Human Rights In The News:
Identifying Human Rights Issues In Daily Life

(from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Resource Notebook)
(Source: Nancy Flowers, AIUSA Human Rights Educators' Network)

This activity is especially effective following an initial introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It provides further practice with the content and opens the question of how conflict in rights can be resolved.


* newspaper pages
* large sheets of paper
* tape or glue
* scissors


  1. The participants are divided into small groups. Each group receives a newspaper or pages from a newspaper and a sheet of poster paper.

  2. Each group constructs a poster using items from the newspaper grouped under these categories:

  3. human rights practiced
  4. human rights not achieved/human rights denied
  5. human rights protected
  6. human rights in conflict
  7. Participants should be encouraged to look not only for news stories but also for small features such as announcements and advertisements (e.g., the language of the paper itself illustrates the right to language and culture; advertisements can illustrate the right to private property; reports of social events may illustrate cultural rights; and personal columns can reflect many rights in practice).

  8. Participants identify the UDHR article(s) related to their newspaper clippings and write the numbers on or next to the clippings.

  9. A spokesperson from each group explains the group's selections.

Further Discussion:

* What categories were easiest to find? Hardest? Why?

* Did some articles of the UDHR come up more often than others? Some not at all?

Further Activities:

  1. Ask participants to compare coverage of the same events in different newspapers and/or different media (e.g., radio, magazines, TV). What differences can they observe in importance given the story? In emphasis of features of the story? Are there different versions of a single event?

  2. Ask participants to watch a news program on TV and write down the topics covered and the amount of time given to each topic.

  3. Compare your results. What conclusions can you draw about priorities given various topics in television coverage?