Lesson plans for ages 15-18 in Human Rights and Refugees: The Right to Asylum
LESSON 3: Refugees' Experiences in Countries of Asylum: "What's in a name"?
A copy of the UNHCR publicity poster entitled What's the Difference? is needed for this lesson.
Link to previous lessons
For revision, ask the class these questions:
- Why do people sometimes need asylum?
- Where have these people sought asylum?
- What can stop asylum seekers from successfully finding asylum?
Allow the students some time to study the poster entitled What's the Difference? Ask for suggestions from the class for the possible motives behind this poster, while reminding them that this poster has been produced by UNHCR.
When watching news reports and documentaries about the refugee flows which have occurred in the last decade, students may wonder how they can contribute to efforts to solve these tragedies. Perhaps students may sense that they are powerless to help, but this is not the case.
As mentioned in the reading material used in the previous lessons, refugees have sometimes been successful in finding asylum in neighbouring countries in the industrialised world. Having found asylum, the refugees may be safe from the persecution that they suffered in their own home countries, but they face the difficulty of not being thoroughly integrated in their new country.
Ask the students: What difficulties does the poster suggest might be faced by refugees in their host countries? Ask them to reflect upon the experiences of some of the refugees referred to in the articles which they read during the last lesson.
You may also find it useful to refer to the following definitions during the discussion:
Referring to the poster What's the Difference?, ask the students how they have regarded refugees in past. Do they sense any change within themselves, concerning their attitudes towards refugees, since starting this unit of work? What changes are there? The teacher needs to guide this discussion with sensitivity, while encouraging the students to be frank, but be assertive if students rudely challenge each other over differing viewpoints.
Finally, if there is time, perhaps the teacher could ask the students why this lesson is titled "What's in a name?" and where they imagine the phrase came from.