HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, PEACE AND CONFLICTS

UNIT „ HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE, PEACE AND CONFLICTS“

In this unit, we will learn more about the background of the garment industry (clothes) and mobile phones as 2 areas where major human rights violations are suffered by those who are on the bottom of the chain of production    

Duration: 15 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

a)       List the 10 most important products, objects, food items that you are using or consuming today.

[Such as: T-shirt, pants, shoes, mobile phone, fridge, shower, coffee, water, computer, diapers (for baby)]

b)      Let’s listen to all the lists that learners have written, and make a big common list, identifying those items that appeared 2, 3 or more times, therefore represent an important product, object (such as water, mobile, computer, t-shirt etc). Select the 3 most important items – most probably there shall be included: water, mobile phone and clothes, since we all use these every day and our days are pretty unimaginable without them.

Duration: 45 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

1.             What are actually human rights?    

2.       How much are we familiar with the topic?

3.       What are human rights violations?

Collect some human rights you know in bullet points

4.       Look at      the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN, 1948) and read a few Articles of them(maximum 10).                          

https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/udhr.pdf

Or: more info at https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

●        Do you      feel personally that all these rights are provided to you     ? Or maybe some are not?

●        What specific information do you     have about other contexts, countries, people? Are you     aware of human rights violations?

●        Who is responsible for those?

 Contribute to the discussion with a few sentences, explaining                 your opinion and views)

Keep in mind the following two articles which are related to work and working conditions:

Article 23

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

 

Article 24

  1. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitations of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

 

 

The articles mention ‘just and favourable conditions of work /remuneration’. What does it mean? Split into     3 groups and     try to give a definition of it, in terms of working hours, rest, minimum salary /hourly wage (in the country) and any other aspect that shall be considered. (     You have      about 10 minutes to discuss and decide).

The 3 groups discuss what have identified and draw conclusions.

 

This declaration unfortunately is not powerful enough to guarantee really the just and favourable conditions and in many countries there are no minimum wages identified, or even more, people (including children) are working without contract, just based on informal recruitments, in forced labour among slavery-like conditions.

Here are two example of two Italian articles to be translated into EN on Deepl translator, if you are curious to know about it:

 

Story of a migrant died in Brindisi after his working hours in the camps

 

https://www.open.online/2021/06/26/brindisi-muore-migrante-raccolta-pomodori-sindaco-firma-ordinanza-divieto-lavoro-ore-calde/

 

Stories of labour exploitation in Campobello di Mazara, Sicily

 

https://www.meltingpot.org/Campobello-di-Mazara-acqua-e-diritti-per-i-braccianti.html

 

 

Duration: 30 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

A small introduction about the phenomenon of fast fashion and forced labour: “One contributor to “forced labour” is fast fashion, which is defined as cheap, trendy clothing that transitions directly from the catwalk or celebrity culture to retail stores for consumer purchasing (Good on You)”.

 

Reflective question:

 

What are the characteristics of fast and slow fashion? Try to describe your knowledge about it and then read the below table.

 

     Table: Comparison of Fast Fashion and Slow Fashion

Source: https://sanvt.com/journal/fast-fashion-vs-slow-fashion/

 

 

FAST FASHION

SLOW FASHION

Definition

A business model of the fashion industry where as many collections as possible are brought to market in the most short period as possible.

Slow fashion is a counter-movement, in which attention is paid to a sustainable and conscious approach to fashion

Consumption

A lot of clothing is bought in a short time. The purchased items are not worn for long, as they quickly go out of fashion.

Attention is paid to sustainable consumption, where only what is really necessary is bought. Value is placed on environmentally friendly materials and good production. Second-hand clothes are also part Slow Fashion.

Materials

Fast fashion clothes are usually made of synthetic fibers (polyester, elastane, etc.)

Slow fashion clothes are made from natural fibers such as cotton or recycled fabrics.

Production

Production typically takes place in developing countries where standards are not respected. Furthermore, workers do not receive fair wages.

Production takes place either in Western countries or in developing  countries where human rights, standards and fair wages are respected.

Water

Fast fashion is responsible for a lot of water pollution through the use of chemicals and micro plastics.

Water is often recycled and filtered, so that pollutants get into the wastewater. In addition, hardly any micro plastics get into the oceans and rivers through the natural fibers.

CO2

A polyester T-shirt causes 9 kg of CO2 during production.

A cotton T-shirt causes 2 kg of CO2 in production.

Waste

80 % of all clothing is thrown away, only 1 % of clothing get recycled.

Clothes can be repaired, sold, exchanged or donated to create a circular economy. In this way, waste is reduced.

 

 

a)       Have you heard about the case in 2017 when workers who made Zara clothes hid messages in clothes saying ‘I made this item you are going to buy and I didn’t get paid for this’.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5iDAgbyWk4

What do you think about this? Who is responsible for the damage of the workers?

 

 

a)       What have you heard about general working conditions and wages of people working in the garment industry?      

 Split into 2 groups    

Group 1 will study the website of: https://www.sustainyourstyle.org/en/whats-wrong-with-the-fashion-industry and get familiar with the dark side of the fashion industry, by focusing on the part ‘Inhumane working conditions’

Group 2 is asked to study the Clean Clothes Campaign https://cleanclothes.org/

 

Questions:

Who are they, what do they do?

 What results do they have?

 

Session 2

Duration: 40 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Reading

Listening

(Short version) Watch the video: ‘The high cost of cheap clothing’ – TEDx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni9gQn5rsLA

  

(Longer version) Watch the video: Your task is to watch the video ‘The ugly truth of fast fashion’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGF3ObOBbac

 

List in bullet points the most important findings of the speeches, and then compare with your     peers.

 

Session 3

Duration: 40 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Reading

Writing

Read and study the following report: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR6231832016ENGLISH.PDF

 

Write a short text (maximum 2000 words), comparing yourselves andown life situation as it was at the age of 14 to any of the child miners who you     have read about in the report. TW     rite about aspects such as:

–          Health status

–          Time spent with

a) education and studying,

b) work,

c) playing and free time with friends or family

–          Average daily expenditure of the family on food (in euro)

–          Any other

Upload your text onto the common platform (or social media private group) and read your peers’ text as well.

 

Session 4

Duration: 15 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

 

Shortly express your opinion about what you have read in the report of Amnesty International, and you can also listen to a few people’s text prepared in the previous session and reflect on the differences among the situation.

 

Duration: 30 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

Writing

Which human rights organisations do youknow (worldwide)? List a few, then split into 3 groups. Each group will study the work of 2 international HR organisations, through resources you     find on the internet (website, articles, reports etc). Youhave about 20 min to prepare a short introduction about them, and speak about their history, mission, objectives and main activities.

 

Duration: 45 min

Learning outcome:

+Changing perspectives

+Critical thinking

+Open-mindedness

Learning skills:

Vocabulary

Speaking

a)       What international human rights courts do you know? Where are they seated? What cases do they deal with?

 

International courts:

Check here the list of international bodies and focus on some of them. https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Library_Links_InternationalCourts_ENG.pdf

 

a)       I     dentify 3 important cases from 3 different bodies and each group makes studies about one of the three; then            present to the other 2 groups the most important aspects and outcomes of it.

 

The case laws identified for reflection are:

Case 1: International Court of Justice, The Hague, The Netherlands, Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates), 2021, https://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/172

 

Case 2: International Criminal Court(ICC),The Hague, The Netherlands, Gaddafi Case, https://www.icc-cpi.int/libya/gaddafi

 

Case 3: European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, Asylum-seekers living rough for several months without resources due to administrative delays preventing them from receiving the support provided for by law: violation, no violation N.H. and Others v. France, nos. 28820/13 and 2 others, 2 July 2020, http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=002-12897