily because they
cannot afford the expensive drugs they need. Their only alternative is to use cheaper copies of the drugs. The
leading pharmaceutical companies are against this. They wish to protect their property rights and so they have
joined forces to prevent any State from copying and selling their products at cheaper prices. They have started
legal action against the South African Government, which is distributing and selling cheaper copies of the anti-
HIV/AIDS drugs.
- Explain that participants will be involved in simulating a trial that recently took place in South Africa over this
issue. The question is: Is the right to property a valid argument to jeopardize the right to life and dignity of a
group of people?
- Divide the participants into four equal groups to represent Pharma Inc., the South African Government,
members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Judges.
- Distribute the trial role cards to the appropriate groups.
- Give the groups 25 minutes to read their role cards and prepare their cases and/or questions for the trial. Each
group must also select a spokesperson to represent the group and one or two resource persons to back the
spokesperson up and help answer questions during the trial.
- Once each group is ready, invite people to come back into plenary. They should remain in their four groups.
- Now Pharma Inc., the S.A. Government and TAC each have 5 minutes to present their positions and raise any
questions. The judges should introduce the groups in turn.
- The judges themselves now have 10 minutes to answer any questions raised by the groups, and to summarize
the different arguments and positions.

The Consensus-Building Phase (90)

- Ask participants to divide themselves into small groups, each of 4 people. In each group there should be
one former member of Pharma Inc., one former member of the S.A. Government, one former TAC group
member and one former judge.
- Hand out the copies of the instructions for small groups. Check that people understand what they have to
do and how to use the red and green cards. The groups have 30 minutes to try to reach a consensus
decision about how to resolve the conflicting claims.
- Call everyone back into plenary and ask them to report back on the results of their discussions. Give each
group 5 minutes to present their report. Note the main solutions and issues on a flipchart.
- When all groups have reported their positions/solutions, move on to a discussion about the decision-
making process. You could ask:

o How easy was it to reach a consensus?

o What are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach?
o Was there a tension between trying to agree a solution and trying to include all members of
the group in the decision?
o Which were the most burning issues?

- You may like to end this phase of the activity by reading out the following extract from the court's ruling on
19 April, 2001. "The purpose (...) to promote cheaper access to drugs (...) is a commendable purpose, and,
in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a constitutional obligation of the highest order linked to the duty
of the State to respect, protect, promote and fulfill a number of fundamental rights including the rights to
human dignity and life (held to be the source of all other rights) (...) There is no merit to the (...) challenges
to the Act made by the applicants (i.e. pharmaceutical companies)."

Debriefing (20)

- Have you heard about this case before?

- What were your initial assumptions?
- Did these assumptions change during the activity?
- How do people compare the two forms of decision-making process, the adversarial and the consensus?
Which produces the most satisfactory results? How do you define what is a successful result?
- What were the key human rights issues behind the trial?
- How do these issues relate to the participants own social reality?
- What are the implications for people where you live?

Trial role card: Pharma Inc.

You are a group of senior Pharma Inc. executives. Your company is one of the world's leading
producers of pharmaceuticals. You have bought the rights for the commercialization of key
HIV- and AIDS-related medicines. You need to maintain your profit margin and to please your
shareholders. Thus you wish to protect the company's right to set the selling price of your
products, keeping in mind the research costs, production costs, and the wages of your work-
force. To allow another company to simply copy and sell your products at a lower price would
jeopardize your profit and the sustainability of your company. You have therefore joined forces
with other leading pharmaceutical companies to prevent any State from allowing the copying
and selling of your products at cheaper prices, and to sue them if necessary. You have started
legal action against the South African Government.
You should prepare your arguments to defend your position. You will have five minutes to
present them during the trial.

Trial role card: South African Government

You are senior officials in the South African Government. Your government is trying to respond
to the request of the pharmaceutical companies who have started legal action against you.
Pharma Inc. is trying to prevent any State from allowing the copying and selling of their
products at cheaper prices, that is, below the retail price of their own products. In principle you
agree with Pharma Inc's. position.
However, popular movements, led by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), claim that it is a
constitutional obligation by the State to provide cheap access to drugs, particularly in the
context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. You have responded to popular political pressure and have
started to allow the import of cheaper (copied) drugs from countries such as Indonesia.
You should prepare your arguments to defend your position. You will have five minutes to
present them during the trial.

Trial role card: Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)

You are a group of activists representing the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), South Africa.
The Campaign claims that the State has the responsibility to provide cheap access to drugs,
particularly in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The government has responded and has
started importing cheaper drugs.
You also claim that it is the responsibility of the State to make financial provisions for patients
and organizations struggling with HIV/AIDS diseases.
However, the South African Government has been brought to trial by pharmaceutical companies
to prevent any copying and selling of their products at cheaper prices. Therefore, you have
decided to join forces with the government to defend the role of the State in providing cheap
access to drugs.
You should prepare your arguments to defend your position. You will have five minutes to
present them during the trial.
Trial role card: Judges
You are the group of judges who are presiding over the attempt by leading pharmaceutical
companies to prosecute the South African Government and to prevent it from allowing the
copying and selling of their products at cheaper prices. Activists representing the Treatment
Action Campaign (TAC) are defending the government position.
Your role is to invite the three parties in turn to present their respective positions. At the end of
the presentations you should not make a judgment or come to conclusions. Your job is to help
to clarify issues and to summarize the arguments in support of the conflicting claims.
The core of the problem is how to resolve conflicting claims to human rights. The defense (the
government and TAC) claim the rights to life and dignity, and the prosecution (Pharma Inc.)
claim the right to property. The official court records put it like this:
"The rights to life and dignity are the most important of all human rights, and the source of all
other personal rights. By committing ourselves to a society founded on the recognition of
human rights, we are required to value these two rights above all others. And this must be
demonstrated by the State in everything that it does, including the way it punishes criminals."
"The right to property is protected by section 25 of the South African Constitution which states
the following: "Property 25 (1): No one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of
general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property".
You should prepare questions to the three parties. You will have ten minutes to ask your
questions and listen to the answers.

Instructions to the small groups for part 2

You are a group of four people, each one a representative of one of the four parties:

Pharma Inc.
the South African Government
activists representing the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
the group of the Judges in the cause initiated by the leading pharmaceutical companies.


1. In turn, each person should identify themselves and the party they represent, that is,
the role they are playing.
2. Next, each person should indicate their feelings about the situation at the end of the
trial. If they think that it will be easy to find a solution, they should show a green card,
and if they think it will be difficult they should show a red card.
3. Now your task is to try to come to a satisfactory decision, based on consensus among
the four members. You should take the discussion in rounds. The judge chairs the
discussion and presents his/her position last.

o Round one: state your position

o Round two: present your ideas for solution
o Round three: negotiate different solutions

4. Listen carefully to each other. At the end of each contribution you should show your
color card to indicate how you now feel about the prospects for reaching a satisfactory
5. At the end of the consensus process, choose one person to report the results back in

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To become aware of the phenomenon of child labor.


- To analyze information related to child labor.

- To understand the social, political, and economic conditions that lead to child labor (poverty and
unemployment, weak laws or law enforcement, repression of worker rights, lack of access to education etc).
- To consider ways of personal or collective reactions to child labor.


Defining Child Labor (20)

- Students work in pairs. Distribute the worksheet Child Work to each pair.
- Allow 10 minutes for the pairs to work.
- Allow time for sharing into the plenary session.
- Into the plenary session, according to the answers received from the group, ask the students to try to define
child work (forms of work done by children that are not only legitimate, but can be beneficial for learning and
development) and child labor (UNICEF defines child labor as work that exceeds a minimum number of hours,
depending on the age of a child and on the type of work. Such work is considered harmful to the child and
should therefore be eliminated).
- Debriefing:
o How child labor is related to human rights violations?
o Is child labor apparent in your home country?
o Did you know about child labor before?
o What are your feelings/attitudes toward child labor?

For a Child that is Sleeping (30)

- Distribute the worksheet with the poem.

- Allow time for students to work individually to complete the worksheet.
- Into the plenary session ask students to share their answers and facilitate a discussion around the students

Why we should care? (40)

- Pose the question: Most of the cases related to child labor occur in other countries. Why should child labor
(which relates to violation of childrens rights) in other countries matter to Cyprus?
- Allow the students to go around the school or to the community and pose the above question as a small survey.
- Students return to the classroom and share their findings. A discussion can follow, along with further search in
other sources (i.e. books, magazines, newspapers, internet) to answer the question.


- Students prepare a leaflet sharing with the respondents the significance of being aware of child labor.
At the following table, please consider when child work is considered acceptable and when is it considered
unacceptable. Write down all the cases that you can think of.


When is it acceptable When is it unacceptable

At the following table, please consider when child work is considered acceptable and when is it considered
unacceptable. Write down all the cases that you can think of.


When is it acceptable When is it unacceptable

Its nighttime. There are a few people in the bus. The snowy mountains of his homeland.
At the closed, lighted factory. His mothers arms which wrapped around him
Machinery rested, but sleepless. the womens scarf for the cold
Supervise as harmless giants the teacher who was paid with milk
the little sleeping boy. Squashed hardly remembers.
close to the stream grate. He remembers the Greek coming out of his mouth
Covered with his brothers coat, he rests. that now heard differently.

The whole day he works at the traffic lights Not as polished pebbles of a big sea,
he wipes windows hurried with the red light. not as the clatter of a horse,
Collects coins or fair indignation. of an unbeatable soldier
Waiting for the next red traffic light. but like coins in the pocket...
Wins his bread honestly Like the spitting in the eyes of the customer.
and the share of the night watchman, Sometimes more heartfelt
who lets him sleep in there. like the hum of this machinery
which brings all the hot steam...

The poem was retrieved in Greek from .., 2006, p. 199 and was translated in English.


What are the feelings of the small child?


What are the conditions under which the specific child is working?


Which are the factors that lead to child labor? Can you think of any other factors that are not mentioned in
the poem?


Is there anything that impressed you from the poem? Did you become aware of something that you ignored

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To enable the students to deal with racism and stereotypes effectively.


- To understand that people perceive things differently.

- To become aware of the term stereotypes and how stereotypes attributed to a group affect the daily lives of
the individuals of that group.
- To realize that we are all responsible for incidents of racism and promote actions to eliminate it.
- To promote responsibility and justice.


Perceiving things differently (10)

- Distribute a blank paper to each student. Explain to the students that they will have to draw what comes into
their mind according to the statements that the educator will read.
- Ask participants to picture a young woman walking down the street with 3 young children. Ask students to
respond by drawing what they think the relationship is between the woman and the children.
- Ask students to imagine that they are in a car. They stop at a traffic light and a limousine pulls up next to the car
they are in. Ask students to draw who is in the limousine.
- Ask students to imagine that they are in a bank. All of a sudden a thief enters the bank. Ask students to draw
the scene.
- Lead discussion around the students different responses. Draw parallels between how each of us perceives
information differently depending on our own experiences and what we have been exposed to in our lives. Ask
if there are commonalities within the drawings related to the main actors of the statements.

Miro Drawing (retrieved from Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, & Ohio Department of
Education, 2002) (20)

- Explain to participants that they are going to look at what happens when communication is passed from person
to person.
- Ask for 4 volunteers. Have the volunteers numbered off one through four. Explain that you have created a
drawing (find below) that you will show to number one and it will be number fours job to draw an exact replica
of the drawing. One will only be able to talk to number two, two will only be able to talk to three etc. Each
person needs to do their best to communicate how to create the drawing so that all can be successful.
- Have the volunteers get out and come in one by one. The role of the rest of the participants will be to observe
carefully and note how things are distorted, which communication methods are most effective and which ones
are not.
- Bring out the original drawing and compare it with the one the participants created.
- Discussion:
o Which communication behaviors worked well, what didnt work well?
o Did people who repeated the direction back have fewer mistakes? Why is it important to restate or
check out what the other person is saying?
o Do we sometimes think we know what someone else means and therefore dont check it out and
later find out we were wrong?
o How is this exercise like rumors that go around the school?
o Even if some of the final version is exactly like the original, some of it isnt. When you hear a rumor,
can you tell what parts are true and what parts arent? What is the best way to check out a rumor?
Passing the ball around (10)

- Provide the students with a ball. The ball is passed around. When you clap once those with short hair cannot
touch the ball. When you clap twice those with short hair can participate again. The shortest person of the class
can grab the ball and not pass it whenever s/he wants.
- Discussion:
o How did you feel during the exercise?
o What were your emotions when you became unable to touch the ball?
o How difficult was it?
o How powerful was being part of the game the whole time?
o Did you think about how the others felt when you played the game?
o Can you think of any real life situations when some people can perform some activities, while others
cannot? Why do you think that happens?

Stereotypes and misunderstandings (20)

- Discuss definition of stereotype and fixed-form or image.
- Tell students to choose a group that is stereotyped in our society. Have students list stereotypical
characteristics of that group and list them on the board. You can repeat the same for two or three groups (i.e.
Philippines, Georgians, Turkish Cypriots).
- Ask students to think of stereotypes that others attribute to Cypriots.
- Discussion:
o Do you think that all the members of that group share those characteristics?
o How did you feel when you were thinking of how others think of you?
o Where do stereotypes come from? Are they true/false?
o What happens when we use stereotypes?
o How can we avoid using stereotypes?
- Stress the inaccuracy of stereotypes and encourage students to refrain from negative labeling.
- Present pictures of the target group that contradict the stereotypes (athletes, movie stars, singers, musicians,
politicians). Discuss how each person contradicts the stereotyped group.

Discussion (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 202) (10)

- How prevalent is racism in our society?

- Which groups suffer most? Why? Were the same groups targeted twenty or fifty years ago?
- Whose responsibility is to ensure that racism incidents do not happen in the society?
- Having to deal with racist incidents is important, but would it not be better not to need it in the first place?
What can and should be done to address the causes of racist behavior?

Action (10)

- Encourage the students to think of incidents that may be considered racist (i.e. physical harassment, verbal
harassment, disrespect, non-collaboration, jokes, ignoring, exclusion etc). Ask from the students throughout the
week to write down any incidents in their school they believe they are racist without using names. By
comparing the notes of the students, let the students decide if there is a problem in their school and find ways
to solve it (i.e. developing an anti-racist policy for the school).
Miro Drawing

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To relate human rights with disability issues.


- To realize the difficulties people with disabilities face to be fully integrated in the society.
- To understand that segregation of people with disabilities is a violation of human rights.
- To become aware of the exclusion of people with disabilities.
- To contribute to the promotion of equality and participation of all human beings in all the activities.


Olympic Oaths (20)

- Have two pieces of cardboards with the following quotes written on them.
(1)Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.
(2)"In the name of all competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and
abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in
the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams."
- Ask students to react on the above two quotes (for example, what feelings each quote creates, if there is any
difference between the two and so forth).
- Ask students to identify where the above quotes come from (quote 1 is the oath of the Special Olympics, while
quote 2 is the oath of the Olympic Games). If they are not able to do so, name the source.
- Discussion:
o Who has heard about Special Olympics? What do you know about the event?
o When do they take place?
o Have you ever watched/participated/volunteer in Special Olympics?
o Why there is such a difference between the two oaths?

The Loretta Claiborne Story (100)

- Explain to the students that they will see a movie about a Special Olympic athlete.
- Watch the movie.
- Allow time for discussion:
o What did you like from the movie?
o Why the story of this lady came to become a movie?
o In what ways that athlete has been inspirational for other people with disabilities? For people without


- Arrange with an elementary school a reading day where students from your classroom will become reading
buddies with elementary school students. The middle school or high school students can help the elementary
school students to read a book related to disabilities and discuss issues with them related to stereotyping and
overcoming it. A good book suggestion is Whats wrong with Timmy.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To relate human rights with disability issues.


- To realize the difficulties people with disabilities face to be fully integrated in the society.
- To understand that segregation of people with disabilities is a violation of human rights.
- To become aware of the exclusion of people with disabilities.
- To contribute to the promotion of equality and participation of all human beings in all the activities.


Special Olympics Athletes (90)

- Explain to the students that they are going to learn about famous athletes who won medals in past Special
Olympic Games by creating an exposition of biographies about past Olympians that they will use at a sports
event that they will organize at a later point.
- Students work in pairs. They look for information in the following websites and they create a poster about the
athlete they choose to display. Remind students to make obvious in their poster how their athlete has been
inspirational for other people with or without disabilities.
- Back into the plenary session students share their stories.


- Prepare students to organize a sports day in their school, where students with disabilities will participate as well.
The students should arrange which school to invite, how to modify the activities or provide accommodations so
that all the students with or without disabilities will participate, they can announce a competition for the mascot
of the event, and so forth. The Sports Day is better to include outdoor activities that need the collaboration of
the participants and build trust within them rather than competitive games which tend to be exclusive.
- Prepare students to organize a Youth Summit where students with and without disabilities, along with parents
and the community will discuss issues that bother young people or issues that bother the community. Students
must be responsible to define the details on how to invite people, what the agenda will be and so forth.

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To relate human rights with disability issues.


- To realize the difficulties people with disabilities face to be fully integrated in the society.
- To understand that segregation of people with disabilities is a violation of human rights.
- To become aware of the exclusion of people with disabilities.
- To contribute to the promotion of equality and participation of all human beings in all the activities.


Something May be Wrong with Special Olympics (60)

- Students work in groups.

- Distribute the handout Integration on the Playing Fields.
- Allow time for the groups to read and complete the worksheet.
- Back into the plenary session students share their results.
- Discussion:
o Is such an issue related to human rights? How?

Action: Writing a Letter (75)

- Students write a letter to the Olympic Committee suggesting of ideas to overcome the issues that were raised in
the article.
Read the following passage:

These new militants consistently demand full integration. This creates some often surprising
controversies, like the one over the Special Olympics.

By drawing 6 000 athletes from 94 countries, the International Special Olympic Games in Minneapolis
became the biggest sporting event in the world in 1991. 45 000 spectators at the gala opening ceremonies
took in the pageantry of athletes in brightly colored warm-up suits basking in the thrill and glory of
competition; 75 corporate sponsors poured millions of dollars into the event.

It was a far grander event than the first Special Olympics in 1968. Then, doctors had warned the
events creator, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, that the participants fragile hearts could not withstand a run of more
than 400 yards. But in Minneapolis, Savvas Vikelis ran a victory lap with the white-and-blue flag of his native
Greece wrapped around his sweat-soaked body after he won a gold medal in the 13.1 mile half-marathon. In
1968, the experts had warned too, that people with retardation could not swim. One old shibboleth was that
they had misshapen bodies and would sink to the bottom of the pool, recalled Sargent Shriver. There must
have been a dozen lifeguards around the pool at those first games. We didnt want a child to sink. He
pronounced the last word in a voice dripping with sarcasm. The lifeguards, he explained, were deployed to
assuage the lawyers worrying about liability.

in Minneapolis, there were signs that the Special Olympics was having trouble keeping up with the
new militancy of younger parents demanding full integration. There, many parents, like Barbara Gill and her
son Amar, boycotted the event. Barbara Gill objects to Special Olympics because it is a segregated and special
recreation that would place her son in a program with only other similarly disabled children. We have
separated people with disabilities into a shadow world, complained Barbara Gill. Its an imitation world and
it can never be as rich or meaningful as the real world. The Special Olympics, she argued, was just one more
separate but unequal place in the shadows.

When the Shrivers started the Special Olympics, recreational activity for disabled people was a rarity.
Then, 75% of children with retardation got less than an hour a week of physical education, says University of
Minnesota professor and recreational therapist Stuart Schleien. Today, however, parents like Gill complain
that the existence of segregated events like the Special Olympics only removes the pressure for creating truly
integrated programs. When Gills friend Sue Swenson asked her playground to help her multiply disabled 8-
year-old son, Charlie, play with his friends, she was told to send him instead to a segregated program, like the
Special Olympics. It just furthers the pity impulse to separate because its special, complained Swenson.

Schleien argues that separation in recreation is especially illogical, since physical ability is the one place
where people with retardation often match up best against all others. Schleien, for example, has successfully
integrated adults with retardation into a long-standing Minneapolis bocce league. Although for most people
the Special Olympics evoke images of cute children with Down syndrome struggling to cross a finish line, the
competitors also include adults, the clumsy, and the athletically gifted. Mental retardation does not
necessarily affect physical development, particularly among those with mild retardation.
Indeed, Special Olympics have gone on to fame by setting international track records, winning boxing
titles, and playing in the National Basketball Association and National Football League. One former Special
Olympian is one of the most widely recognized names in sports today. He declines, through a spokesman, to
talk about his participation. Past and present Special Olympics officials will confirm the accomplishments of
this athlete and others, but they refuse to make the names public, citing reasons of privacy. That there is such
a stigma to going public, argued Gill, is just one reason not to have separate games.

Jack Hourcade of Boise State University complains that the Special Olympics only masks the wide-
ranging abilities of people with retardation because it is a segregated event, with a childlike atmosphere
that includes huggers at the finish line, an appeal to charity, the use of yellow school buses to transport
athletes, and the presence of clowns at events.

At the Minneapolis games in 1991, Special Olympics organizers worked hard to dispel stereotypes.
Press officers pushed the stories of accomplished adult athletes, like 23-year-old Andrew Leonard, a 5-foot-tall
power lifter who could dead lift four times his weight; and Loretta Claiborne, a 36-year-old who had run 20
marathons, including the Boston Marathon. Special Olympics officials even handed reporters a guide to
proper usage of disability language. Despite their efforts, the media tend to cover the games as a feature
story, not a sporting event. So it was not the accomplished athletes who drew the cameras but the cute kids,
like the irresistible Chinese girl who thought the race was over halfway through and then, waving her little
American flag, joyfully jumped into the arms of a hugger.

The future of the Special Olympics may lie in its tentative acceptance of integration. In Minneapolis, a
concept called unified sports was on display internationally for the first time. About 4% of members of
bowling, volleyball, basketball, and other teams were not retarded. Unified sports matches up teammates of
roughly equal athletic ability. The idea first emerged in the early 1980s when a Massachusetts softball team
that pioneered the concept says the unified teams meet the ideals of integration: disabled athletes get
opportunities, and friendships develop. The result was a fairly skilled level of play, as high or higher as on any
coed softball league anywhere in America. Piazza says he has watched his teammates with retardation lose
their shyness and blossom both socially and athletically. Before that year, the Soviet Union, denying even the
existence of retardation in that country, declined to participate in the Special Olympics. But in Minneapolis,
the first Soviet team to compete was particularly curious about the unified events and announced it would try
this American innovation of mainstreaming back home.

Some Special Olympics critics, like Schleien, think unified sports is a step in the right direction. Others,
like Barbara Gill, remain skeptical. She argues it would be better to guarantee her son space in the real
world and the change to join any league along with his friends who are not disabled. It is not enough, she
says, for Amar to grow up having to rely on the willingness of some good people to be in the shadow world
for a while.

Retrieved from Shapiro, P. J. (1994). No Pity. People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement.
New York: Three Rivers Press (p. 175-180).
Why were there so many measures taken at the first Special Olympics?




From the above document find and write down the reasons that Special Olympics are being criticized
by some people with disabilities and their relatives.

1 ________________________________________________________________________________________

2 ________________________________________________________________________________________

3 ________________________________________________________________________________________

4 ________________________________________________________________________________________

5 ________________________________________________________________________________________

6 ________________________________________________________________________________________

7 ________________________________________________________________________________________

8 ________________________________________________________________________________________

9 ________________________________________________________________________________________

10 _______________________________________________________________________________________

What is an alternative provided by the document regarding the participation of people with disabilities
in sport events? Why is it also not accepted by some people?




Can you think of other ways to overcome the issues that have been brought up regarding the Special




Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To bring up domestic violence as one of the most common and least spoken about forms of violence.

Objectives (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 114):

- To become aware of domestic violence and learn about violations of womens human rights.
- To learn the skills of discussing and analyzing human rights violations.
- To promote empathy and self-confidence to take a stand against domestic violence.


Domestic Affairs (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 114) (70)

- Ask students to form 3 groups. Hand out the copies of the Crime witness report cards. There are three
different cards/cases but the same case may be given to more than one group. Also hand out a copy of the
Guideline for group discussions.
- Give participants five minutes to read through the crime witness reports. Stress that their discussions should be
focused on these case studies. Participants should be aware that discussions about these issues can be very
personal and that no one should feel under pressure to disclose more than they want.
- Allow participants time for group work.
- At the end, come into plenary and move on to the discussion:
o Which human rights are at stake?
o What are the causes of domestic violence?
o Why is it that there are more cases of men being violent towards women than of women being violent
towards men?
o How can domestic violence be stopped? What could/should be done by:
The public authorities? The local community? The people involved? Friends and neighbors?
o What other forms of violence against women have come up in the course of the discussion?

A World without Violence Against Women and Girls (retrieved from Cawagas et al., 2009, p. 84) (20)

- Play some positive music while participants sit quietly imagining a new world without violence against women
and girls. Give them some prompts to help take that first step: We need good laws, policies, and practices to
protect women and girls from violence, but good laws are not enough if cultural attitudes and beliefs do not
change as well.
- Ask the participants to tell you what they believe the world would be like if violence against women and girls
ended. Give some prompts to help them take that first step. For example, in a world without violence against
women and girls:
o Girl babies would be born in India and China.
o Girls and boys would have equal access to education.
o There will be no child marriage, or sale of bride.
o Consent of both partners will be taken in a marriage contract.
o There will be a blissful atmosphere at home.
o Divorce will be done in a respectable way.
o Women will be able to work alone at night.
o Women refuge centers will no longer be needed.


- Ask students to research and find out if there are any Conventions that are related to domestic violence or

The names of the characters have been changed to be more relevant with the environment that the lesson plans will be applied.


On November 1995 Marias husband arrived home slightly
drunk. He discovered that she and her daughter were Stephanie is a woman living in your neighborhood; she is
visiting a neighbor. He ordered them to come home married and has two small children. Sometimes her
immediately. husband gets angry and beats her, mostly with his hands
and fists. However, lately he has also resorted to using a
When they got in, he locked the door and told their belt and broomstick. Two months ago he broke a bottle
daughter: Im gonna have a little talk with your mother on her head. Stephanie wants to leave home but her
now. He got out an axe, a broom and a knife. husband threatens to kill her if she even thinks of it. She
has two young sons to look after and she is horrified at the
He started an argument with his wife, accusing her of not prospect of having to leave them.
having done any washing, cooking and other housework.
All the same time he kept beating her; he hit her head and Yesterday she reported to the local hospital with a broken
face with his bare hands. He tore out handfuls of her hair nose and bruises which, she explained, were caused by
and kicked her with his boots. Then he stripped the falling down the stairs.
clothes from her upper body and threw her on the bed
with the intention of beating her further.
All this happened in front of their 8-year-old daughter who
begged him to stop. Then he did stop. He threw Maria The analysis of the crime (20 minutes)
out of the bed and fell asleep.
1. What do you think of the crime as reported?
Maria died that night. 2. Where might such a crime have happened? Could
it be in your neighborhood?
3. Why has the crime happened?
4. Is there anything that could justify the crime?
5. How could the victim have defended herself?
Katia tried to escape from her fianc who was becoming
increasingly abusive. She found a flat to rent in another Transfer to social reality (40 minutes)
city but he kept phoning and harassing her. Katias mental
state deteriorated. 1. Do you know, or you have heard of any cases of
domestic violence recently?
One day the fianc went to get her after work to make her 2. What form does domestic violence take in our
move back. He took her to a nearby forest, where he tried society?
to strangle her with her pullover. The next day Katia told 3. What can the victims do if they need help?
her colleagues at work that she was afraid he would one 4. Should the police intervene if they hear of violence
day strangle and kill her. or should such intervention be considered as
interference in domestic affairs and should they
Four days later the fianc had a few drinks. Again, he allow time for the wounds to heal?
waited for her after work and when she came out he 5. What power does the woman have in such
started to beat her. In the evening, he decided they situations? What power does the man have?
should visit relatives. On the way they stopped the car 6. Do you know of cases of domestic violence in
several times. Katia, seeing the state he was in, agreed to which the man is the victim?
have sex with him but he was too drunk. 7. How can domestic violence be prevented and
Katia told her fianc that she was not interested in him 8. What could/should be done by the public
anymore. This made him very angry. He grabbed a long authorities/ the local community/ the people
leather belt and strangled her. He then pulled her dead involved/ friends and neighbors?
body into a ditch and covered her with tree branches.

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To bring up domestic violence as one of the most common and least spoken about forms of violence.


- To become aware of domestic violence and learn about violations of womens human rights.
- To make students aware that this is a phenomenon prevalent in their local community as well, even though it is
not spoken about.
- To promote empathy and self-confidence to take a stand against domestic violence.


Guest Speaker

- Ask a speaker from a NGO or the government to present to the students facts and figures about domestic
violence in your country.


- Prepare a photo exhibition about domestic violence. The students can arrange with the local community to hold
the exhibition at a place that can be seen by the public. Students can collaborate with NGOs. Different ideas
can be found at

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To address issues related to homosexuality and sexual rights.


- To be able to talk about a topic that is considered taboo in their local community.
- To become aware that sexual orientation is also a right.
- To promote tolerance and empathy.


Webbing of Homosexuality (10)

- Draw a circle on the whiteboard and write within it the word Homosexuality. Ask students to brainstorm
thoughts, ideas, words that are evoked by the word within the circle.
- Ask the students to look at the words written and see if they are mostly positive or negative. Why?

Bringing up all the questions about homosexuality or sexuality in general (30)

- Ask from the students to sit in a circle.

- Explain to the students that they can write on a piece of paper any questions they have about homosexuality or
sexuality in general. The papers should be anonymous.
- Collect the papers in a big bag and mix them. Draw one question at a time and read it loudly. Allow time for
discussion from the students related to the issue.

Frequently asked questions about homosexuality can be found at


Evaluation (5)

- Provide students with articles (an example can be found below). Students can choose one of those or any other
topic they want to present the following day. Explain to the students that their presentation should not exceed
the 3 minutes.
N. E. Whitehead, Ph.D.

A constant stream of media articles--several per year--assures us that there is a link between
homosexuality and biological features. These articles mention genes, brain structure, hormone levels
in the womb, ear characteristics, fingerprint styles, finger lengths, verbal skills...... and by the time you
read this, some others may have appeared. The headlines imply that people are born with tendencies
which infallibly will make them gay or lesbian, and that change of sexual orientation will be
Individually some of these pieces are not very convincing, but the sheer volume of them
suggests that they must amount to an overwhelming influence--or if not, further research will add to
them and make it so. This is not true either, and we see shortly that twin studies refute it.

Twin Studies
Twin studies in their modern form investigate both identical and fraternal twins, but this article
emphasizes studies of identical twins, which are sufficient for our purposes. Studies of non-identical
twins are detailed elsewhere (1).
Earlier studies mostly used informal or "snowball" samples of twins recruited from gay and
lesbian associations, and by advertisements (e.g. 2,3). Such studies are possibly biased by the
nature of twins who volunteer, but even so, if one identical twin was homosexual, only about half the
time was the co-twin concordant (i.e. also homosexual).
Better research, however, was based on twins who were recruited for other reasons, and only
subsequently asked about their sexual orientation. These are known as "registry" studies, and they
similarly gave a concordance rate between identical twins of less than 50%. There have been two
major published registry studies (4,5), one based on the Minnesota Registry, the other on the
Australian Registry. The larger of the two registry studies is the Australian one, done by Bailey, Martin
and others at the University of Queensland. Using the 14,000+ Australian twin collection, they found
that if one twin was homosexual, 38% of the time his identical brother was too. For lesbianism the
concordance was 30%. Whether 30% or 50% concordance (snowball samples), all the studies agree
it is clearly not 100%.
The critical factor is that if one identical twin is homosexual, only sometimes is the co-twin
homosexual. There is no argument about this in the scientific community.

Identical twins have identical genes. If homosexuality was a biological condition produced
inescapably by the genes (e.g. eye color), then if one identical twin was homosexual, in 100% of the
cases his brother would be too. But we know that only about 38% of the time is the identical twin
brother homosexual. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not
force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for
a few decades (e.g. 6) but has not reached the general public. Indeed, the public increasingly
believes the opposite.
Identical twins had essentially the same upbringing. Suppose homosexuality resulted from
some interaction with parents that infallibly made children homosexual. Then if one twin was
homosexual, the other would also always be homosexual. But as we saw above, if one is
homosexual, the other is usually not. Family factors may be an influence, but on average do not
compel people to be homosexual.
Twin studies suggest that as a class, events unique to each twin--neither genetic nor family
influences--are more frequent than genetic influences or family influences. But many individual family
factors (such as the distant father) are commoner than the individual unique factors. Unique events
would include seduction, sexual abuse, chance sexual encounters, or particular reactions to sensitive
events, when young. Everyone has their own unique path which only partly follows that of the
A fascinating sidelight on all this comes from the work of Bailey (7). His team asked non-
concordant identical twins (one was homosexual, one not) about their early family environment, and
found that the same family environment was experienced or perceived by the twins in quite different
ways. These differences led later to homosexuality in one twin, but not in the other.

Strength of Influences
At this point, some of you will be asking--what about the concordant identical twins who were
both homosexual? Could their genes have "made them do it"?
No. It can be a strong influence for a few, but even for those few, it is never overwhelming. The
record strengths for genetic influence on behaviors are 79% in a group of highly addicted women
cocaine addicts (8) and about the same or somewhat higher, for ADHD (9). Because those figures
are not 100%, even among addicts or those strongly pushed towards some other behavior, there is
room for outside intervention and change. Hence even if homosexuality is as addictive as cocaine for
a few individuals, their genes didn't "make them do it."
For perspective, it is valuable to compare genetic contributions to homosexuality with the
question - is a girl genetically compelled to become pregnant at 15? Her genes might give her
physical characteristics that make her attractive to boys - but whether she gets pregnant will depend
greatly on whether her community is Amish or urban, conservative or liberal, whether they use
contraceptives, and whether the parents are away for the evening.
So the influence of the genes is very indirect. We can see this by thinking further - if she was in
solitary confinement all her life, would her genes make her become pregnant? Of course not! Some
influence from the environment (in this case a boy) is essential! The effects of genes on behaviors are
very indirect because genes make proteins, not preferences.
So the results of identical-twin studies are critical in understanding the biological influences on
homosexuality. Only for physical traits like skin color are identical twins 100% concordant; otherwise
they don't necessarily follow either their parents' genes...or their parents' admonitions! In this,
homosexuality proves to be no different from such unrelated behaviors as violence, being
extroverted, or getting divorced. All may be influenced by genes, but not overwhelmingly determined
by them.

Future Biological Research

Will continuing research eventually find some overwhelming biological influences to produce
homosexuality, or find that added together, all the biological influences are overwhelming? No. The
twin studies prove that future research will never discover any overwhelming biological factors which
compel homosexuality.

Future Psychological Research

The complementary finding is just as true. There are many influences from upbringing, and
probably many we have not yet discovered--but however many we find, it will always remain true
(because the twin studies tell us so) that family influences will never overwhelmingly compel children
to be homosexual.
Childhood Gender non-conformity (essentially strong sissiness, rather than a diagnosis of GID)
is the strongest single influence ever found associated with adult homosexuality, but even this factor
is not overwhelmingly compelling. 75% of a sample of extremely "sissy" boys became homosexual
when followed through to adulthood (10). But we must remember they were so sissy that parents
were extremely concerned and referred them to the research clinic for help. Only a small percentage
of sissy boys from the general population become homosexual as adults (11). This is even more true
of other factors which have been researched and publicized in the media, and leads to a another
important rule of thumb: "Only a small minority of those exposed to any predisposing factor become
This may be a surprise to some clinicians, who may have found high percentages of sissiness,
tomboyishness or same-sex parent deficits in their clients. But that is a clinical sample - out in the
extra-clinical world, surveys show that only a small percentage of those with poor same-sex parent
relationships become homosexual. For whatever reason those factors have often become extremely
influential in such clients' lives and must be taken very seriously; but because they are minor factors
in the whole population, clinicians must not force everyone into the same box, which may be
uncomfortable, or simply not fit. They must be open to any unusual factor which has been important
for the specific client.
The scientific truth is - our genes don't force us into anything. But we can support or suppress
our genetic tendencies. We can foster them or foil them. If we reinforce our genetic tendencies
thousands of times (even if only through homoerotic fantasy), is it surprising that it is hard to change?
Similarly, we have a genetic tendency to eat, but it is possible to foster this tendency and overeat for
the pleasure it brings. If we repeat that often enough, we will not only reinforce a genetic tendency to
become overweight, but find that "starving" the habit takes a long time!
In summary:
1. No scientist believes genes by themselves infallibly make us behave in specified ways. Genes
create a tendency, not a tyranny.
2. Identical twin studies show that neither genetic nor family factors are overwhelming.
3. Conclusion 2 will not be altered by any research in the future.
4. We can foster or foil genetic or family influences.
5. Change is possible.

1. Whitehead, NE; Whitehead,BK (1999): My Genes Made Me Do It! Huntington House, Layfayette,
Louisiana. See also
2. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC (1991): A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 48,
3. Bailey, JM; Pillard,RC; Neale,MC; Agyei,Y (1993): Heritable factors influence sexual orientation in
women. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 50, 217-223.
4. Hershberger, SL (1997): A twin registry study of male and female sexual orientation. J. of Sex
Research 34, 212-222.
5. Bailey, JM; Dunne,MP; Martin,NG (2000): Genetic and Environmental influences on sexual orientation
and its correlates in an Australian twin sample. J. Pers. Social Psychology 78, 524-536.
6. West, DJ (1977): Homosexuality Reexamined. 4th ed. Duckworth, London.
7. Bailey, NM; Pillard,RC (1995): Genetics of human sexual orientation. Ann. Rev. Sex Research 6, 126-
8. Kendler, KS; Prescott,CA (1998): Cocaine use, abuse and dependence in a population-based sample
of female twins. Brit. J. Psychiatry 173, 345-350.
9. Rhee, SH; Waldman,ID; Hay,DA; Levy,F (1999): Sex differences in genetic and environmental
influences on DSM-III-R attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J. Abnorm. Psychology 108, 24-41.
10. Green, R (1987). The "Sissy Boy Syndrome" and the Development of Homosexuality. Yale University
Press, New Haven, Connecticut.
11. Bell, AP; Weinberg,MS; Hammersmith,SK (1981): Sexual Preference: Its Development In Men and
Women. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana.

Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To address issues related to homosexuality and sexual rights.


- To be able to talk about a topic that is considered taboo in their local community.
- To become aware that sexual orientation is also a right.
- To promote tolerance and empathy.


Presentation from Students (60)

- Students present their articles or the topics they have chosen to work on.

Sexual Rights in Cyprus (60)

- Ask students to find information regarding the Sodomy Law in Cyprus (or provide the information to the
- Examine the case Modinos vs. Cyprus that appealed at the European Court of Human Rights
- Discussion:
o Why did Cyprus keep the Sodomy Law for so long?
o Why did the case of Modinos not appeal to the Cypriot courts but went all the way to the European
o What are the implications from the decision of the European Court of Human Rights?
o How can changes on such issues be brought up?

Action (15)

- Students can contact the Cypriot Gay Liberation Movement to get more information or invite a guest speaker.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To promote awareness regarding human rights and responsibilities.


- To understand the differences between civil and political rights, and economic, social, and cultural rights.
- To increase vocabulary use related to the topic.
- To understand the interconnectedness of the human rights and their importance.
- To be creative in producing a product.


Word arrangement (retrieved from University for Peace, 2009b) (35)

- Divide the whiteboard on 5 columns and write the following headings on each column: civil, political, social,
economic, cultural.
- Distribute 2 or 3 word cards to each student (the words can be found on the document titled Words related to
Rights). Explain to the students that they have to go and place their cards underneath the appropriate column
on the board. If they are not aware of some of the concepts or words they can ask for clarifications from their
- Provide time for individuals to go and place their cards.
- Go through each column with the students. Allow students to ask for unknown words. Allow discussion on why
some of the words were included under a specific column.
- Discussion:
o Why there are different Conventions on the different rights?
o Do you think that civil and political rights are more important?
o What is the difference, if any, between the civil and political rights, and the economic, social and cultural
o Can you think of any rights that are not included in the 5 columns?

Singing Time (45)

- Ask the students to go and stand in front of one of the columns. Those will be the five groups that they will
work for the next activity.
- Distribute the International Covenant on the Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on the
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights to the groups according to the column they have chosen i.e. the group that
chose the civil rights gets the Convention on the Civil and Political Rights.
- Allow time for silent reading of the Convention.
- Ask students to agree upon one of the rights in the Convention.
- Explain to the groups that they will have to come up with a three-verse song related to the right they have
chosen. Distribute the hand-out Songs for Human Rights that will allow participants to develop a song.
- Allow time and space for groups to work on their songs.
- Back into the plenary the students present their songs.

Action/Evaluation (10)

- Explain to the students that each of the Conventions adopted by the United Nations Security Council is being
signed and ratified by the countries. For a State to sign a Convention means that it recognizes the Convention as
a valuable document that promotes human rights for all individuals, while ratification means that the State takes
the obligation to start the procedure of harmonizing the local laws with the signed Convention.
- Assignment: Visit the website and find out which
Conventions your country has signed and ratified. Prepare a small document (one page) revealing your results
along with rationale.
Words Related to Rights

refugee Holocaust Playground hijab

privacy genocide Vaccination trade unions

curfew education desaparecidos indigenous

abortion Guantanamo climate change https

atheism employment coffee break Ramazan

Buddhism fair trade double day tsunami

apartheid strike demilitarized x-ray


slavery torture Privacy guilty

marriage opinion elections property

Retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 405.
Songs for Human Rights

1. Questions for discussion:

a. Why is this human right important for humans?

b. Are there any cases of violation of this human right? Which population
suffers the most?
c. What are some ideas in order to promote this human right in the local,
national or global level?
2. As a group, present the result of your discussion in the form of a three-verse
song. Your song will need to include all the three elements discussed above.

Songs for Human Rights

1.Questions for discussion:

a. Why is this human right important for humans?

b. Are there any cases of violation of this human right? Which population
suffers the most?
c. What are some ideas in order to promote this human right in the local,
national or global level?
2. As a group, present the result of your discussion in the form of a three-verse
song. Your song will need to include all the three elements discussed above.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To enable youngsters to reflect on their own experiences and identify challenges they face.


- To develop imagination and creativity skills.

- To understand that human rights are not irrelevant to their own lives.
- To act upon the challenges they face.


Lets Make Video Clips (90)

- Ask participants to brainstorm difficulties/problems/challenges that young people in their country face. Assign
an individual to write down those in a place where is visible by all.
- Have participants identify and circle those difficulties/problems/challenges that relate with human rights (i.e.
participation of young people). If participants feel that they are all related to human rights lead a discussion on
why is that.
- Inform participants that they are going to make small video clips, like advertisements for television, in order to
inform the public about the challenges young people face in their lives.
- Number the difficulties/challenges brainstormed and ask participants to choose the one that they would like to
work on. Form groups according to the participants interests.
- Explain to the participants that they can use any form of expression they want, for example pictures,
dramatization and many more to create their video clip. You may need to devote some time to explain to the
students how to use movie-maker or any other sort of equipment they will use in case they are not familiar with.
- Students use movie-maker to make their video clips (this may take 3 or 4 sessions depending on the time
students can work in or outside the classroom).
- Back into the plenary, students show their video clips.

- Ask the students to identify ways that they can make use of their video clips. For example, they may organize a
night to show them to their parents or the local community, they may invite local authorities to share them and
so forth. Enable the students to proceed with their plan.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To address issues related to the rights of people regarding their cultures and development.


- To understand the role of culture in peoples behavior.

- To become open to multiple perspectives.
- To become aware of some of the social aspects of different cultures.
- To promote knowledge regarding the cultures of the people in their community.


Reba-Ambler Cross-Cultural Game (retrieved from Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management
and Ohio Department of Education, 2002, p. X ) (45)
- Explain that students are going to have an opportunity to experience living in a different culture for a short time.
They will either be members of the Reba culture or the Ambler culture. First they will learn about their own
culture, and then they will meet with the other culture.
- Have students read their handouts, and then meet within their cultural groups for five minutes to discuss their
culture (what they like to do, how they interact among them and with others, how they speak, if they have a
cultural motto etc).
- When both groups feel they know each other, read the following scenario: You attend the same school.
Classes are over and there is only one room available for the social hour. You are now together in this room.
This is your time to mingle and get to know each other. As you mingle keep the characteristics of your own
- Give students five minutes to mingle.
- Have the participants return back to their places. Let each group describe the other group (such as rude,
snappish, etc).
- Have representatives from each culture read the sheets aloud.
- Discussion:
o What did you notice about how the cultures saw each other and how they were described on the
handouts? (possible answer: the handouts were positive or neutral in tone, the other culture described
them in negative terms)
o Why did the descriptions come out so negatively?
o What assumptions did each culture make about the other?
o How could these have led to conflict starting or escalating?
o How could they have learned about each other and avoided misunderstandings?
o What things do you need to think about when you are talking to someone from a different culture?

Cultural Celebration (45)

- Provide time to students to organize a day or night to celebrate the different cultures that students from the
school come from. The parents of the students should be involved in the process, along with the community.
Ideas for the day/night can include:
o Presentations/posters regarding the places that students come from
o Traditional dances
o Traditional outfits
o Traditional recipes/cooking
o Teaching languages
o Traditional games or practices
o Inviting people from other cultures to the school to celebrate together and organizing a special activity
for that group related to the culture of that group

- Students can identify a cultural group that is prevalent in their communities and perform interviews to find out
about difficulties/problems they face in their lives or things that bother them or would like to change. According
to the results of the interviews, students can collaborate with that group to develop an action plan or a proposal
that can be distributed to the authorities.
- Participate with students in cultural events that are organized in their communities.
You are a REBA You are an AMBLER

About the REBA Culture About the Ambler Culture

Rebas are very friendly. Amblers stick to themselves. They enjoy

being with other Amblers.
Rebas are outgoing. They love to talk with
aliens. Amblers never start a conversation with a
stranger. They do speak when spoken to.
Rebas dont talk for a long time. They move
When they speak, they cross their arms.
on to the next alien.
Amblers are very polite. They say how do
Rebas like to shake hands. It makes them
you do and sir and madam. Too much
feel they have made contact. If an alien
touching is considered rude.
doesnt offer to shake hands, the Reba will
grab it. Among Amblers, boys are the weaker
gender. They are protected by Ambler girls.
Rebas put their faces right in the face of the
alien they are talking with. Ambler boys avoid eye contact with alien
girls, and they dont talk directly to alien girls.
Rebas are informal. Rebas think it is polite to
They talk through their protectors.
call everyone by their first names.
Ambler boys can talk to alien boys, if the
Boys and girls behave in the same way,
alien boys talk first. They can maintain eye
except Reba boys like to talk with alien girls
contact with alien boys.
best. And Reba girls like to talk with alien
boys best.

Rebas like to talk to as many aliens as

possible. They dont talk for long. A Reba
likes to say: I talked to many aliens. Now
they feel welcome.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To address issues related to the rights of people regarding their cultures and development.


- To understand the role of culture in peoples behavior.

- To become open to multiple perspectives.
- To become aware of some of the social aspects of different cultures.
- To promote knowledge regarding the cultures of the people in their community.


L affaire du voile (90)

- Read the following paragraph to the students: We are now in France and we are going to prepare for a
television show where different representatives will be given the opportunity to express their opinions about
the veil affair (l affaire du voile). This has been a debate regarding the wearing of the scarf in French public
schools. Between 1994 and 2003 around 100 female students were suspended or expelled from middle and
high schools for wearing the scarf in class. In nearly half of these cases, their exclusions were annulled by the
French courts. In December 2003, a law was passed that explicitly forbid any visible sign of religious affiliation.
The secularity law, sometimes referred to as the veil law was voted in by the French Parliament in March
2004. The law permits only discreet signs of faith, while it forbids any ostensible religious articles (i.e. the
Islamic veil, the Jewish kippa or the large Christian crosses). The television show will host individuals who hold
different opinions.
- Distribute the role cards to the students. The different roles are: TV moderator, French Muslims who wear the
scarf, French Muslims who refuse to wear the scarf, French people opposed to allowing the veil to be worn at
schools, French people who do not oppose the veil, human rights activists, educators who support or oppose the
veil, and religious leaders (the role cards can be found below).
- Allow time for the groups to prepare.
- Let the show begin.
- After the end of the TV show, back into the plenary, lead a discussion:
o How people felt in different roles?
o What the people learnt from the activity?
o Is this situation a clash of cultures?
o At what point situations like this become discriminatory and violate human rights of individuals?
o Was it easy or difficult to understand the other culture?
o In real life is it easy or difficult to be open to other cultures?
o Is it important to keep our cultures? Does globalization lead to loss of cultures?
o Do you think that cultures change or are static?

- Find out about a cultural event that is held within your country from immigrants or people who live in your
country but come from different cultures and participate in it.
Role Cards

French Muslim Woman Wearing the Veil

You are a French Muslim woman who wears the veil and you are an advocate of it. Your basic argument is that it is a
human right to be able to wear what you choose. You support that there is racism against Muslims, and veil discussion is
part of that racism. Wearing the scarf is part of your tradition, thus, you bring up the issue of respecting other traditions
and cultures. You also support that the western media promote a specific kind of women, which results in all women to
want to become part of that model. The veil provides you a way to be independent and respect your own entity.

French Muslim Woman Refusing to Wear the Veil

You are a French Muslim woman who refuses to wear the veil. Your basic argument is that it is a human right to be able
not to wear it, since most of the times women are pressured to wear it. According to your personal belief, the specific
tradition it is a result of the male superiority within the society, and thus, wearing it makes you feel suppressed. As a
woman you do have a voice and you raise it by choosing not to wear the veil.

French Person who Supports the Wearing of the Veil

You are a French non-Muslim person who supports that Muslim women can wear the veil if they want to. Your basic
argument is that forbidding Muslims to wear veils in schools becomes part of anti-religious practices on behalf of the
authorities. You also support that while other dominant religious such as Christianity benefit in other ways (i.e. public
holidays for Christian holidays), the specific tradition is not respected. You call that discrimination.

French Person Opposing the Veil to be worn at Schools 1

You are a French non-Muslim person who supports that the veil should not be allowed to be worn at schools. Your basic
argument is that wearing the scarf symbolizes a womans submission to men. You believe that permitting the veil in
schools risks opening the doors to other practices that exist in the Muslim world and can handicap even further the
Muslim women. Wearing the veil is not a free choice, but a result of social pressure (for example, if the law does not
forbid the practice of wearing the veil, social pressure may render it obligatory).

French Person Opposing the Veil to be Worn at Schools 2

You are a French non-Muslim person who opposes the veil to be worn at schools. Your basic argument is that women
who wear the veil display their religious and community affiliation, which harms the unity of your country. You support
that such a tradition makes separation between religious groups apparent, and as such promotes segregation and non-
integration. Practicing your traditions and cultural rituals is important for you, as long as they do not promote separation
of community members.
TV Moderator

You are the TV Moderator. Find the name of your show. Prepare a small introduction that explains todays topic to the
audience. First, allow equal time for each person/group to share their arguments/opinions. Then, allow time for a debate
between the groups. At the end, the audience can ask questions that should be addressed by your guests. Make sure
that no person or group monopolizes the time and that all persons and groups have a chance to openly express their

Muslim Religious Leader

You are a religious leader in the Muslim community. You support that the whole discussion about the veil starts from a
fear about Islamization of France. It is your opinion that Muslims are enforced to assimilate in the French culture, and
thus, Muslim communities experience violations of their cultural rights. The issue becomes even more important taking
into consideration that non-allowing the wearing of the veil at schools will gradually lead to more restrictions on the
expressions of the Muslim faith.

Christian Religious Leader

You are a religious leader of the Christianity, which is the majority of France. You support that religions should not use
symbols or other codes that may prevalent the religion of the individuals. According to your belief, the Christians use
symbols which are discrete, while the veil is not a discrete symbol. You do support that the veil should not be worn in
public spaces, and especially in the schools.

Educator who Opposes the Veil

You are an educator who supports that the veil should not be worn at schools. According to your belief, the veil is related
to terrorism, and as such it carries negative connotations, which most of the times lead to conflict between the students
and the isolation of those wearing the veil. You support that students are not allowed to wear anything that makes
strong statements about the students beliefs (such as hats), so why for the veil to be an exception?

Educator who Supports the Veil

You are an educator who used to have students who worn the veil in the past. You support that wearing the veil does not
cause any problems, once the school is supported by inclusive practices. Your argument is that is the educational systems
who fail to integrate individuals from different backgrounds, and that schools do not promote equity and multiculturalism
as they currently operate. You also support that forbidding the veil can lead students to drop out of schools.
Furthermore, it can be a practice that will exclude parents who wear the veil to enter the schools, disabling the family of
having an interest into their childs education.

Time: 45 minutes

Goal: To explore issues within their own cultures and society.


- To study their own culture in respect to other cultures.

- To become able to openly see other cultural groups within their own culture.
- To promote respect for the values and traditions of other cultures.


Forming groups (5)

- Before the start of the lesson, stick stickers of different colors underneath the chairs of the students.
- Ask the students to find the sticker underneath their chair and form groups according to the color of the sticker.

Your Own Country (45)

- Distribute the worksheet I study my own country (the questions were retrieved from Cawagas et al., 2009, p.
- Allow time for group work.
- In the plenary session allow time for sharing, questions, feedback and reactions.
- According to the results and discussion from the plenary session, allow students to think of actions that they
would like to take.


- Enable the students to proceed with the actions they came up with in the above activity.

What are the ethnic groups in your country? To which ethnic group do you belong?

What are the religions in your country?

Choose one of those ethnic groups to think about in depth. That group is _____________________________

What similarities do you observe among the group you chose and your group? Name at least 5 similarities.


What differences do you observe among the group you chose and your group? Name at least 5 differences.


What are the shared values among that cultural group and faith traditions in your community?


Time: 135 minutes (3 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To make students aware of figures which have promoted human rights in different ways.


- To learn about individuals who have fought to promote and protect the human rights of their fellow citizens.
- To promote interest for action and hope for change.


Forming Groups (retrieved from Cawagas et al., 2009) (5)

- Put five circles of five colors in five places in the classroom.

- Ask the students to go quickly to the places where their favorite color appears, but there should be only five
people in each group. If someone cannot go to the color which s/he likes ask the participants to go for the next
favorite color of that participant.

Human Rights Activists (130)

- Distribute one set of cards to each group about a human rights activist (the cards have been retrieved from
COMPASS, 2007, p. 132).
- Allow time for reading the cards.
- Inform the groups that they will have 50 minutes:
o To prepare an interactive activity that will enable their classmates to learn about the activist on their
o To prepare a poster about that activist. The groups can be creative when they are creating their posters.
The posters can be posted on the classroom walls or the school walls.
- After the groups complete their work, they show their results to the rest of the classroom.
- Discussion (retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 131):
o Which of the characters had people already heard of and which of them were new? Why were some of
the personalities better known than others?
o Were people surprised by any of the information? What did they find most impressive?
o Ask people to select the quotation with which they most strongly identify: how do they think they would
have behaved if they had been put in the same position as this person?
o What actions are available to people?

- Ask from students to choose a quotation they like the most (it can be said by those activists or other quotations)
and write it on a piece of paper. Ask students to decorate their piece of paper and put their quotation on the
classroom walls. Ask from the students to try for the following week to adjust their behavior to be along the
lines of their favorite quotation. Remind students throughout the week to revisit their quotation and think if
they have achieved something or what more they should do.
Retrieved from COMPASS, 2007, p. 132-134.

Nelson Madela Evgenia Ginzburg

I have fought against white domination, and I As a result of certain painful but at the same
have fought against black domination. I have time comforting encounters. I saw myself
cherished the ideal of a democratic and free how form the depths of moral savagery there
society in which all persons live together in suddenly arose the cry. Its my fault and
harmony and with equal opportunities. It is how, with this cry, the patient recovered the
an ideal to live for and to achieve. But if right to call himself a human being.
needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.

Born in a village near Umtata, and was elected Born in 1906 in Russia and died in Moscow in
President of the Republic of South Africa in 1977. Worked quietly as a teacher and
the age of 76. Up to that point and beyond- journalist until branded a terrorist by the
his life was devoted to the fight against Stalin regime in a fabricated trial. Spent 18
apartheid, the racist system used by the years in Siberian prison camps under
former white government to suppress the horrifying conditions because she refused to
majority black population. He suffered accuse others of crimes they did not commit.
various forms of repression: was banned from Spent the first year in solitary confinement in
meetings, forced to go into hiding, and was a damp cell, forbidden to exercise, speak,
finally arrested and sentenced to life sing, or lie down in the day. Later on she was
imprisonment at the age of 44. He spent the sent from one to another of the Siberian labor
next 28 years of his life behind bars, away camps including, as a punishment for
from his family and children. helping a fellow prisoner, the very worst, from
which few returned alive.

Martin Luther King Mahatma Gandhi

I have a dream that one day this nation will Non-violence is the greatest force at the
rise up and live out the true meaning of its disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the
creed: We hold these truths to be self- mightiest weapon of destruction devised by
evident: that all men are created equal. I the ingenuity of man.
have a dream that my four children will one
day live in a nation where they will not be
judged by the color of their skin but by the
content of their character.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1929, when the Born in 1869, to Hindu parents who lived in
law required blacks to occupy special seats in Gujarat, when India was still held by force in
buses, theatres and cinemas, and to drink the British Empire. He led the struggle for
from separate water fountains from whites. Independence, never straying from his belief
When he was 28, co-founded an organization in non-violent protest and religious tolerance,
of black churches that encouraged non- despite being arrested and imprisoned on
violent marches, demonstrations and boycotts several occasions. When Indians acted
against racial segregation. The organization violently against one another, or against the
participated in a protest in Birmingham, British Raj, he fasted until the violence ended.
Alabama, at which hundreds of singing school He led a 241 mile march across India, and
children filled the streets in support. The persuaded followers to accept the brutality of
police were ordered in with attack dogs and the police and soldiers without retaliation. He
firemen with high-pressure hoses. He was spent a total of 2338 days in jail in a life
arrested and jailed. tirelessly devoted to peace.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Ngawang Sandrol

We are not trying to destroy or annihilate Alas, this sad song in my mind I send to those
the military regime; they are always who help prisoners. These feelings in this
threatening to annihilate us but the dark season I will never forget the horrible
purpose of our movement is to create a tortures. May this present misery in prison
society that offers security to all our people, never be inflicted on any sentient being.
including the military.

Born in 1945, in Burma, she was the child of She is a Buddhist nun who believes Tibet
the assassinated national hero in the struggle should be independent from China, and who
for independence from colonial rule. Became was arrested for the first time at the age of 10
a popular leader of the struggle for by Chinese authorities. Her only crime was to
democracy against a cruel military regime and participate in a peaceful demonstration for
was nearly assassinated by an army unit the independence of Tibet. Was arrested
ordered to aim their riffles at her. Was placed again at the age of 15, and sentenced to 3
under house arrest for 6 years without being years imprisonment. The sentence was
charged with any crime, and was effectively extended first because she hang and
cut off from the outside world. Even when independence song in prison; and then again
released, the government prevented her from for 8 years because she shouted Free Tibet
seeing her dying spouse. In 2001 she is still while standing in the rain in the prison yard.
confined to her residence, with access tightly Today she has problems with kidneys as a
controlled and the telephone lines cut. result of torture she has suffered.

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To use students creativity to transform their environments.


- To identify elements in their lives which promote violence.

- To take action in order to transform elements which include violence into positive ones.


Lets be creative (90)

- Ask students to find examples from their community that resemble violence and transform them into peaceful
ones. Examples can be the following:
o Creating bookmarks to administer them in primary schools with the main heroes from cartoons as
friends (i.e. Tom and Jerry, Donald and his uncle Scrutz).
o Identify pop songs that either include violence or are discriminatory against a specific population and
change the lyrics (for example many pop songs refer to women as objects).
o Making a proposal for a peace museum, peace caf, and so forth.
o Creating a logo competition for the whole school to participate, where students can create a nice logo
for their school (in case there isnt one).
o Create peaceful drawings and messages on the walls of the school.
o Find graffiti in their neighborhoods and transform them into positive ones.
o Write childrens books with the traditional fairytales where the actors are friends (i.e. the wolf and the 3
little pigs).

Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To have students think of peace as an achievable goal that each individual is responsible for.


- To think of peace.
- To become aware that each individual has a responsibility for developing a culture of peace.
- To develop a sense of responsibility for building peace.


Peace (10)

- Ask students to draw on a piece of paper what comes into their minds when they hear the world peace. Allow
time for drawing and sharing.
- Lead a discussion:
o Is peace possible?
o Is the absence of war the same as peace?
o What are the essential elements needed in order to have peace?
o What is the responsibility of each and every one of us in creating peace in this world?

Poetry Time (35)

- Distribute a piece of paper with one word on it to each student. Each student gets a different word (i.e. love,
peace, friendship).
- Ask from students to write a poem related to the word they have or including that word into their verses.

Personal Goals (10)

- Distribute pieces of paper in the shape of leaves into the students.

- Ask from the participants to write a goal that they would like to achieve either within a year or in general in their
- Allow the students to put their goals on a tree that you have brought within the classroom.
- Allow those participants that would like to share their goal or their concerns regarding achieving their goals to
do so.
- Inform the participants that they can collaborate with you or other individuals in order to plan on how to work
toward their goal (in case individuals want to, personal appointments can be scheduled in order to enable
individuals to make their plans).

Action: Class Commitment (35)

- Explain to the students that they are going to make a document titled 10 things we can do to promote peace in
Cyprus as a class that can be binding for all the class members. Enable the students to facilitate the discussion
themselves (Note: no individual should be pushed to commit himself/herself, unless s/he really feels to do so).

Additional Activity

- Distribute quotes like the ones below with which students can organize a campaign by creating posters or other
means of expression
o Imagine if all money spend on army were spent on education or sports.
o Imagine if all people had food.
o Imagine if there was no war on this world.




Time: 90 minutes (2 X 45 minutes)

Goal: To enable students to think of the future as one that they can transform.


- To be able to think of the future.

- To promote responsibility for action to obtain the desirable future.


Quote (10)

- Share the following quote: The future is neither unseen nor unknown. It is what we make of it (King Khesar,
2008, p. 2).
- Ask for reflections from individuals.

World Map (40)

- Provide a world map that is drawn on a huge piece of paper and is empty (an example of such a map can be
found below).
- Explain to the students that they will create a collaborative collage, where they will illustrate how they would
like the world to be in the future.
- At the side of the map within clouds, ask the students to write the elements needed to achieve the world they
dream of.
- Allow time for creation.
- Allow time for sharing of feelings, concerns, ideas, disagreements, beliefs.
- Put the map on a visible side of the classroom or school.


- Ask students to join as volunteers into an NGO that operates in their country.

American Friends Service Committee. (2010). One Minute for Peace. Budget Details. Retrieved May 15, 2010

Amnesty International. (2005). Hotel Rwanda: Teachers Guide. New York: Amnesty International USA and
United Artists.

Boulding, E. (2000). Cultures of Peace. The hidden side of history. New York: Syracuse University Press.

, ., , ., & , . (2006). .
. : .

Caplan, G. (2000). Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide. In University for Peace, The Role of the Media in the
Rwandan Genocide. Costa Rica: University for Peace.

Caplan, G. (2009). The 1994 Genocide of the Tutsi of Rwanda (p. 19-23).

Cawagas, V. F., Toh S. H., & Kakar, N. (Eds.) (2009). Peace Education for Civil Society. Curriculum Manual for
South Asia and South-East Asia. San Jose: University for Peace.

COMPASS. Council of Europe. (2007). COMPASS. A Manual on Human Rights Education with Young People.
Hungary: Council of Europe Publishing.

Cronkhite, L. (2000). Development education: Making connections North and South. In Goldstein, T. &
Selby, D. (eds). Weaving Connections: Educating for peace, social and environmental justice. (p. 146-
167). Toronto: Sumach.

Doughty, C. K. & Ntambara, M. D. (2005). Resistance and Protection: Muslim Community Actions During the
Rwandan Genocide (p. 8-15). USA: Collaborative for Development Action.

Electronic Resource Center for Human Rights Education. (1997). First Steps: A Manual for Starting Human
Rights Education. London: Amnesty International.

Finken, H. (2004). Child Soldiers. Iowa City: University of Iowa Center of Human Rights.

Flowers, N., Bernbaum, M., Rudelius-Palmer, K., and Tolman, J. (2000). Introduction to Human Rights
Education. In The Human Rights Education Handbook. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Human
Rights Resource Center.

Freire, P. (2005). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Gollob, R., & Krapf, P. (1996). Exploring Childrens Rights: Lesson Sequences for Primary Schools. Strasbourg:
Council of Europe.

Haavelsrud, M. (1995). The substance of peace education. International Educator, 10(3), p. 29-33.

Hicks, D. (2004). Teaching for tomorrow: How can futures studies contribute to peace education? Journal of
Peace Education, 1(2), p. 165-178.

HREA. (2007). Educators Guide for Crimes of War. What the Public Should Know. Retrieved June 5, 2010

HRW Report. (1999). Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Retrieved May 20, 2010 from

King Khesar. (2008). Coronation of His Majesty King Khesar. The 5th Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan, November 7,
2008. Gross National Happiness. The Centre for Bhutan Studies.

Koenig, S. (2001). Human Rights Education for Social Transformation: Innovative Grassroots Programs on
Economic, Social and cultural Rights. In Barnhizer, D. (Ed.). Effective Strategies for Protecting Human
Rights: Prevention and Intervention, Trade and Education. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.

Kuperman, J. A. (2000). How the Media Missed Rwandan Genocide. First Quarter.

Lyras, A., Kotziamani, E., Votsis, E., & Moese, M. (in progress). A mixed methods assessment of the Sport
Education and Development Unit, which is a part of the at risk youth Doves Project. Project funded by

Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management, & Ohio Department of Education. (2002).
School Conflict Management. Resource Guide for Grades K-8. (Third edition). Ohio: ODE, OCDRCM.

Reardon, B., & Cabezudo, A. (2002). Learning to Abolish War. Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace. Rationale
for and Approaches to Peace Education. New York: Hague Appeal for Peace.

Sefa-Dei, G. (1997). Anti-racism education and Practice. Halifax: Fernwood.

Shapiro, P. J. (1994). No Pity. People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement. New York: Three
Rivers Press.

Tibbitts, F. (2007). The Rights Based Approach to Education. EENET Newsletter. (Bangkok, Asia Foundation).

UNESCO. (1986). Seville Statement on Violence. Retrieved May 2010 from

United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2007). International Plan of Action for
the Decade of Human Rights Education. Geneva: United Nations.

United States. Institute for Peace. (2008). Certificate Course in Conflict Analysis. Retrieved April 20, 2010

University for Peace. (2005). The Role of the Media in the Rwandan Genocide. Costa Rica: University for

University for Peace. (2009b). Foundation for Peace Education. Classroom Notes. University for Peace, Costa
University for Peace. (2010). Peace Education as a Strategy for Life. Classroom Notes. University for Peace,
Costa Rica.

University for Peace. (2010b). International Refugee Law Class. UNHCR materials. Photocopy, Costa Rica:
University for Peace.

University of Minnesota. (2000). The Human Rights Education Handbook. Effective Practices for Learning,
Action and Change. University of Minnesota: Human Rights Resource Center. Retrieved March 27,
2010 from

University of Minnesota. Human Rights Resource Center. (2006). Taking the Human Rights Temperature of
your School. Retrieved May 5, 2010 from


U.N. General Assembly, 53/243. Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace. Document
A/RES/53/243 (October 6, 1999). New York.

U.N. General Assembly, UDHR. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. December 10, 1948. Official Record.

U.N. General Assembly, CRC. Convention on the Rights of the Children. Document A/RES/44/25 (12
December 1989). New York.

U.N. General Assembly. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. (9
December 1948). Paris.

The following dates are considered important to be celebrated with the students by designing activities that
will engage the community as well.

September 18: International day of Peace

November 19: Word Day for Prevention of Child Abuse

November 20: International Childrens Day

December 10: Human Rights Day

The following calendar provides a detailed identification of all the days celebrated internationally (retrieved
from Minnesota, 2000).


January 1 Emancipation Proclamation

January 8 World Literacy Day

Third Monday Martin Luther King Day (born January 15, 1929)


Black History Month

International Friendship Month

February 1 Freedom Day

February 20 Non-violent Resistance Day


Womens History Month

March 8 International Womens Day

March 21 International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 22 World Day for Water


April 8 World Health Day

April 22 Earth Day, Arbor Day

April 23 World Book and Copyright Day

April 30 Holocaust Memorial Day


Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

Last Monday Memorial Day

Second Sunday Mothers Day

May 1 International Labor Day

May 1 Law Day

May 3 World Press Freedom Day

May 15 International Day of Families

May 16 UNESCO Day for Cultural Development

May 31 World No-Tobacco Day


Last Sunday Gay Freedom Day

3rd Sunday Fathers Day

June 4 UN Day of Innocent Children, Victims of Aggression

June 5 World Environment Day

June 15 Magna Carta

June 17 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

June 19 Juneteenth: for African Americans, a celebration of freedom

June 26 UN Charter Day

June 26 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 26 International Day in Support of Victims of Torture


July 11 World Population Day

July 26 Atomic Bomb Day


August 6 Hiroshima Day

August 9 International Day of Indigenous People

August 9 Nagasaki Memorial Day

August 12 International Youth Day

August 23 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition


Banned Book Month

September 8 World Literacy Day

September 15 International Day of Peace


Domestic Violence Month

First Monday Universal Childrens Day

First Monday World Habitat Day

October 1 International Day of Older Persons

October 2 Mahatma Gandhis Birthday

October 5 World Teachers Day

October 9 World Post Day

October 10 World Mental Health Day

October 12 Indigenous Peoples Day

October 16 World Food Day

October 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 24 United Nations Day

October 24 World Development Information Day

October 31 UNICEF Childrens Day


Native American Month

Divali: Indian Festival of Lights

1st Tuesday Election Day

November 9 International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism

November 11 International Day of Science and Peace

November 16 International day of Tolerance

November 20 Universal Childrens Day

November 24 Disarmament Week

November 25 International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


December 1 World AIDS Day

December 2 World Day for the Abolition of Slavery

December 3 International Day of Disabled Persons

December 5 International Volunteer Day

December 10 International Human Rights Day

December 15 Bill of Rights Day

December 29 International Day for Biological Diversity


(retrieved from Electronic Resource Center for Human Rights Education, 1997)


The student

Keeps the purpose or task in mind

Cooperates with other members of the group
Works without disturbing others
Acts courteously to all group members
Completes a fair share of the work
Helps find ways to improve group work


The student

Considers new ideas and activities

Tries new ways to do things
Puts facts before feelings in discussions
Changes conclusion in light of new facts
Bases judgments on fairness to everyone
Considers all sides of an issue
Recognizes stereotypes and prejudice


How do you rate yourself on the items listed here?

(1=very poor, 2=ok, 3=good, 4=very good)

Respect for others

Interest in others
Listening to others
Sticking to the job
Sensitive to others needs
Fair judgment of others
Cooperating with others
Thinking before acting
Being honest
Helping others
Admitting errors