Print this Email this Leave a comment

Teaching about human rights: curriculum resources from Amnesty International

19 January 2009, 10:59PM

DVD cover
Photo © Harrison Mitchell

Dear colleagues

Greetings from the Human Rights Education team at Amnesty International.

The first edition of our newsletter for 2009 profiles a wide range of curriculum resources on human rights designed for both primary and secondary levels:

Editions of this newsletter during the rest of this year will cover themes including: · What are human rights? · the campaign for a Human Rights Act for Australia · Student leadership and volunteering, · Active citizenship and · Indigenous rights, including a major focus on the Northern Territory Intervention.

As you prepare for the school year, we hope that you find the resources below useful!

Note: if you do not already receive this newsletter by email, you can subscribe by adding your name and email address under 'Stay Informed' - see top of the next column on this page.

Best wishes

Ann Vitale, Don McArthur and Warren Prior

DVD: "Human Rights in Focus" - available in all Australian secondary schools

Human Rights in Focus includes three short films about human rights, supported by curriculum resources and worksheets. A copy of this DVD, developed by Amnesty International in the UK in 2007, has been sent to every secondary school library in Australia.

  • Justice For Dad tells the powerful human stories about people imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay and their families.
  • Over To You: three Amnesty youth groups get creative, running campaign activities across the UK.
  • Human Rights Human Wrongs features a thought-provoking studio debate: young people discuss key human rights concepts with experienced Amnesty International campaigners.

Year level: 9-12 | Learning area: SOSE/HSIE, Legal Studies, Civics and Citizenship | Publication date: 2007

Back to top

"Human Rights today" - book and online resources

Human Rights today has been developed by Curriculum Corporation for Amnesty International Australia for use by teachers and students in years 9 and 10. The resource focuses on issues including: · child labour · the rights of Indigenous people in Australia · the rights of women and girls · human rights and conflict · taking action for human rights

Year level: 9-10 | Learning area: SOSE/HSIE, Legal Studies, International Studies, Civics and Citizenship | Publication date: 2007

Back to top

Film Curriculum Guides from Amnesty International USA:

These film guides include:

  • War Dance: a documentary film that follows students from war-torn northern Uganda to the National Music Festival in the nation's capital, Kampala. This powerful and uplifting film addresses many human rights issues that are integral to conflict, from internally displaced persons to child soldiers while highlighting the role that music and dance plays in these children's lives.
  • The Kite Runner
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • Blood Diamond.

Year level: 9-12 | Learning area: see details in each guide.

Right Here, Right Now: teaching citizenship through human rights

Right Here, Right Now is a downloadable resource with a wide range of materials designed for use in citizenship education in years 7-9 ("Key Stage 3" in the UK).

The resource links human rights concepts with everyday experiences and enables teachers to examine human rights issues such as identity and diversity, rights and responsibilities and child poverty.

Back to top

Year level: 7-9 | Learning area: SOSE/HSIE, Civics and Citizenship | Publication date: 2008 published by the British Institute of Human Rights.

Resources for Primary teachers

These resources from Amnesty International Ireland include:

  • The Right Start: human rights for children aged 4-7
  • Lift Off: for children aged 8-10
  • Me, You, Everyone: rights and responsibilities: for children aged 9 - 11

Back to top

School Action packs

This year Amnesty International will be releasing a series of school action packs for students to take action to support human rights.

For details, visit our School Action Groups page.

The first for 2009 has just been released. It features:

  • Sorry: one year on
  • the campaign for a Human Rights Act for Australia
  • International Women's Day
  • Planning activities for the year - resources for Amnesty International school groups/ social justice groups

Back to top

Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

A resource pack developed by Amnesty International Ireland on themes including:

  • What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
  • How can we apply the UDHR to everyday life?
  • Giant Steps: how can people operate in societies where rights are denied?
  • What kind of world would it be if the rights in the UDHR were not respected?
  • How are individuals and society affected when rights are denied?
  • Who are the human rights activists?
  • What can be done to make a difference?
  • Action Project

Online support materials for this resource include · teacher notes ·worksheets ·role cards and ·case studies.

Year level: 7-9 | Learning area: SOSE/HSIE, Civics and Citizenship | Publication date: 2008

Teaching about China, or about sport in the ancient world?

Amnesty International Australia's China, the Olympics and Human Rights resource was developed to coincide with the 2008 Olympics, however it contains materials of continuing interest such as

  • Internet censorship (for example the case of Shi Tao, a journalist gaoled for sending an email after Yahoo! disclosed his details to the Chinese authorities)
  • the history of the Olympics, addressing issues of sport and human rights
  • rights defenders in China
  • issues such as the death penalty and detention without trial.

Year level: 7-10 | Learning area: SOSE/HSIE, Civics and Citizenship | Publication date: 2008

Back to top


Comments are submitted by members of the public and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Amnesty International Australia. If you find a comment objectionable please contact us.


Julie Liddle
22 December 2011, 07:35PM Notify the web editor

Sometime ago my children were involved in making a film for Amnesty which dramatised a reversal of the Stolen Generation - white children being forcibly removed from their family by an aboriginal official. I was told it was to be incorporated into an internationally produced DVD on Human Rights. I have never heard any more about it and never seen it although we were promised a copy. Can you tell me which DVD this would be?


Lachlan, Amnesty International Web Team
5 April 2011, 01:25AM Notify the web editor

Hey Kate, Thanks for your enquiry. We are currently working on a large resource package on Indigenous Peoples Rights. The audience is middle-senior secondary school, however some of the activities and resources referenced in the materials may be of use. These resources will take at least a few months to finalise. You'll be able to find them at when they are available. If you'd like to be notified when they are published, you can sign up to the Amnesty education mailing list: We do have some general human rights materials for Year 6 students including "Lift Off: Human Rights Education for primary level" which you can find here: I hope this is of some use Kate, Lachlan, Amnesty International Web Team.


Kate Frewin
30 March 2011, 04:32AM Notify the web editor

Hello, Would it be possible for you to send me some copies of any resources that would assist me to teach change in the 20th century especially focusing on the rights of Indigenous Australians and Women. This is in line with the new Australian Curriculum and the students are in Year Six. Cheers, Kate Frewin.


11 February 2009, 09:13PM Notify the web editor

Hi Fiona Thanks for contacting us We'd be happy to send you the materials we have already sent out to schools Please send your details to [email protected] Cheers Don


Fiona Hippolite
10 February 2009, 12:40AM Notify the web editor

I am writing on behalf of the Wellington Home Schoolers Assocation. We have a library that over 100 families have access to for primary and secondary resources. Would it be possible to have a copy of each of the school kits for our library?

Page 1 of 1 pages


Submit a comment