Divide the participants into four groups of 4-8 people. Give each group one of the pre-prepared flipchart sheets as well as markers.
GROUP DISCUSSION (15 MIN)
Ask each group to discuss what measures should be taken:
- to find out what the problem is.
- to prevent people from falling off the clifftop.
- to take care of the people who have fallen (dead or alive).
- to deal with any guilty parties.
- And who should be responsible for taking what measures?
Tell the groups to draw or write what should be done by who on the flipchart and ask them to appoint a spokesperson who will present a summary of their findings back to the plenary.
TIP! If the discussion is slow to start, ask questions – giving different ideas to different groups. What could the town council, religious leaders, the school, the radio station, local fishermen or health care services do?
PRESENTATIONS, COMMENTS AND DISCUSSION (40 MIN)
Each group spokesperson presents a summary of their findings to the plenary (5 min per group).
After all groups have presented, spend 10 minutes drawing out the common themes related to legal and moral duty bearers. Highlight the many different actors that can play a role in solving the ‘clifftop problem’, making the following points:
- According to international human rights law, any State that signs and ratifies a human rights treaty has a legal duty to respect, protect and promote the rights laid out in that treaty. States and those working on behalf of the State (State actors) are legal duty bearers, responsible for securing the human rights of the people living in their territories – the rights holders. So, the local authority or public health services have an important role to play.
- However, when we reflect on the purpose of human rights – to protect human dignity and protect people from the abuse of power – then it is quite evident that States alone can’t make human rights happen.
- All kinds of different people and organisations have power and influence over people’s lives – employers, parents and religious leaders, for example. With that power comes a moral duty to respect and protect human rights in the exercise of power. These are moral duty bearers.
- In addition, many groups can play a role in holding the state and other powerholders to account and in building a ‘culture of human rights’ – for example, civil society organisations, religious leaders and the media. Creating a culture of human rights (in which human rights are respected as normal and right) is especially important where the State is weak or doesn’t respect rights.
Allow 10 minutes for questions from participants and dialogue.