Due: Thursday, February 21st

Human Rights Definition:

A member of the Homo sapiens species; a man, woman or child; a person.

Rights: noun
Things to which you are entitled or allowed; freedoms that are guaranteed.

Human Rights: noun
The rights you have simply because you are human.

If you were to ask people in the street, “What are human rights?” you would get many different answers. They would tell you the rights they know about, but very few people know all their rights.

Human rights are based on the principle of respect for the individual. Their fundamental assumption is that each person is a moral and rational being who deserves to be treated with dignity. They are called human rights because they are universal. Whereas nations or specialized groups enjoy specific rights that apply only to them, human rights are the rights to which everyone is entitled—no matter who they are or where they live—simply because they are alive.

In ages past, there were no human rights. Then the idea emerged that people should have certain freedoms. And that idea, in the wake of World War II, resulted finally in the document called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the thirty rights to which all people are entitled.

[This text can be found on the United for Human Rights website]

"Definition of Human Rights Video | What Are Human Rights? : United for Human Rights." Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign: What are Human Rights? Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://www.humanrights.com/what-are-human-rights.html>.

Building Block Template:


  • Side 1: Image, title, & date(s) [clear and visible]
  • Side 2: What were the causes?
  • Side 3: Who was involved (i.e., countries, groups, people, etc...)?
  • Side 4: How did this event create change and/or conflict? [Short Term]
  • Side 5: Why is this topic important (i.e., did it pave the way for another event?) [Long Term]
  • Side 6: Works Cited

Human Rights "Building Blocks"

  1. Code of Hammurabi
  2. 10 Commandments
  3. Cyrus the Great
  4. Confucius
  5. Roman Republic
  6. Pericles in Ancient Greece
  7. 12 Tables
  8. Four Vedas
  9. Natural Law
  10. Muhammad’s teaching of religious tolerance, charity, and equality in the Qur’an
  11. Magna Carta
  12. The Iroquois Constitution
  13. British Bill of Rights
  14. Montesquieu’s “Spirit of the Laws”
  15. Rousseau’s “The Social Contract”
  16. Declaration of Independence’s idea “all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
  17. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
  18. Declaration of the Rights of Women
  19. U.S. Bill of Rights
  20. Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women”
  21. Indian Removal Act
  22. Treaty of Nanking
  23. Dred Scott v. Sanford
  24. Emancipation Proclamation
  25. 13th Amendment
  26. 14th Amendment
  27. 15th Amendment
  28. The Berlin Conference
  29. Dreyfus Affair
  30. Plessy v. Ferguson
  31. Armenian Genocide
  32. Aboriginal Ordinance
  33. The Pan-African Congress
  34. 19th Amendment
  35. Snyder Act
  36. Russian Purges
  37. The Crimes of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Regime
  38. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms”
  39. Executive Order 9066
  40. Mahatma Gandhi protest
  41. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  42. Apartheid in South Africa
  43. Brown v. Board of Education
  44. Omnibus Civil Rights Bill
  45. Nelson Mandela’s conviction and sentence to life in prison by the South African Government for protesting the apartheid
  46. The Stonewall Riots
  47. Title IX
  48. Roe v. Wade
  49. The Americans with disabilities act
  50. Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  51. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue
  52. Genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan

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