In an ideal world a book about human rights would simply deal with those rights that everybody on the planet enjoys because they are human. In the real world this book must show how societies have struggled and still struggle to achieve social justice. Humans are not perfect and therefore man's inhumanity to man has been evident throughout history; however, thanks to the efforts of individuals, groups, institutions and governments, mans humanity to man has also had a significant impact on people's lives and will continue to do so in the future.
Understanding past and present societies and considering future societies through a focus on human rights will help students participate as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens. How do people define and seek human rights? How do groups make decisions that impact on people's lives? How do people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges? Human rights is integral to all the conceptual strands of the Social Sciences curriculum, and through all levels. Identity, culture, organisation, place, environment, continuity, change, economic world ' none of these can be examined without reference to human rights.
While Human Rights sits firmly in the Social Studies strands, the concept of human rights is integral to the New Zealand curriculum. It is intrinsic in all its values key competencies, principles and learning areas. This book is accessible to all ability levels, especially Years 9 and 10, and encourages further research on student-orientated topics. It covers various settings, perspectives, processes, and essential skills while bringing into focus essential learning with New Zealand society.