Sunday, November 18, 2007


In Term 3 we studied Human Rights. Here are some pictures that I selected that represent Human Rights...

In Term 3 we studied Human Rights. We learnt about refugees,
the problems they face, why
they flee and how they flee. As part of this, we read as a class, Boy Overboard, by Morris Gleitzman. This story is about a boy named Jamal (11), his younger sister Bibi (9), and their parents. They live in Afghanistan where there are many landmines planted under the surface of the desert, and girls aren't allowed to go outside unaccommpianied by a male relative. The government in Afghanistan also forbids fizzy drink, music and soccer, which is Jamal's life! Jamal's mum runs a school for the village kids, which is also forbidden. When the government finds out, Jamal's family is forced to flee. He hopes that one day he can come back and he and Bibi can show the government their soccer skills, then maybe the government will let his family come back and live in Afghanistan. But when practicing his soccer skills outside one night, Bibi joins him and does an amazing kick.....................right through their front door. Just then their house blows up! The government had planted a bomb in their house. Luckily, no one was inside. In the middle of the night, Jamal's father takes Jamal and Bibi far away. Without Mum. Jamal's father goes to find their mum and Jamal and Bibi stay the night an in old, abandoned shop. The soccer stadium is just down the road, and in the morning many people are heading towards it, so as Jamal and Bibi's father hasn't come back, they go too. But it isn't a soccer match after all. A government truck drives onto the pitch and unloads Afghani women held captive. Soldiers hold guns to their heads, when one of the women gets up and runs. Instantly, Jamal and Bibi recognise their mum, but the soldiers are catching up. Suddenly, an old taxi - Dad's illegal taxi - drives up, helps their mum to safety, and drives off. Jamal and Bibi run after them.

When they finally find each other again, they hide in the back of a truck while the driver takes them out of Afghanistan. He drives them to a refugee camp, where they stay for a couple of of days, until their father pays some officers to get them to Australia. First they go to the airport. It's night time by then. Along with some other refugees, they stowaway in a plane. The plane flies them to the coast, where two ferries await to take them to Australia. There is along wait, so Bibi and Jamal play soccer. They get separated from their parents in all the hustle and bustle, and are put on the wrong boat. They meet a girl named Rashida who looks after them. One day, the sailors sail away on another boat, leaving everyone alone in the middle of the sea. They get robbed of anything valuable by pirates, until some Aussies rescue them and take them to what is apparently Australia. There, Jamal and Bibi learn that the other boat was shipwrecked and their parents died. Then news came in that there were survivors, and yes, Jamal and Bibi's parents had survived. They arrived on the island, for that is what it was. It wasn't Australia at all. The people of Australia had voted not to let refugees in. The story ended there, when Jamal and Bibi had been reunited with their parents, not been killed and escaped the government of Afghanistan.

We all did activities on what we had read, and the best of these went onto a Boy Overboard blog.

We also realised there was a sequel to Boy Overboard, named Girl Underground. Bridget's family are criminals. She starts at a posh boarding school, where she meets Menzies, son of a politician, who communicates with, and worries about two kids in a detention centre, named Jamal and Bibi. They break into parliament to try and persuade the prime minister to free them, but he reckons that they are locking them up for the people of Australia. Together Bridget and Menzies attempt to rescue them with the help of Jamal's dad (who was let out of the detention centre) and Bridget's dad. So they drive to Canberra. A news reporter interviews Bridget, 'The Parliament Girl'.

When the guards don't let the two dads into the detention centre, Bridget and Menzies start digging a tunnel under the fence in the middle of the night, when they are found out. By Jamal's dad and Bridget's dad. After much persuading, the two fathers help to dig, when they really are found out! Politicians, including Menzies dad arrive. Then news reporters come, followed by many Australian people. By 'The Parliament Girl's' interview the previous day, many people start to feel persuaded, until the only ones who want tto keep refugees in the detention centre, locked up, are the government, so they are forced to agree. The refugees don't escape the detention centre, but it becomes a better place. Because two young kids cared.

As an individual study, we each had to focus on an issue of Human Rights. I focussed on Poverty in Darfur. We developed some questions, and found the answers. Here is what I found out:
Half the world live on less than $2 a day. Less than 1% of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000, and it didn't happen. 1 billion children around the world live in poverty. 640 million people don't have adequate shelter. 400 million people don't have access to safe water. 270 million people don't have access to health services.

In groups of 4, we chose a topic from Human Rights that was a problem in our community, and took action to help it. My group addressed people in need of clothes. All our planning went onto a group wiki. You can visit this wiki at: To see the planning that other groups did, click on their group's name in the navigator.


The three most important things that I learnt from this investigation were:

1. There is a huge crisis in Darfur. The government supports the Janjaweed, a malitia group.

2. As part of the fighting, villages are attacked, causing villagers to become refugees. They flee to camps.

3. In the camps, they make makeshift shelters out of grass and torn grass e.t.c. but these do not stay up very long.

Two main articles from The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights that are being violated in this situation are and why:

The right to adequate living standard is being violated when the refugees are living in poor conditions in the camps. Also, freedom from interference with family, privacy e.t.c. is being violated when the Janjaweed attack the villages.

This is how I believe rights and responsibilities are linked after this research:

The people who have had to flee have had their rights violated, do we have a responsibility to help them? Do the charities that help them have a responsibility too?

Score: 5

Inquiry Learning - Human Rights - Community Rights Issue Reflection

Can you have rights without responsibilities?

1. What was the community issue that your group decided to investigate? Poverty: Need for clothing.

2. Why did you feel that you needed to do something about it? I felt that I needed to do something about this issue because all humans have equal rights; some of us have had them denied, others haven't. Why?

3. Using a copy of the Declaration of Human Rights, write the articles below that relate to your community issue. Give a reason for each. * The right to adequate living standard (#25) because anyone who doesn't have proper clothing doesn't have necessities and doesn't live adequately. * The right to equality (#1) because we always have clothes to choose from, but others don't. This isn't fair! We're all humans - and everyone of us deserves to be treated equally.

4. Name three things you found out in you research on community issues that are an example of needs or right not being met. * Yes, there are people in our community who don't live like us. * We don't often stop to think about other people that would give anything for some of the things that we take for granted, * although it's true.

5. Describe one thing that you learnt about planning and carrying out a community action (e.g the order in which you do things, making sure that each group member had a designated job, getting permission, planning events e.t.c.) We had a lot to prepare. First we rung the Salvation Army to confirm a date and time to deliver our donations. Our teacher then put together a permission slip for us to take home and get signed.

6. What are some things that you know now about people and their rights as human beings? Although every human deserves to be treated equally, a lot aren't. A lot of us don't spare a thought for those suffering people.

7. Choose 2 Human Rights articles from the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights and write them on the lines below. For each article, write one responsibility that people need to take to ensure that the right is met for all people. * (#1) Right to equality - We, who live in good conditions can help those that are less fortunate. It's up to us to donate e.t.c. and do whatever it takes. * (#5) Freedom from torture and degrading treatment. For example, refugees. They have a responsibility to look after their children, as do we, to look after them.

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