Subject: Civic Education
Lesson Objective: by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
1. Explain the meaning of UDHR
2. Give a brief historical background of UDHR.
3. Explain the seven core freedoms of
4. State the roles of individuals and groups in UDHR.
5. Explain the role of government in UDHR.
MEANING OF UDHR
UDHR is an acronym for Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. It is concerned with definitions of civil and political rights (including the rights to life, liberty, and a fair trial) as well as definitions of economic, social, and cultural rights (including the right to social security and to participation in the cultural life of one’s community), all of which are adopted by UN member states.
THE SEVEN CORE FREEDOMS OF UDHR
1. Right to life, liberty and security of the person: Everyone has the right to live and to live in freedom and safety. Everyone has the right to be free from unlawful or arbitrary arrest, detention or deprivation of his or her liberty. Everyone is entitled to protection against violence, physical injury, threats and intimidation by State officials or private individuals, groups or institutions.
2. Right to non-discrimination, equality before the law and equal protection by the law: All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law, including protection against discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, citizenship, sexual orientation, etc. Everyone should enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights on an equal basis: No discrimination of any kind should be made. Everyone has the right to be recognised as a person before the law.
3. Right to freedom of movement and to choose a residence: Everyone has the right to come and go as he or she wishes within his or her country. Everyone has the right to leave and return to his or her country. This right
is subject to very few limitations.
4. Right to freedom from forced Labour, slavery, slavery-like practices and servitude: Everyone has the right to be free from forced labour, unless it is a lawfully imposed punishment for a crime. Everybody has the right to be free from slavery, slavery-like practices, including debt bondage and forced or servile marriage, and servitude.
5. The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association: Everyone has the right to form a trade union or join one that already exists. Everyone has the right to strike as long as it is exercised lawfully. Everyone has the right to organise and to attend peaceful meetings. No one should be forced to belong to a group.
6. Right to freedom of thought, conscience or religion: Everyone has the right to practise his or her religion freely, to change it, and to practise it either individually or with other people.
7. Right to freedom of opinion and
expression: Everyone has the right to speak his or her mind, provided it is done in full respect of the rights and reputations of others.
This includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart infomation.
HISTORY OF UDHR
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was
the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international
community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World
leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every
individual everywhere. The document they considered, and which would later become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was taken up at the first session of the General Assembly in 1946. The Assembly reviewed this draft Declaration on Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and transmitted it to the Economic and Social Council “for reference to the Commission on Human Rights for consideration.
In its preparation of an international bill of rights.
The Commission, at its first session early in 1947, authorized its members to formulate what it termed “a preliminary draft International Bill of Human Rights”. Later the work was taken over by a formal drafting committee, consisting of members of the Commission from eight states, selected with due regard for geographical distribution.
The Roles of Individuals in Promoting UDHR
The first provision stresses the role of individuals and Non-government Organizations (NGOs) in making the public more aware of human rights issues, through education, training,
and research. The following are the roles of individuals in promoting UDHR:
1. Giving financial support to human rights abuse victims.
2. Individuals are expected to become
conscious of their rights as citizens and be ready to claim it.
3. Have respect for the right of their fellow beings. Individuals should not abuse the right of others.
4. Willingness to report cases of human rights abuse to necessary authorities.
5. Joining human rights groups to promote respect for all human rights.
6. Casting their vote during election to political parties which believe in
protection of human rights.
7. Individuals should be ready to acquire
more knowledge about human rights.
The Roles Of Government In
Governments are obligated to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights reiterates this obligation, and sets a common standard of achievement toward the effective recognition and observance of human rights.
Below are roles played by government in UDHR:
1. Conduct investigations into cases of human rights violations: States have the obligation to conduct exhaustive and impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations, in order to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators. The Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders emphasises this by outlining the obligations to conduct a “prompt
and impartial investigation” or inquiry whenever there is “reasonable ground” to believe that a violation has occurred.
2. Take all necessary measures to protect human rights defenders against violence, discrimination and retaliation: In carrying out their work, human rights defenders need to be assured of effective protection against violence, retaliation, or discrimination. The increasing need for such protection has been illustrated by the numerous attacks on human rights defenders in recent years.
3. Promote human rights through
education and training: Human rights training and education are crucial to promoting a better understanding of human rights within a society. Under various human rights treaties, states have a duty to adopt measures to promote human rights through teaching, education, and training.
1. What do you understand by UDHR?
2. Write a brief history of UDHR.
3. What are the seven core freedoms of UDHR?
4. As a Nigerian citizen, what are the roles you can play to promote the development of UDHR in Nigeria?
5. List and explain four roles of government in promoting UDHR.
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