On Tuesday, 20 February 2018, our Grade 6 students had a chance to attend the Human Rights Symposium here at ISB which was organised as a part of their 'Human Rights Unit'.
The goal of this unit was for students to understand how poverty, natural disasters, dominance by a single group, and disempowering cultural practices can create circumstances where human rights may be threatened and/or violated. Sustainable resolutions to human rights abuses usually develop through a combination of the understanding, actions and will of those whose rights are being abused, and of external supporters who provide power and resources.
After this unit, students should be able to understand that everyone has a role to play and shares responsibility in protecting human rights. The students should also be able to get in the mindset of other people and gain the understanding that even though some struggles are not a part of their lives, it doesn't mean that they don't exist. An important element of this unit is Service Learning. During these sessions, students have the chance to apply their understandings of human rights in authentic contexts.
The final product of this unit will be an 'Investigative Report Video' in which groups of students look at different companies and analyse how these different organisations protect or violate human rights. To make this video, students started with learning the basic vocabulary associated with this theme and became familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also examined different literature on this topic. Then, they went on to research the different contexts and actions of their chosen companies while considering multiple perspectives using different reliable sources of evidence.
The Human Rights Symposium had been organised to enrich students' research and help them view and understand external perspectives on this topic from people who are directly involved with organisations that fight for protecting people and their basic human rights.
The invited guest speakers are a part of the ISB community, including our external partners as well as current ISB parents. The speakers represent organisations such as Human Rights Watch, Mothers at Risk, Blue Turtle Center in Calcutta, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in United Arab Emirates, and more. Students had a chance to listen to the first-hand experience of our speakers and interview them. The keynote speaker, Lotte Leicht (European Union Advocacy Director and Director of Human Rights Watch), delivered an inspiring speech full of important insights and stories about her experience with human rights violations.
The final Investigative Report Videos will be presented by the students in the upcoming weeks during a small ES Human Rights Film Festival where Grade 6 students come together and look at the final work of the different groups. Children should be able to showcase a deep understanding of this issue and exhibit international mindedness that is an integral part of our international community.