Social Justice Stories

building compassion, tolerance, and responsible citizenship through social justice narratives

Human Rights

Do you know your rights? Do you know your responsibilities?

As a member of a community, you are entitled to a long list of human rights designed to protect and keep you safe. However, along with those rights comes great responsibility. It is up to all of us as community members to make sure that everyone is protected and has the opportunity to stand up and be heard. Ordinary children are at the heart of each story included in the Kids' Power Series. Kids just like you doing extraordinary things by acknowledging their responsibility as individuals to protect the liberties of all community members. Remember, the fight for human rights starts in your own community.

The activities below start with Introducing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, giving you the opportunity to reflect upon how human rights apply in your own life and to consider the relationship between the Convention and our collective responsibility as a community to protect the rights of everyone. You can then use what you have learned to examine the Violation of Children's Rights in your Kids' Power Series book selection. How did the children depicted in the story react to these violations of their human rights? Rights and Responsibilities gives you the chance to explore the ways in which they stood up, not only, for their rights but also accepted the responsibility to speak out on behalf their community. The final activities in this section ask you to further reflect upon the idea of community, those depicted in each of the Kids' Power Series as well as your own. What does it mean to be a Responsible Community Member? and Our Own Communities are designed to prompt discussion related to your beliefs about your own power to make choices, to make informed decisions, and to participate in active citizenship.

We are all entitled to human rights. However, we also have the responsibility to make choices that protect and ensure that those rights are extended to all members of our community.

As you work your way through this section and start looking at the activities listed in the next section, Social Injustice, reflect upon the following questions:

  • What are your rights as a community member?
  • What are your responsibilities as a community member?
  • What choices are you making to ensure everyone's rights are protected?
  • What choices could you make to help protect human rights in your community?