5 Resources to Explore on International Human Rights Day

Posted by Adam Strom on December 9, 2014

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. Below are five resources that help make connections between struggles for human rights from history and our own lives today.

1) Human Rights Timeline

Explore key dates and issues in human rights history.

2) Eleanor Roosevelt and the Declaration of Human Rights


In this video, scholar Allida Black discusses Eleanor Roosevelt's expanding views on civil rights and her courage to confront the disparity between World War II rhetoric in the United States and its racial discrimination at home. Black also describes Roosevelt's ideological and strategic challenges in her role as the chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. You can download our guide Fundamental Freedoms: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights free.

3) Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention

Born in 1900, Raphael Lemkin devoted most of his life to a single goal: making the world understand and recognize a crime so horrific that there was not even a word for it. Lemkin took a step toward his goal in 1944 when he coined the word "genocide"—destruction of a nation or an ethnic group. He said he had created the word by combining the ancient Greek word genos (race, tribe) and the Latin cide (killing). In 1948, nearly three years after the concentration camps of World War II had been closed forever, the newly-formed United Nations used this new word in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a treaty that was intended to prevent any future genocides. Download a free case study of Raphael Lemkin with lesson plans, primary sources, and connection questions that challenge us to think deeply about what it will take for individuals, groups, and nations to take up Lemkin's challenge.

4) Eleanor Roosevelt's Cold War Dilemma


Watch author and Emory University Associate Professor of African American Studies discuss Eleanor Roosevelt’s struggle to balance her support of civil and human rights with domestic and international politics and policy during the Cold War.

5) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Today


How did the Universal Declaration of Human Rights come to be? In this video, Mary Ann Glendon, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and author of A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, talks about the origins of the pivotal document, and its meaning and role in our world today.

What resources do you use to teach about human rights? Comment below.

Topics: Books, Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Video, History

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