This Toolkit is released as an online beta version. Teachers are invited to share their experiences in using this Toolkit by emailing one of the project contacts.

Learning Activity

Besides the projects, the learning activity (a shorter classroom-unit) is an alternative for the teachers to integrate Holocaust Education and Human Rights Education in their day-to-day-teaching with a smaller amount of time.

Learning activity “What Have You Done? What Do You Do for Human Rights?”

Download Learning Activity (pdf)

Author:
Dr. Peter G. Kirchschlaeger
Co-Director
Centre of Human Rights Education (ZMRB)
University of Teacher Education Central Switzerland Lucerne
Bellerivestrasse 19
CH- 6006 Lucerne
Switzerland
Tel: +41(0)41 228 47 33
Fax: +41(0)41 228 47 31
Email: peter.kirchschlaeger@phz.ch
Website:
www.humanrightseducation.ch
www.humanrightsforum.ch
www.luzern.phz.ch

 

Project Description and Didactic Objectives

In 1948, humanity found a consensus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect all human beings and their freedoms and their dignity – an inspiring invention! Today, we have to state that still every day many human rights violations occur. Different actors contribute to these violations. Different factors are part of this prob-lem which is emphasized by globalization. Unfortunately the private sector plays a problematic role as well. The learning activity “What Have You Done? What Do You Do For Human Rights?” isn’t about pointing the finger on somebody, because all of us are complicit of human rights violations.  (e.g. as consumers of products which have been produced under conditions violating human rights, …). It’s about human rights as a responsibility of the entire society. Companies – like other institutions – can contribute to the implementation of human rights. At the same time, they can violate human rights.

In the learning activity, students research about delinquent and complicity of companies contributing to the Holo-caust and about compensation-measures by these companies after the Holocaust. After this first phase, students look in a second phase for today’s activities of the same companies in favor of and against human rights. In a third phase, they connect the results of this first phase with the results of the second phase and look for alterna-tive labels and companies which give the consumers the possibility to avoid being complicit of human rights violations.
This learning activity aims to sensitize students for the Holocaust and the role of the private sector and for human rights today, the positive and negative contributions of the private sector and the responsibility and power of them as consumers to act for human rights.

Program outline
Duration: 480 minutes                                        
Research of delinquent and complicity of companies contributing to the Holocaust and
of compensation-actions by these companies after the Holocaust: 240 minutes                
Research of today’s activities/measures of the same companies in favor of and against human rights (eventually interaction with companies about the activities/measures): 120 minutes                 

Alternatives and labels respecting human rights/responsibility of the consumer:     120 minutes

 

Step-by-Step Work Plan in Chart Form

Task

Time

Materials

Preparation by Teachers:

Search for accurate sources on delinquent and complicity of companies (ev. with a local, national or regional link to the school) contributing to the Holocaust in:

archives

Internet

Literature

2 hours

 

Learning activity

1. Research of delinquent and complicity of companies contributing to the Holocaust on the fundament of indicated sources (if possible companies whose products are directly linked to students’ contexts (e.g. PCs/Laptops, clothes,…)

120 minutes

Sources

Internet Access

2. Research of compensation-actions by these companies after the Holocaust on the fundament of indicated sources

120 minutes

Sources

Internet Access

3. Research of today’s activities/measures of the same companies in favor of and against human rights

- search of the mission statement of the company on the internet

- search of participation in programs like the UN Global Compact (www.globalcompact.org) on the internet

- search of NGO-reports and media articles on the human rights performance of the company on the internet

analysis of the identified documents with the following questions:

- Are human rights parts of the mission statement of the company?

- Which human rights the company tries to address?

- Which measures does the company take to contribute to the realization of human rights?

- Does the company violate human rights? If yes, which ones?

Is the company aware of its own human rights challenges?

 

Preparation of a factsheet for the other students and distribution

 

(eventually interaction with companies about the activities/measures):

Request of a phone conference (20’)

Preparation of a questionnaire for a phone conference with the communication department of the company based on the main questions above

Phone conference (20’) with the communication department

Debriefing of the phone conference (report about the results of the conversation and comment by the students)

10 minutes

 

 

10 minutes

 

30 minutes

 

 


45 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
25 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

5 minutes


30 minutes

 

 

20 minutes

 

35 minutes

Sources

Internet Access

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (Amnesty International provides small booklets with the UDHR in different languages for free: www.amnesty.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Access to a phone

 

 

 

4. Alternatives and labels respecting human rights/responsibility of the consumer:

search of alternative products or labels respecting human rights on the internet

(option: identify some labels beforehand for the research of the students and distribute them)

Analysis and evaluation of the labels through the following criteria:

- access to information for the consumer

transparency about origin of the products

- transparency about the conditions of production

- transparency about the suppliers

- transparency about the salaries

- transparency about the ecological impact

- design and production of a poster about the label with facts and the evaluation

 

Visit of the poster-exposition with short presentations by the groups

 

Personal reflection on the topic “Where can I personally in my consumer-life make a difference in favor of human rights today?” (short essay)

20 minutes

 

 

 

 

(5 minutes)

 

 

30 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 minutes (depending on the size of the group)




20 minutes

Sources

Internet Access

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posters, pens

 

 

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