Key Unit Competence: To use language learnt in the context of Human rights

    and Ethics

    7.1. Describing rights
    Reading and exploitation of the texts

    Read the following passages and carry out the following tasks

    • Text 1. I am the first accused

    Government policy, violence by the African people had become inevitable, and
    that unless responsible leadership was given to canalize and control the feelings
    of our people, there would be outbreaks of terrorism which would produce an
    intensity of bitterness and hostility between the various races of this country
    which is not produced even by war. Secondly, we felt that without violence there
    would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against
    the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to
    this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position
    in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the
    Government. We chose to defy the law. We first broke the law in a way which
    avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and
    then the Government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its
    policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.

    But the violence which we chose to adopt was not terrorism. We who formed
    Umkhonto were all members of the African National Congress, and had behind
    us the ANC tradition of non-violence and negotiation as a means of solving
    political disputes. We believe that South Africa belongs to all the people
    who live in it, and not to one group, be it black or white. We did not want an
    interracial war, and tried to avoid it to the last minute. If the Court is in doubt
    about this, it will be seen that the whole history of our organization bears out
    what I have said, and what I will subsequently say, when I describe the tactics
    which Umkhonto decided to adopt. I want, therefore, to say something about
    the African National Congress.

    The African National Congress was formed in 1912 to defend the rights of the
    African people which had been seriously curtailed by the South Africa Act, and
    which were then being threatened by the Native Land Act. For thirty-seven years
    - that is until 1949 - it adhered strictly to a constitutional struggle. It put forward
    demands and resolutions; it sent delegations to the Government in the belief
    that African grievances could be settled through peaceful discussion and that
    Africans could advance gradually to full political rights. But White Governments
    remained unmoved, and the rights of Africans became less instead of becoming
    greater. In the words of my leader, Chief Lutuli, who became President of the
    ANC in 1952, and who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:100 100

    “Who will deny that thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain,
    patiently, moderately, and modestly at a closed and barred door? What have
    been the fruits of moderation? The past thirty years have seen the greatest
    number of laws restricting our rights and progress, until today we have reached
    a stage where we have almost no rights at all.”

    Even after 1949, the ANC remained determined to avoid violence. At this time,
    however, there was a change from the strictly constitutional means of protest
    which had been employed in the past. The change was embodied in a decision
    which was taken to protest against apartheid legislation by peaceful, but
    unlawful, demonstrations against certain laws. Pursuant to this policy the ANC
    launched the Defiance Campaign, in which I was placed in charge of volunteers.
    This campaign was based on the principles of passive resistance. More than
    8,500 people defied apartheid laws and went to jail. Yet there was not a single
    instance of violence in the course of this campaign on the part of any defiance.

    I and nineteen colleagues were convicted for the role which we played in
    organizing the campaign, but our sentences were suspended mainly because
    the Judge found that discipline and non-violence had been stressed throughout.

    Extract from Nelson Mandela’s speech “ I am the first accused”

    • Comprehension questions
    1. Explain the extent to which Mandela was a civil right activist in the first
    2. Discuss the positive deeds of ANC during the civil right struggle
    3. What, according to the passage, shows that ANC’s struggle was peaceful?
    4. What really makes Nelson Mandela a civil right hero in the last paragraph?
    5. Which disappointment did ANC members face in the fight for their full
    political rights?
    6. South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it, and not to one group,

    be it black or white. Justify this statement in not more than 15 lines

    • Text 2: Right to media

    Several international organizations have recognized the fundamental Human
    Right to access information held by public organs and private bodies. These
    include the United Nations, the African Union and the Commonwealth. In 1980,
    the Commonwealth recognized the fact that; ‘Public participation in the democratic
    and government processes was at its most significant when citizens had
    adequate access to information’. Similarly, the African Union has also upheld
    the right of every individual to access information.

    All citizens, therefore, have a right to know. Realization of the right to know
    cannot take place without a free, independent, ethical and professional media.
    The media plays an important role in advancing the right to know. The secrecy
    and withholding of information by the government and private firms corrodes
    democracy, facilitates corruption and undermines public policy making.

    Individuals working on a building and construction site or in an industry have
    the right to know of dangers they are likely to encounter as they carry out their
    duties. This enables them to take precautions for their own safety. This also
    applies to people who live near factories, mining sites or industries. They need
    access to information regarding the environment they live in and dangers they
    may be predisposed to, depending on their location. Processed products, chemicals,
    pharmaceutical drugs, machinery and electronics should be labelled with
    information that guides users on their usage, dangers and methods of operating
    and how such items can be disposed of. Such information is critical to
    people; therefore, individuals have a right to know. The Constitution of Rwanda
    grants citizens the right to know.

    Extract from General Studies and Communication Skills for Rwandan schools,

    Student Book Senior 4(REB)

    • Discuss and answer the following questions.
    1. Explain how the media in Rwanda has promoted the right to know in the
    2. Analyze the importance of the right to know and access to information.
    3. Draw health hazard symbols found in buildings, construction sites or

    product labels and give their meanings

    7.2. Describing children’s Rights
    Reading and text analysis
    Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow

    • Text: Children’s rights

    Parents, communities, and governments need to learn how to set goals for
    children, create a positive discipline and create a conducive home climate for
    children, understand how children think and feel and learn how they can be
    problem solvers in challenging situations.

    Children have the right to be protected from abuse, neglect and other
    mistreatment in homes. They should have the right to adequate food, clothing
    and shelter, regular medical and health services, educational, permanent homes.
    They shouldn’t be discriminated and forced into labour. The UN convention has
    provided a detailed list on the rights of children. They include the following:
    Article 1: Everyone under 18 years of age has all the right in this convention.
    Article 2: The convention applies to everyone whatever their race, religion,
    abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they
    come from.

    Article 3: All organizations concerned with children should work towards what
    is best for each child.

    Article 4: Government should make these right available to children.
    Article 5: Government should respect the rights and responsibilities of family
    to guide their children so that, as they grow up, they learn to use their
    rights properly.

    Article 6: Children have the right to live a full life. Government should ensure
    that children survive and develop healthily.

    Article 7: Children have the right to a legally registered name and nationality.
    Children also have the right to know their parents, as far as possible,
    to be cared for by them.

    Article 8: Government should respect a child’s right to a name, nationality and
    family ties.

    Article 9: Children should not be separated from their parents, unless it is for
    their own good, for example, if a parent is mistreating or neglecting a
    child. Children whose parents have separated have the right to stay in
    contact with both parents, unless this may harm the child.

    Article 10: Families who live in different countries should be allowed to move
    between those countries so that parents and children can stay in
    contact or get back together as family.

    Article 11: Government should take steps to stop children being taken out of
    their own country illegally.

    Article 12: Children have the right to say what they think should happen
    when adults are making decision that affect them and to have their
    opinions taken into account.

    Article 13: Children have the right to get and share information, if the information
    is not damaging to them or to others.

    Article 14: Children have the right to think and believe what they want and
    to practice their religion, if they are not stopping other people
    from enjoying their rights. Parents should guide children on these

    Article 15: Children have the right to meet with other children and young people
    and join groups and organizations, as long as this cannot stop other
    people from enjoying their rights

    Article 16: Children have the right to privacy; the law should protect them from
    attacks against their way of life, their good name, their family and their home.

    Article 17: Children have the right to reliable information from the media.

    Article 18: Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their children and
    should always consider what is best for each child. Governments
    should help parents by providing services to support them, especially
    if both parents work.

    Article 19: Government should ensure that children are properly cared for and
    protect them from violence, abuse and neglect by their parents, or
    anyone else who looks after them.

    Article 20: Children who cannot be looked after by their own family must be
    looked after properly by people who respect their religion, culture
    and language.

    Article 21: When children are adopted the first concern must be what is best for
    them. The same rules should apply whether children are adopted
    in the country of their birth or if they are taken to live in another

    Article 22: Children who come into country as refugees should have the same
    rights as children who are born in that country.

    Article 23: Children who have any kind of disability should receive special care
    and support so that they can live a full and independent life.

    Article 24: Children have the right to good quality health care, clean water,
    nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay
    healthy. Richer countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

    Article 25: Children who are looked after by their local authorities rather than
    their parents should have their situation reviewed regularly.
    Article 26: The government should provide extra money for the children of
    families in need.

    Article 27: Children have the right to standard living that is good enough to
    meet their physical and mental needs. The government should help
    families who cannot afford to provide this.

    Article 28: Children have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should
    respect children’s human dignity. Primary education should be
    free. Wealthier countries should help poorer countries achieve this.
    106 106

    Article 29: Education should develop each child’s personality and talents to
    the full. It should encourage children to respect their parents, their
    cultures and other cultures.

    Article 30: Children have a right to learn and use the language and customs
    of their families, whether or not these are shared by most of the
    people in the country where they live, as long as this does not harm

    Article 31: Children have a right to relax, play and join in a wide range of leisure

    Article 32: Government should protect children from work that is dangerous or
    that might harm their health or education.

    Article 33: Government should provide ways of protecting children from
    dangerous drugs.

    Article 34: Government should protect children from sexual abuse.

    Article 35: Government should make sure that children are not abducted or

    Article 36: Children should be protected from any activity that could harm their

    Article 37: Children who break the law should not be treated cruelly. They
    should not be put in prison with adults and should be able to keep
    in contact with their family.

    Article 38: Government should not allow children under 15 to join the army.
    Children in war zones should receive special protection.

    Article 39: Children who have been neglected or abused should receive special
    help to restore their self-respect.

    Article 40: Children who are accused of breaking the law should receive legal
    help. Prison sentences for children should only be used for the most
    serious offences.

    Article 41: If the law of a country protects children better than the articles of
    the convention, then those laws should override the convention.

    Article 42: Government should make the convention known to all parents and

    Extracted from: Legal and policy framework for children’s Rights in Rwanda by

    Pamela Abbot and Francesca Sapsford.

    • Comprehension questions :

    1. What do you understand by children’s rights?
    2. Basing on the short text above, describe the rights of children without
    reproducing the passage.
    3. Suggest possible advice to people who violate children’s rights in your

    4. Discuss the importance of protecting children.

    • Text: The concepts of ethics
    The word ethics etymologically is from the Greek word “ ethos” which means
    “customs”. Ethics is defined as science of good and bad. The modern ethics
    substitutes notions of good and bad to those of morality, values and anti-value.
    Ethics can also be defined as the part of human reflection which searches to
    determine the sense of human life, and means to come to this end. This definition
    is also applied to philosophy and ethical philosophy.

    Ethics is the branch of philosophy. It is interested in moral and elaborates
    analysis and theories on nature, function and values of moral judgment. These
    judgments help us to evaluate our behavior and society organization and to
    guide our proper actions.

    It treats from the value of good and bad and constitutes then life orientation
    and engagement for it treats from one value of good and bad and constitutes
    the life orientation and engagement for wellbeing.

    Academically, ethics is classified among human sciences like philosophy of
    which it is the part. The society cannot exist if the members do not respect and
    help one another at least up to a given level. By this, in all societies the same
    phenomenon is produced. In every society and in every country, it statues and
    judges that some actions are good and have to be done, whereas others are bad,
    must be avoided and rejected. The ethics questions rise in moral practice.

    Ethics indicates the ideal to be reached. It shows the way to take and helps
    to discover positive human values to be cultivated. Its fundamental task is the
    success of human life, characterized by positive human values.


    • Comprehension questions

    1. What do you understand by ethics?
    2. In which way ethical judgments help in our day to day life?
    3. What do you think is the purpose of ethics?
    4. After reading the above passage about ethics, examine your community’s
    ethics and present the findings to the class.

    Reading and text analysis
    Read the extract below and answer the questions that follow
    • Text. An accident happens
    One day I was returning home with a heavy water gourd on my back. It had
    rained very heavily the day before. I made a wrong step, slipped and staggered
    badly. I lost balance and the gourd fell down and broke into many pieces.
    I went home trembling with fear and explained to Mukulu what happened. I
    should have known better. Mukulu snatched the strap with which I had been
    carrying the gourd and thrashed me with it heavily. I screamed, begging for
    mercy, but she wouldn’t stop whipping me. She yelled, “is it your mother’s
    gourd that you have broken, you worthless creature?”

    Despite my pleas, she wouldn’t listen to me. Then I realized that I should run
    for my life. I slipped out of her hands and ran out of the house, but she ran after
    me, whipping me furiously. I was saved by some strokes of good luck when she
    stumbled over something and fell down heavily. She cursed me heatedly, but by
    that time, I had run round the granary.

    That evening Mukulu didn’t give me food. I went to bed on an empty stomach. I
    couldn’t sleep as my stomach rumbled in hunger. They had eaten sweet potatoes
    for supper that evening.

    That night I felt so hungry that I thought I would starve to death. So I got up
    from my bed very quietly, fearing to wake Mukulu. I tiptoed to her bedroom
    door, pressed my ear against the door and listened. Yes, she was fast asleep,
    snoring soundly. So I tiptoed to the main door and opened. I went to the kitchen
    to see whether there were any potatoes left in the pot.

    I walked holding my breath and my teeth clenched, fearing I would be heard.
    I inserted the key into the keyhole and opened the door silently. Just as I was
    getting in, I accidently stepped on a chicken in the dark and it made a lot of
    noise! I nearly fainted. I heard Mukulu’s voice calling out for Muindu, asking him
    to go out and see what was disturbing the chicken. I stood there too terrified to
    know what to do until Muindu came out of the house running.

    An extract from the story “the poor child “by David G. Mailu

    • Comprehension questions
    1. Describe the mood of the speaker in the above passage
    2. Which child abuses have been applied to the narrator?
    3. What misfortune happened to the speaker when she went to the kitchen
    to find some food?
    4. What would you do in the position of the narrator?
    5. Has anything like this ever happened to you or to someone you know? If
    yes, what was your reaction?
    6. What are your friends and you doing to stop the child abuse?

    7.5. Fighting abuses
    Picture observation and interpretation

    1. After observing the figure and the picture above, discuss the child
    protection cycle in 150 words essay

    Reading and text analysis
    • Text. Religious bodies urged to join fight against child abuse

    The Secretary-General of Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) Jeannot Ruhunga
    on Friday said that the campaign against child abuse is not the responsibility of a
    certain single institution but rather a collective effort if the vice was to be completely
    uprooted in the Rwandan socTiety.

    He made the observation while opening a one-day conference in Kigali aimed at
    evaluating the progress made in the fight against GBV and what new measures
    can be taken to ensure this is curtailed.

    “It’s a must for each and everyone who wants to make a meaningful
    contribution to the future of our nation, to take care of the young generation
    by shielding them from any form of abuse. Because what we sow in them
    today, is what we shall harvest in the future. The future of our country lies in
    the hands of young people,” Ruhunga said.

    The conference, titled “Stop abusing a child” was jointly organized by RIB
    in partnership with World Vision.

    The main purpose of the meeting was to rally religious organizations, civil
    society and non-governmental organizations to join the fight against all forms
    of child abuse.

    Prof Anastase Shyaka, the Minister for Local Government pointed out the
    particular importance of religious organizations in this fight.

    “Religious entities, which are able to reach out to a lot of people in a short time,
    are the right partners in advocating for children rights,” he said.

    Through their body, the Rwanda Interfaith Council, the religious entities vowed
    to support the efforts as stressed by the Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Salim Hitimana,
    who represented the council at the meeting.

    child-abuse by Bertrand Byishimo September 30, 2019
    • Comprehension questions
    1. What was the issue discussed in the conference?
    2. Why do you think child abuse is not a responsibility of certain single
    3. Discuss the message of RIB Secretary-General.
    4. Why do you think Religious entities are expected to be more productive
    in the fight against child abuse?

    7.6.1. Learning activity: Reading and text analysis

    Read the above passage and answer questions that follow

    • Text. The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination
    Against Women (CEDAW)
    This was adopted in 1979 by the UN. It aims at eliminating any form of political,
    economic, social, cultural and civil discrimination against women. States are
    required to enshrine gender equality into their national laws and eliminate
    customs that promote superiority of one sex or gender role stereotypes. In
    addition, states should establish tribunals and public institutions to protect
    women against discrimination.

    Article 1 of the treaty defines discrimination against women as any distinction,
    exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect
    or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or
    exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis
    of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental
    freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other

    Article 2 requires states to enshrine gender equality into their national
    laws and remove all discriminatory provisions in their laws. It
    also requires them to establish tribunals and public institutions to
    guarantee women of effective protection against discrimination and
    eliminate all forms of discrimination against women by individuals,
    organizations and enterprises.

    Article 3 stipulates that States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in
    the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate
    measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and
    advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the
    exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms
    on a basis of equality with men.

    Article 4 Specifies that adoption by States Parties of temporary special
    measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men
    and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in
    the present convention, but shall in no way entail as a consequence
    the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these measures
    shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity
    and treatment have been achieved.

    This article also instructs that adoption by States Parties of special
    measures, including those measures contained in the present
    Convention, aimed at protecting maternity shall not be considered

    Article 5 requires states to eliminate prejudices and customs that promote the
    idea of the inferiority or the superiority of one sex or stereotyped
    roles for men and women.

    Adapted from General Studies and Communication Skills for Rwandan schools
    Student Book S6(REB).
    • Comprehension questions:
    1. When was that convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination
    against women adopted?
    2. What did this convention require the government?
    3. What do you understand by ‘discrimination against women’?
    4. Discuss some prejudices attributed to women.
    5. Does this convention apply in your community? Support your answer.

    7.7. Minority rights and inclusiveness

    Reading and text analysis.
    • Text: From hyperactive to stardom

    Kalisa is a 13 young boy and was born in rural village. In his daily activities he
    had inattention to accomplish tasks and was not able to follow some instructions
    because of his hyperactivities. His parents had tried to take him to the nearest
    school in order to help him like other children but his condition did not become
    good for the classmates. In class, other students were not happy with him, due
    to the way he interrupted them during activities by talking, throwing things,
    among others.

    During break time, he could not be calm, he was always running, jumping and
    driving vehicles. Even though he was overactive, he was also interested in
    playing music with piano or guitar and singing. His teacher has discovered that
    Kalisa may be good at music and then oriented him to a new teacher who could
    help him. Thanks to the help of that teacher, Kalisa has become good at playing
    some musical instruments.

    The teacher advised parents to take him to the specialist. When Kalisa arrived
    there he was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive disorder).
    In three years later he was able to play piano and sing some songs. His parents
    were happy because of their child’s success and they promised to support him
    to make the album of his songs.


    • Comprehension questions
    1. What do you understand by ADHD
    2. Why do you think the first teacher took Kalisa to the second teacher?
    3. Can really children with ADHD study in the same class with other children
    (with or without) disabilities? Explain why?
    4. Is there any strategy to educate children with ADHD? Explain.


    7.8. Language structure: Modal Verbs and passive voice in
    present tense
    I. Modal verbs
    A Modal Verb is a type of auxiliary (helping) verb that is used to convey ideas
    like talking about ability, asking permission, making requests, talking about
    things which are desired and so on.

    How to use the Modal Verb “Can”.

    Can is used when talking about someone’s skill or general abilities. It is also
    used to
    make offers, ask and give permission.
    1. Rodgers is patient and humble, he can adapt to any situation. (Ability)
    2. If children’s rights are recognized, a child can follow a career he likes.
    3. I can play for you a nice piece of music about children’s rights if you like.

    How to use modal verb should
    Should is used when giving a piece of advice, a recommendation or a suggestion.
    Very often, should is used instead of Must to make rules, orders or instructions
    sound more polite.
    a. If we are to live peacefully with others, we should avoid prejudices.
    (Advice, recommendation, suggestion).
    b. We should experience a united community since people now respect each
    other’s beliefs. (Likely situation).

    c. As tolerance is encouraged in our communities, we should have a more
    peaceful generation in the future. (Prediction).

    How to use may and might
    Might is used to talk about possibilities in the present, past and future. It has
    the same meaning as may but may is used when one is a bit more sure, while
    might expresses some doubts. Therefore, may” and “might” can be used:

    a. To show possibility
    1. There might be life on Mars, we never know. (In this sentence, the degree
    of certainty is low)

    2. There may be life on Mars since they found there water and micro
    organisms. (In this sentence, the degree of certainty is a bit higher for
    water and micro organisms are signs of life)

    b. To ask for or give permission:
    You may go now.
    You may come at eleven if you wish.
    c. To express polite offers, request or suggestions.
    1. May I borrow the car tomorrow?
    2. May we come a bit later?
    How to use be able to
    We use was/ were able to, or managed to, to describe successful completion of
    a specific action while am/ is/ are able to, to express ability to do something
    1. ANC was able to fight against apartheid in South Africa.
    2. Even though I am a woman, I am able to drive
    Construct nine meaningful sentences related to human rights and ethics
    using each of the following model verbs: can, may and should. Then read your
    sentences to the class.
    II. Passive voice for present tense
    The passive voice is used mostly in three ways:
    1. When we don’t want to take responsibility for something.
    E.g. children’s rights are not respected in some countries
    2. When we want to focus on what happened but not the one who did the action.
    E.g. the laws of protecting a woman are broken every day. (We don’t know by who)
    3. When we want to avoid subjects which would make the meaning
    E.g. child abuse was talked about in the meeting.
    Note: we use “by” when we want to say who did the action with action verbs.
    Exercise: transform the following sentences into passive voice
    1. Waitress and waiters serve customers.
    2. The teacher is going to explain the lesson.
    3. Does Professor Samuel teach that course?
    4. Tell the class 10 things a child should be provided with because it is his/
    her right. Remember to use passive voice. ( example: a child should be
    given food)

    7.4. End unit assessment