Human Rights and Refugees

Tuesday 2/27/18

Today’s Objective(s): SWBAT

  1. Explain the differences between refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), asylum seekers and (regular or irregular) migrants;
  2. Describe the root causes of why people are displaced from their homes.

Do Now – 2 minutes

Discuss with your table group the following prompt:

What is a refugee?

LESSON – 50 minutes

Today we’re beginning an exploration into the human rights of Refugees. It’s my personal opinion that the movement of people all over the globe is going to increase in the coming years. And whether these people are refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, or something else, human rights will remain a fundamentally important issue.

By exploring the rights of refugees, we’ll be better able to understand human rights from the perspective of others.

Introduction on Human Movement

Before we get much deeper into this topic, let’s get clear on some definitions. Please write the following terms into your notebooks on page 23.

  • Refugee

    A person who cannot return to their own country because they would be at real risk of persecution or other serious human rights violations. Their situation is so perilous and intolerable at home that they have crossed national borders to seek safety. Precisely because it is too dangerous for them to return home, they need sanctuary and protection somewhere else.
  • Asylum

    Asylum is granted by a State to individuals who cannot be returned because they would be at risk of persecution or other serious human rights violations. Asylum encompasses a variety of elements, including non-refoulement, permission to remain on the territory of the asylum country, respect for human rights and eventually a long-term solution.
  • Asylum Seeker

    An asylum-seeker is an individual who is seeking international protection. An asylum-seeker is someone whose claim has not yet been finally decided on by the country in which he or she has submitted it. Not every asylum-seeker will ultimately be recognized as a refugee.
  • Internally Displaced Person

    Internally displaced persons are persons or groups of people who have been forced to leave their homes. They have left as a result of, or in order to avoid, the effects of armed conflicts, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and they have not crossed an international border.
  • Stateless Person

    A person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law”. In simple terms, this means that a stateless person does not have a nationality of any country. Some people are born stateless, but others become stateless.
  • Migrant

    A person who moves mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, business or other reasons. Unlike refugees who cannot safely return home, migrants face no such impediment to return, even if there is a lack of economic development in their country of origin. Confusing refugees and migrants can have serious consequences for the lives and safety of both groups. We need to ensure that the human rights of migrants are respected and they are not unfairly treated and that individuals needing international protection, refugees, can access it.

We’ll discuss these as a group to ensure everyone has the definitions.

Closing – 0 minutes

No closing today


Please respond to the Basecamp Message Board item titled Homework: Tuesday 2/27/18

The content and activities discussed on this post either come directly from, or were inspired by, the EdX course called “The Rights of Refugees“, which was created by Amnesty International.

Unit Objectives

  1. Identify the 30 human rights, prioritize among these rights, and articulate why human rights are important to them as individuals
  2. Apply understanding of human rights to new situations
  3. Demonstrate the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective
  4. Synthesize understanding about existing HRs, and about HRs issues in our community to develop new, relevant ideas that connect to our community

This Week’s Agenda


Finishing up some Bill of RIghts work/discussion


Beginning to explore the human rights of refugees





Quote of the Week

“The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”

Eudora Welty


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