We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures
Amnesty International. 2008.

For Every Child: The UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child in Words and Pictures

by Carolyn Castle. Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2001. Fourteen rights have been re-worded and interpreted in art by famous illustrators for children.

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan
by Gregory Christie. Lee and Low Books, 2006. Based on the real-life wanderings of the “lost boys” and their eventual rescue. (Ages 6-10)

Beatrice’s Goat
by Page McBrier. Atheneum, 2001. The real-life story of how Beatrice Biira, living in poverty in a rural area of Uganda, was able to realize her deepest wish—to go to school—after her family was given a goat by Heifer International.

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea
by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth. Dial, 2009. A picture book version for children of Three Cups of Tea.

If the World Were a Village
by David Smith. Kids Can Press, 2002. By reducing the world to the size of a village of only 100 people, the author presents in simple terms the numbers of people denied basic human needs and rights. (Primary Grades-Adult)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Illustrated.
United Nations, 2008. Beautiful illustrations help readers understand the importance of human rights. Suitable for all ages.


Stand Up for Your Rights
by Paul Atgwa, Ed. Chicago, World Book, 2000. Through photos, cartoons and accounts of young people’s experiences, this volume introduces students to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and provides background on the United Nations. (Grades 5-12) Available in the UN Bookstore.

Children’s Rights (Series)
Smart Apple Media, 2005. Books in this series look at issues affecting children, such as their right to education, healthcare, a home and safety, through first-hand accounts of children in various parts of the world. (Grade 4 and up)

In the News (Series)
Sea to Sea Publications. 2004-2005. Titles in the series include “Children’s Rights,” “The Role of the United Nations,” and “Globalization.” (Grades 4 and up)

Child Soldiers
by Leora Kahn. Brooklyn, NY Power House Books.  This site has a number of books and films related to child soldiers.

Dream Freedom
by Sonia Levitin.  NY. Harcourt, 2000. Fiction/Children in Sudan.

Respecting Cultural Differences
by Susan Watson. North Mankato, MN:Smart Apple Media, 2003. A brief overview in photo-essay format of cultural differences, including race, religion, social class and gender issues. Chapters on “respecting differences” and “being global citizens.”

Homeless Bird
by Gloria Whelan. Harper Collins, 2000. Koly, an Indian girl of thirteen, left widowed after an arranged marriage to a sickly boy, is abandoned by her cruel mother-in-law in a strange city among throngs of other white-sari-clad widows. Through courage, hard work and good fortune she is able to work out her hopes for her future. (Grades 5-9) Also, Goodbye Vietnam—A story of the dangerous voyage of a family fleeing war-torn Vietnam in a small boat.


The Sea is so Wide and My Boat is so Small. Marion Wright Edelman.
Adult. Reflects on progress in the last 40 years on improving conditions for children in the US in such areas as health insurance coverage, increasing adoptions etc. Available through the Children’s Defense Fund

Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
by Mary A. Glendon,2001. (Grades 7-12)

The Bite of the Mango.
by Mariatu Kamara. A memoir –  describes the author’s experiences overcoming horrific adversity in Sierra Leone. (young adult)

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
by Tracy Kidder. Random House, 2004. The life story of a doctor who traveled the world to bring the tools of modern medicine to those who needed them most, especially in Haiti.

Free the Children: A Young Man Fights Against Child Labor and Proves that Children Can Change the World
by Craig Kielburger with Kevin Majors. Harper Perennial, 1998. Available in the UN Bookstore. A Canadian 12 year old documents trips through Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal, India and Pakistan to free modern children from slavery. Named Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Forty Ways to Raise a Non-Racist Child
by Barbara Mathias and Mary Ann French. Harper Perennial, 1996. Available through the UN Bookstore.

Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind.
by Suzanne Fisher Staples. Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. A novel about a young girl in Pakistan whose happy childhood ends when she is betrothed at age eleven and beaten by her father to force her into marriage to an older man. Haveli, the sequel, depicts her life as a young mother in the new household. In Under the Persimmon Tree set in the mountains of Northern Afghanistan, Najmah watches in horror as the Taliban kidnap her father and older brother. (12 and up.)


Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World
by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, Eds. Rethinking Schools, 2002.
A rich anthology of articles, discussion materials and classroom activities focusing on the interconnectedness of issues in a globalized society. Bibliography and websites. (Grades 7-college)

“Review of Books on Human Rights”
by Jennifer De Forest. Harvard Education Review, Fall 2004, pp. 340-346. An extensive and informative essay on the human rights movement.

The Human Rights Handbook: A Global Perspective for Education
by Liam Gearon. Trentham Books, 2003. A handbook for educators, giving background on the human rights movement from the founding of the United Nations to the present.

Guide to Educator Resources. Facing History and Ourselves This is a complete catalogue of wonderful booksand films, which can be borrowed online, along with study guides on a wide variety of human rights issues, going back in history to The Way West series (Native Americans), the Great Depression, the Holocaust, Japanese internment during World War II, to , ‘culture shock’ –the uneasy role of the arts in society, the Civil Rights Movement (Eyes on the Prize series), homophobia, eugenics, bullying etc. Their goal is to help students make connections between history and moral choices in today’s world. They also have documentary portraits of people like Sargent Shriver, Maya Angelou, Ralph Bunche etc., well-known films such as Shindler’s List and Aux Revoirs Les Enfants , and modern children’s classics such as Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s Farewell to Manzanar, Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Gathering Blue, and Frank Tashlin’s fable The Bear that Wasn’t, to name just a few. Their new Making History series is a collection of case studies illustrating how individuals and groups across the world can choose to make a positive difference in society. Lesson plans are available online for each of the case studies.

Speak Up Speak Out: Robert F. Kennedy-Champion of Social Justice The product of a partnership between the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, NY State United Teachers, and the NY State Education Dept. A packet containing three booklets of materials (for grades 4, 8 and 11) on social justice appropriate to each level and an overview of Kennedy’s life and work on these issues.

Teaching Steps to Tolerance
A national program of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, designed for 5th and 6th grade educators and library media specialists to integrate the teaching of tolerance into their school’s curriculum. Likewise, their Tools for Tolerance for Teens targets middle and high school students. For those unable to experience the museum directly, Bridging the Gap reaches young people across the country through video-conferencing. The NY Tolerance Center in Manhattan, is a professional development multi-media training facility targeting educators, law enforcement officials and state/local govt. practitioners. It provides participants with an experiential day-long training program involving interactive workshops, exhibits and videos to explore issues of prejudice, tolerance and cooperation in the workplace and the community.

Teaching Tolerance
A journal published by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Each issue contains many teaching suggestions. Extensive additional material on the website

UN CyberSchoolbus Human Rights Module
Lesson plans, project ideas, quizzes and games.


UN Works Programme -“What’s Going On?’
A journey on film into the lives of children in crisis – real kids, real places, emotionally gripping, full color. Each segment is hosted by a UN Goodwill
Ambassador or a celebrity. Titles and hosts include AIDS IN THE
Douglas), REFUGEES IN TANZANIA (Angelina Jolie), POVERTY IN AMERICA (Tim Robbins), CHILD LABOR IN BRAZIL (Susan Sarandon), LANDMINES IN CAMBOODIA (Lawrence Fishbourne), GIRLS EDUCATION IN INDIA (Sonia Braga), STREET CHILDREN IN MONGOLIA (Richard Gere), INDIGENOUS CHILDREN IN AUSTRALIA (Rachel Ward), and CONFLICT IN NORTHERN IRELAND (Meg Ryan). May be purchased individually or as a complete set on videocassette or DVD — go to and in the “search” box write UN Works

See also Facing History and Ourselves(above)

Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Held annually in late June in New York City at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theatre, upper level, 165 W 65th St. (between Braodway and Amsterdam Ave.).


Advocates for Human Rights Through the Discover Human Rights Institute, they offer teachers guides on conflict resolution and the restoration of justice after war, the battered women’s experience, and lesson plans and toolkits on the right to education, housing and food. ( High school/college.)

American University Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Their Genocide Teaching Project provides resources
for high schools on the history and legal concept of genocide, downloadable lesson plans on the violence in Darfur and Rwanda, and an annual film festival.

The Center for Public Integrity Produces original investigative journalism to make institutional power more transparent and accountable; reports on topics such as toxic deception, money interests behind presidential candidates, the black market on animals, the business of war and more.

Global Education Motivators (GEM)
Wayne Jacoby, President, works with educators K-16 through on site and distant learning workshops, using advanced communications technology, to bring the world into the classroom. They offer videoconferencing packages with resource materials on topics such as The Lost Boys of Sudan and The UN in Your World, and will customize programs on a wide variety of global issues.

Global Kids Through leadership programs, a high
school for global citizenship in Brooklyn, NY, partnerships in NYC and
professional development, they enable and inspire urban youth
to go on to higher education and to become community and global leaders.

Human Rights Watch investigates and exposes human rights abuses and holds abusers accountable. Their Children’s Rights Division issues press releases on actions (eg. banning executions of juvenile offenders) and runs an International Film Festival High School Program.

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Publishes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and brochures on the rights of the child, refugees, and core UN Human Rights treaties; for children, primary and up; there is the ABC: Teaching Human Rights.

Save the Children USA publishes a large and colorful packet for elementary students on preventing violence against children called “Safe You and Safe Me,” which can be downloaded from the US website.

Sesame Workshop
A non-profit organization that creates educational content for children, delivered through tv, radio, books, magazines, computers, film, video and community outreach. Their Muppet Diplomacy adapts Sesame Street to cultures as diverse as the Middle East, South Africa, China, Russia, Bangladesh and Latin America.

USA for UNHCR The American branch of the UN Refugee Agency. Leads and coordinates action for the world-wide protection of refugees, people whose nationality is disputed, and internally displaced persons. Educational materials are free and can be ordered from the public information office They include a Human Rights Teaching Kit, a Teacher’s Newsletter, with info about World Refugee Day activities, Refugee Teenagers Magazine and a video collection.

US Fund for UNICEF Works in 161 countries and territories in disease prevention, safe childbirth, nutrition, sanitation and education; provides emergency response to global crises; sends “School in a Box” to disaster areas; lesson plans- grades 6-12 are at