Human Rights

Lesson Plan: Human Rights

Lesson Plan: Human Rights

Topic: Key Topics and Contemporary Issues: Human Rights

Week #: 11

Estimated Time: 150-180 minutes

 

Assigned Readings:

  1. Bellamy, Alex J. 2017. “Protecting People.” In International Relations, Stephen McGlinchey, ed. Adapted by Katherine Michel. (16 pages, core reading)
  2. United Nations. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Available at https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html. (8 pages printed, briefing)
  3. Glanville, Luke, David Carment and Joe Landry, and Michael Aaronson. 2014. “Syria Teaches Us Little about Questions of Military Intervention,” “R2P in Syria: Regional Dimensions,” and “Syria and the Crisis of Humanitarian Intervention.” In Into the Eleventh Hour: R2P, Syria and Humanitarianism in Crisis, Robert W. Murray and Alasdair McKay, eds. (12 pages, news piece)
  4. Choose one of the following documentaries (news piece):
    1. Frontline. 2007. “On Our Watch.” PBS documentary. Available at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/darfur/.
      1. Note: This documentary has a corresponding optional worksheet resource.
    2. Frontline. 2004. “Ghosts of Rwanda.” PBS documentary.
      1. Note: This documentary is not available to stream online, but is available in many libraries.
    3. Frontline. 2019. “The Trial of Ratko Mladic.” PBS documentary. Available online at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-trial-of-ratko-mladic/.

 

Total page count: 28 plus 1 online text (36 pages if all printed)

Online documentary, option a: approximately 55 minutes

Online documentary, option b or option c: approximately 1 hour, 55 minutes

 

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  1. Define human rights.
  2. Identify where and how international law and institutions address human rights.
  3. Analyze the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in select cases.
  4. Evaluate factors contributing to the successes and failures of UN peacekeeping operations.

Misconceptions of Topic:

  1. Students may have preconceived notions that some states are inherently “good” or “bad” at protecting human rights (e.g., they may broadly see democracies as “good”).
  2. Students tend to think that human rights are universally shared or recognized by countries/cultures/governments.

 

 

Lesson Component

Ancillary(ies)

Lecture: Review learning objectives

Lecture slides

Lecture and discussion: What are human rights? How has the international community sought to protect human rights legally?

Readings 1 and 2

Lecture slides

 

Think-Pair-Share: UDHR

Reading 2

Lecture slides

Lecture and discussion: How has the international community sought to protect human rights institutionally?

  • Formal bodies: OHCHR, UNHRC
  • Informal institution: R2P

Reading 1

Lecture slides

Activity: Responsibility to Protect (R2P)--comparing Libya and Syria

Readings 1 and 3

Worksheet 1

 

The full resolution used in worksheet 1 is available online at https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_60_1.pdf

 

Optional documentary about Syria:

Lecture and discussion: Given that human rights violations continue to occur, what tools does the international community use in response?

  • Institutions to address specific vulnerabilities
  • Peace operations, part one (failures)

Reading 1

Documentary (resource 4)

Lecture slides

 

 

Current data on UN peacekeeping operations is available online at

https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/data.

Lecture, online video, and discussion: Evaluating UN operations--Why is protecting people so difficult?

Readings 1 and 3

Worksheet 2

Lecture slides

 

Online video resource (approximately 5 minutes, from 7:27-12:33):

Frontline. 2018. “UN Sex Abuse Scandal.” PBS documentary. Available online at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/un-sex-abuse-scandal/.

Lecture and discussion: Given that human rights violations continue to occur, what tools does the international community use in response?

  • Peace operations, part two (successes)
  • Transitional justice measures

Reading 1

Lecture slides

Conclude and wrap-up

Lecture slides

 

 

Required Readings: Human Rights

Contents:

Introducing the readings:

This unit's readings provide an introduction to human rights. The Bellamy (2017) core reading (adapted by Katherine Michel) offers a broad overview. Among other things, the chapter defines human rights, plots key positions in the debate about protecting human rights, discusses norms of human protection, and provides examples of initiatives related to human rights (e.g., peacekeeping, transitional justice measures). The second reading, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), connects this unit to the previous unit on international law and provides a basis for students to answer this question (posed in lecture slides): How has the international community sought to protect human rights legally?

The three short pieces by Glanville (2014), Carment and Landry (2014), and Aaronson (2014) introduce questions surrounding humanitarian intervention in the cases of Libya and Syria. These readings review the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and provide an opportunity for students to assess the applicability of R2P in two cases (see worksheet #1).

This required "reading" in this unit also includes a documentary (instructor choice), which will provide an in-depth look at an additional case. If the instructor chooses either "On Our Watch," a documentary produced in 2007 about Darfur (see optional worksheet #3), or "Ghosts of Rwanda," the documentary will facilitate discussion of peacekeeping failures. If the instructor chooses "The Trial of Ratko Mladic," the documentary will facilitate discussion of transitional justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).