Global Issues Unit V: Human Rights and Capital Punishment Mr. Avcioglu



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Global Issues

Unit V: Human Rights and Capital Punishment

Mr. Avcioglu

1.4.16 – 1.29.16
Unit Overview: This unit will be our longest, thus far, and it will require better organization and time management. We are going to examine two very important topics: Human Rights and Capital Punishment. The unit will revolve around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that originated in the United Nations and has served as a guidepost for human rights work for most countries since the end of World War II. We will also examine the work of some human rights organizations and attempt to answer how the enforcement of human rights or lack thereof, affect you as students and us as citizens of the world. The second part of the unit will examine capital punishment, an issue that has received attention both in our own state and the country in general. In 2003, Governor George Ryan placed a moratorium on executions, pardoned four inmates and granted clemency to all death row inmates in Illinois. On March 9, 2011, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law abolishing the death penalty in Illinois. Thus, Illinois became the 16th state without the death penalty.
OBJECTIVES: By the end of the unit, the student should be able to:


  1. Compare and contrast the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with other important documents (Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence & Bill of Rights)

  2. Define human rights, moratorium and capital punishment

  3. Identify human rights and social justice organizations.

  4. Discuss the roots of homophobia and hate crimes in the U.S.

  5. Identify the 30 articles of the UNHDR

  6. Describe the history of human rights in the U.S. and the world

  7. Compare and contrast human rights and capital punishment in the U.S. and the world


How to improve learning and grades:

Everything that is done in class should be written down and studied. You should be taking notes and reviewing them after class. This is the best way to learn the material and earn a high grade. Success is determined by three factors:




  1. Natural Intelligence: Which you all have!

  2. Good Skills: Reading, writing, analyzing information and note-taking

  3. Hard Work: Studying, devoting time to schoolwork, being focused and organized. School is your full-time job.....make it a PRIORITY!!!


Unit V/Final Exam: Friday, February 3, 2016
Unit 5 Project/Debate:

Students will choose between:

A. Participating in a debate on capital punishment

B. Preparing a power-point (oral) presentation on a HR topic
Debate teams (2) will consist of (3) students. Students will sign up for the debate or the topic (see below) on Wednesday, January 5, 2016. Please research the choices before signing up so you will not regret your decision later (no changes will be allowed to occur later).
Debaters will be informed of the side they will represent on debate day, thus they must be prepared to argue both sides: Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Each debater will have 2-3 pages (typed/double spaced) worth of points/summary and a bibliography page (MLA) minimum of 4 sources. Capital Punishment is considered a “controversial” issue thus it will require you to identify biases, question available information, and provide intelligent analysis when doing your research. Consult with numerous sources (Death Penalty Information Center), view debates about this topic on YouTube and communicate with organizations/law firms that work on these types of cases. The format will consist of opening/closing statement and 30-45 seconds to make a point.
Guidelines and topics for Project and Presentation:

Students will choose one of the topics below on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 (these are broad topics and you have the freedom to take them where you want to go), research them (using multiple sources) and then prepare an oral presentation using a power point as a visual aid. Be prepared to take a stand on this issue and possibly create a “call to action”. More information will be given out shortly about this project, but know that you will need a title, bibliography page (3-4 sources) and the name of the person who worked on it. Finally, you will present your findings to the class (do not READ off a paper or power point). Your information and materials should come from organizations, the internet, periodicals/journals and/or anything you can acquire to better prepare.


Requirements: Power point should have a general time-line; captions or quotes, visuals, and any other relevant information that will help us gain an understanding of the topic. Oral presentations should be 5-7 minutes long. Students will sign up on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Presentations will begin Wednesday, January 20, 2016.
Topics: Immigrant & Refugee Rights

Indigenous Peoples Rights

Poverty & Human Rights

Hip Hop & Feminism

Juvenile Justice

Homelessness in America (Housing)

Children’s Rights & child labor

Women and the Environment

Sex Slavery & Trafficking

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights

Political Prisoners

Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking)

Police Brutality

Black Lives Matter/Black Youth Project

Religious Freedom

Nuclear Weapons Disarmament

Truth & Reconciliation Commissions

Right to a Quality Public Education

The International Ban on Land Mines

The Prison Industrial Complex



Climate Change

Bi-Lingual Education


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