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Foto: Human Rights Lens Norway

Brainstorming on human rights

When talking about human rights it is always good to start by brainstorming on the topic.

Photo: Human Rights Lens Norway

Quick facts

activity topic
Human rights
Target audience for the activity
Youth school • High school • Adult education • Organizations and others
Activity duration
Ca 30 minutes
Materials: Blackboard/whiteboard, pen and paper.

Activity goals

  • Find out what ’ prior knowledge the participants have.
  • Introduce further teaching about human rights.
Background of the activity
This exercise is used as an introduction to human rights education in the Human Rights Lens project. In 2022, eight upper secondary schools participated in the project.


  • The facilitator asks the participants about the associations they have when they hear the term human rights. Give them 2-3 minutes to reflect on their own.
  • The facilitator writes answers and suggestions on the board as a mind map. Usually, participants mention non-discrimination, freedom, respect and freedom of speech as associations they have to human rights.
  • As an alternative teaching method, the facilitator could use the method of “silent discussion”. The participants have a discussion by writing and/or drawing on a sheet of paper without talking to each other. Read more about how to use “silent discussion” as a teaching strategy.
  • Regardless of whether brainstorming or “silent discussion” is used, it is good to determine in one way or another what human rights are and what associations the participants have before you define who has the main responsibility for the fulfilment of human rights.

(English translation: John Anthony)

Tips to the facilitator

Show the video "What are human rights, really?" by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.