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Human Right Basics quiz

Though human rights is a dynamic concept and one which is therefore constantly evolving, international law defines the content and scope of human rights. The human rights quiz that follows, which should not be used as a test of knowledge, helps to show the trainers and participants at what stage we are now in the elaboration of human rights. It also helps to avoid misinterpretations of the human rights framework.

The purpose of the quiz is not to test one’s knowledge, but to enhance their understanding of human rights actively.

Firstly, go through the list of Rights and see whether you are familiar, have heard of them. Afterward, the activity N.2 offers the possibility to evaluate your understanding and the concept of human rights.

Individually, in small groups (or in pairs) the participants answer the questions. Each group of participants is then given the set of cards. Every question has three possible answers, namely A, B or C. The participants choose what they believe to be the correct answer to each question. It should be pointed out that there is sometimes more than one possible correct answer, as human rights is a dynamic concept that is constantly evolving and this leaves room for interpretation.

This is a list of human rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the revised European Social Charter (ESC)  How familiar are you with these rights?

Answer 1 to 5

(1 the least, 5 the most)

1.    Right to life. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
2.    Freedom from torture. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
3.    Freedom from slavery. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
4.    Right to liberty and security. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
5.    Right to a fair trial. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
6.    Right to an effective remedy if a human right is violated. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
7.    Freedom from discrimination; the right to equality. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
8.    Right to be recognized as a person; right to a nationality. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
9.    Right to privacy and family life. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
10. Right to marry. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
11. Right to own property. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
12. Right to the movement of persons. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
13. Right to asylum. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
14. Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
15. Freedom of expression. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
16. Freedom of assembly and association. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
17. Right to food, drink, and housing. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
18. Right to health care. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
19. Right to education. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
20. Right to employment. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
21. Right to rest and leisure. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
22. Right to social protection. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
23. Right to political participation. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
24. The right to take part in cultural life. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
25. Prohibition of the destruction of human rights. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
26. Right to a social order that recognizes human rights. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
27. Responsibilities and duties of the individual. 1ð 2ð 3ð 4ð 5ð
Statement Answer
1.    Child labor by 17-year-olds:
A. It is always a violation of the rights of the child.B. It is a violation of the rights of the child if the task is harmful.C. It can be acceptable if the government has fixed the minimum working age to be under 17.
Child labor by 17-year-olds:
C is correct. The Children’s Rights Convention bans child labor if it is dangerous or a form of exploitation, but allows governments to fix the age under which the ban is valid. There is much pressure to reach more stringent restrictions on child labor.
2.    According to international agreements relating to the right to water:
A. Governments are obliged to provide their citizens with clean and healthy water.B. Governments are not allowed to discriminate against some citizens in the provision of water.
C. Governments are not allowed to deny their citizens access to a water supply.
According to international agreements which relate to the right to water: According to the interpretation by the UN Committee on Economic and Social Rights, B and C are correct, A is not. The fulfillment of the right to water is something that governments have to strive towards, but this right cannot be claimed as such by the citizens.
3.    The death penalty:
A. It is in general forbidden all over the world.B. It is abolished in law or practice by more than 50% of all countries.C. It is not allowed in the case of young people under 18.
The death penalty:
B and C are correct, A is not. The death penalty is not totally banned in UN treaties, nor by the ECHR, though in both cases it is banned by an optional protocol. Protocol 6 (abolition of the death penalty in peacetime) and Protocol 13 (abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances) to the ECHR have both been signed and/or ratified by many states.
4.    Economic and social rights:
A. Are not real human rights.B. The immediate fulfillment of these rights for all individuals is not expected from states.C. It can be claimed by every European individual.
Economic and social rights:
B. is correct. Officially, economic and social rights are real human rights, though it is true that the obligation to recognize them is much weaker than for many of the civil and political rights. The International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expects states to strive for their fulfillment but there is no European mechanism allowing individuals to file a complaint (though under certain restrictions an optional protocol allows organizations to do so).
5.    According to the clauses of the right to education:
A. Individuals and groups are allowed to open a school, as long as they fulfill the minimum legal conditions.
B. There are no obligations concerning the contents of educational programs.
C. Governments are bound to provide compulsory education for all young people under 18.
According to the clauses of the right to education:
A is correct, B and C not. International conventions, such as the Children’s Rights Convention, stipulate that education has to inform children about human rights.
6.    The right of being recognized as a refugee:
A. It is defined for people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted based on their race, religion or political opinion and have fled their country as a result.
B. Also exists for people who have fled their country
as a result of civil war or hunger.
C. Can be automatically refused by a government to all applicants who come from a country which is
considered as being safe.
The right of being recognized as a refugee:
A is correct, B is not (although in some countries, people who fled their country as a result of civil war or hunger can be granted protection, without being considered as refugees under the international conventions). C does not apply to refugees under the Geneva Convention but is widely applied within the EU in dealing with asylum seekers.
7.    The freedom of religion:
A. Cannot be denied to people on the ground that
they belong to a minority religion.
B. Obliges nations to recognize and subsidize religions.C. It cannot be restricted in any way by a state.
The freedom of religion:
A is correct. Nations are obliged to respect the freedom of religion but don’t have the legal obligation for any system of recognition or subsidization. States can restrict the freedom of religion, for example, where the religion would be in opposition to fundamental human rights.
8.    The right to property:
A. It doesn’t mean that governments cannot take possession of someone if this is in the public interest.B. It is violated if an entire village is evacuated without due compensation to build a hydroelectric power stationC. It allows a person to consider goods that they have stolen as his/her property.
The right to property:
A and B are correct. C is wrong.
9.    Elections:
A. All citizens are allowed to vote, even if they have
lost their civil rights due to criminal activity.
B. Two votes for each person are allowed if the voter is an employer.
C. The balloting must be performed secretly.
Only C is correct. A state can prevent persons who have lost their civil rights from voting. Equal rights for everyone who is entitled to vote is an inter­national rule.
10.  Freedom of expression:
A. May be restricted to protect against defamation.B. It cannot be restricted for reasons of public morality.C. It can be restricted to prevent religious intolerance.
Freedom of expression:
A and C are correct. Freedom of expression can, under certain conditions, be restricted for reasons of public morality, for the prevention of crime, for the protection of health or protection against defamation, if this is foreseen by law.
11.  The right to work:
A. Obliges state to provide jobs for all their citizens.B. This means that no one can be fired arbitrarily.C. It doesn’t mean a government has to make efforts to realize full employment.
The right to work:
Only B is correct. In Europe, states are obliged to undertake efforts to realize full employment but this is not included in UN treaties.
12.  The right to a healthy environment:
A. Forbids state to dump toxic waste that spoils the soil irreversibly.
B. Aims at protecting human beings, animals
and plants.C. It is not yet fixed as a universal right.
The right to a healthy environment:
C is correct, although the right to health protects human beings from harm resulting directly from pollution. In those cases, only human beings are universally protected, animals or plants are not. The African Charter and the European Union Charter, which are not universally valid, do establish to a certain extent a right to a healthy environment.
13.  According to the right to education:
A. For primary school children, no school fees may be charged, only the cost of school trips and school textbooks may be requested.B. The state must strive to help as many students as possible to succeed in their
C. States have to give all students equal opportunities in education.
According to the right to education:
B and C are correct (these obligations are included in the Children’s Rights Convention). In principle, primary education must be free, and this not only includes a school fee, but also other indirect costs related to essential school activities.
14.  Punishment of children in schools:
A. It is not allowed in the form of corporal punishment.B. It is not forbidden if the punishment is mentally cruel.C. It may only be used if parents agree.
Punishment of children in schools:
A is considered as correct since the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly considered corporal punishment as a violation of the ECHR (and this complies with the interpretation which is given by the Children’s Rights Committee to the Children’s Rights Convention). B. is incorrect, as the ban relates to all cruel punishments. As for C, no clause makes punishment directly dependent on the parents’ agreement.
15.  At school:
A. There shouldn’t be any attention given to environmental issues.
B. Young children should be taught to respect their parents.
C. Young children should learn about human rights and experience human rights.
At school:
B and C are correct. The Children’s Rights Convention contains such clauses. The convention also determines that education should aim at respect for the environment.
16.  In court:
A. Every criminal has the right to a lawyer.
B. People can only be convicted if they have confessed.
C. The suspect has the right to an interpreter free of charge if the trial takes place in a language unknown to him/her.
In court:
A and C are correct.
17.  Torture:
A. It is allowed if used to prevent terrorist attacks.B. It is only allowed after the decision of a judge.C. It is never allowed.
C is correct (torture is not allowed even in cases of national emergency).
18.  The right to life is violated if:
A. Someone dies by accident due to a police force preventing an attack on someone else’s life.
B. Someone dies due to an act of war, even if this was legal.
C. Someone dies due to unnecessary force by the police.
The right to life is violated if:
C is correct. In the case of A, the right to life could be violated if the force used by the police was more than absolutely necessary.
19.  According to the right to housing:
A. All states are obliged to ensure that nobody is homeless.
B. Foreigners should be offered the same access to
social housing as the country’s citizens.
C. The state should make efforts to reduce the number of homeless people.
According to the right to housing:
B and C are correct.
20.  According to the right to health care:
A. Governments are not obliged to prevent labor
B. Everybody should have access to health care.
C. Medicines should be free of charge.
According to the right to health care:
B. is correct. Prevention of labor accidents is considered as an obligation. Medicines can be sold.
21.  According to the right to freedom of movement:
A. A person can be forbidden to choose a certain residence for reasons of public security. B. The denial of a visa to a person who has not been convicted of a crime is a violation of human rights.
C. A criminal may be imprisoned.
According to the right to freedom of movement:
A and C are correct. A visa can be denied to anyone, not only to criminals. Restrictions on the freedom of movement can also be imposed for reasons of public health, public order or national security if provided for by law.

Why did I choose this tool?

This tool can be used for preparation and evaluation of human rights, both for the trainer and the participants. They can further use the self-evaluation list to strengthen their knowledge on certain Rights.

Reflection questions

-How familiar am I with the concept of Human Rights?

-Is there a statement which I thought was correct, but in fact it wasn’t?

What is the background I have that made me think in that direction?

-In which way will this evaluation help me to better understand the Human Rights?


What Is a Universal Right? (20 minutes)

  1. Read the comments of Eleanor Roosevelt, Chair of the UN commission that drafted the UDHR, on the importance of universal human rights standards:

Where, after all, do universal rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The Great Question, 1958

  1. Discuss this passage:

What do you think Eleanor Roosevelt means by “universal rights”?

Some people feel that universal values or standards of behavior are impossible. What do you think?

Why do you think the UN chose the word universal instead of the word international when naming the UDHR?

Paraphrase the final sentence of the quotation. What does it say about individual responsibility for human rights? What do you think Eleanor Roosevelt means by “concerned citizen action to uphold” rights close to home?

The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. – John F. Kennedy

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. –Benjamin Franklin

Antonio Jovanovski

Antonio Jovanovski has extensive experience of training and facilitating diverse groups all over Europe. His training and facilitating experience started during his AIESEC years ( where he served as President of AIESEC in N. Macedonia and France. Currently, he is a director of a youth environmental NGO ( where he works on the topics of climate change, youth eco-activism, greening of economy, greening of education and jobs. He is also a member of the Pool of trainers of Youth@Work partnership on employability and entrepreneurship (

Click here to read more about Antonio Jovanovski

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