How to Talk to Your Kids About Human Rights

December 6, 2017 | Teresa

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Human Rights Day-chalking of the steps
Photo Credit: University of Essex on a CC License

Each December, we celebrate Universal Human Rights Month, a time to celebrate our common humanity as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, the Declaration outlines 30 inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to regardless of where you come from.

Although most children have a very strong sense of what is right versus what is wrong, how do you explain something as complex as human rights to your child? Do not worry, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to introduce the topic to your little ones.

1. Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Together

A great starting point is to read all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is available in over 500 languages. As you go through each article, be open to discussion and be prepared to answer any questions. For some great kid-friendly versions, try reading these books together.

We Are All Born Free
Every Human Has Rights
Dreams of Freedom

2. Play a Game Together

Playing a game together is another great way to introduce a complex topic to your child. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg has developed some engaging games for children from kindergarten to Grade 12 that focus on our rights and responsibilities as human beings. Try playing Fishing for Rights and Responsibilities with your younger children, or Draw it Right with older children. Once again, leave plenty of time for questions and discussion when playing these games.

3. Encourage Your Budding Activist

As human beings, we have the responsibility to protect everyone's human rights. Try encouraging your child to do the same by reading about other activists who have fought for what they believe in.

A is for activist
The Youngest Marcher

As always, if you are looking for more resources on how to teach your child about human rights, you can always come to one of our 100 branches and speak to our friendly staff. We are here to help!