WHO IS A REFUGEE
Lesson 2: What is Persecution?
Participants will develop understanding about persecution and how it defines refugee status.
It is important to consider the safety of students before teaching this lesson as the content could be distressing. It is recommended that this lesson be taught by teachers who know their students well, and feel confident about managing their reactions and providing follow up support, if necessary.
If there are students from a refugee background in the class, teachers should be cautious as some parts of the discussion and video may trigger responses related to previous experiences of trauma. Teachers should warn refugee students about the content, explain the purpose of the activity and give them the option to participate.
Step 1. Reading
Ask students to read the refugee quotes at Persecution » What people say
- What examples of persecution are given?
- Why is persecution a key factor in the determination of ‘refugee’ status?
- How do you think a person would prove they were persecuted?
- Is there anything that might make this difficult?
Step 2. Research and response
- Where in the world is persecution occurring?
- Use the following links to research the plight of Rohingya people in Myanmar. Respond to the questions below:
- UNHCR News from Myanmar Oct 2012
- UNHCR Exploitation by smugglers May 2014
- The 'silent crisis' of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh CNN, 2017
- Myanmar military leaders must face genocide charges UN news, 2018
- What evidence is there that people in Myanmar are being persecuted?
- Look at a World Map (online) and locate the Rakhine State.
- Why do you think people cannot leave the area?
- What solutions might there be for the Rohingya people?
Step 3. Writing activity
- Ask students to imagine they are working as a foreign correspondent in a country at war. Ask students to write about the human rights situation in their chosen country, explaining why/ when/ where/ how people’s rights are being denied and the options available to people being persecuted.