Step 1

Exploring our own ideas and perspectives on human rights


  • To provide an opportunity for participants to explore their own thoughts, ideas and feelings around the concept of Human Rights
  • To explore Human Rights in Ireland and internationally
  • To explore how individuals ‘value’ rights

Activity 1: Human Rights?

  • Organise a general ‘brainstorm’ around the term ‘Human Rights,’ inviting all participants to say what first comes into their head when presented with these two words – encourage discussion and debate around the feedback.
  • All feedback should be encouraged and accepted at this initial stage. Record feedback on ‘post-it’ notes and place on a flip chart/board in no particular order.
  • Discuss the information on the ‘Post it’ notes and arrange on the flip-chart/board into different groups of ideas. Note any agreement/disagreement for discussion later.

Outcome: to determine the general understanding of Human Rights within the group and have an initial listing of ideas and issues, some for further enquiry and discussion.

Activity 2: Everyday Rights

Organise groups of 3 to 4 people and give each group Worksheet 1 (PDF). The facilitator should be ready to provide any help or stimulus to participants in this activity.

Alternatively: – Make a large a copy of Worksheet 1 on a flipchart and ask each group to verbalise their responses, or use pictures/illustrations from newspapers/magazines to illustrate responses. Note the rights issue(s) identified beside each picture/illustration.

  • Ask each group to feedback their responses to the larger group and encourage a general discussion
  • Lastly, have each group select a ‘rights’ situation they identified in this activity and to prepare a brief role-play or scenario on the issue

Outcome: to reinforce the idea of ‘Human Rights’ through greater involvement and personal identification of the issues.

Activity 3: Valuing Rights

  • Ask participants to rank the ‘top 3’ rights they ‘value’ as the most important to them. The following questions can assist in stimulating the discussion: What rights would you least like to lose? Why? What effect would losing a right have?
  • Use this feedback and information gathered in earlier activities to generate a list of rights in some order of priority considered important to ‘everyday’ life.

Outcome: to enable participants to connect how their rights fit into every day life.