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When Rights are Denied

Senior Years (Grades 9-12)

120 minutes

This program challenges students to witness a range of historical and contemporary world events as examples of what can happen when human rights are denied. Charters and declarations help to protect our human rights but require ongoing vigilance to prevent grave violations. Together, we investigate primary and secondary sources of evidence and interact in dialogue exercises to explore our own concepts of freedom and discrimination.

Students learn the central concept of inherent human dignity and how its denial has been used to justify serious human rights violations.

Students experience stories where people’s rights have been systematically denied using a digital interactive study table and oral history listening stations. The focus is on Canada’s residential school system, the transatlantic slave trade and the five genocides recognized by Canadian Parliament (Armenian genocide, Holodomor, Holocaust, Rwanda and Srebrenica).

Students participate in a film activity on the little-known story of anti-Semitism in Canada from about 1930 to 1945.  

Students discuss their thoughts and feelings about freedom and speaking out against discrimination. They take away a better understanding of the need for ongoing vigilance to protect human rights, here and around the world. 

Students celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary as they focus on the Canada 150 themes of diversity and inclusion, and reconciliation.