Understanding International Law

In our increasingly globalized world, our youth are becoming more and more citizens of the world. As such, they need a solid understanding of social justice, human rights, global democracy and their role in the creation of just societies. This resource aims to provide high school students with the knowledge they need to become effective global citizens and undertake global responsibilities as Canadians.

International law has many facets, including human rights and humanitarian law, and is increasingly a defining force in our global world. A basic understanding of international legal principles is vital for youth to be able to understand and respond to pressing issues faced by the world today. This resource outlines the basic principles of International Law and the major rights protecting Conventions.

Topics include:

  • What is international law? 
  • Who is governed by international law?
  • How is international law created? 
  • How is international law enforced? 
  • International human rights law
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights 
  • International Bill of Rights 
  • The United Nations
  • International Court of Justice
  • UN Peacekeeping
  • United Nations Treaty-Making and Monitoring 
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
  • United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) 
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • Do International Human Rights Treaties Work?
  • Use of International Law by Indigenous People in Canada 
  • International Environmental Law
  • Humanitarian Law
  • The Geneva Conventions
  • International War Tribunals – former Yugoslavia and Rwanda
  • International Criminal Court
  • Responsibility to Protect 
Grade Level: Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12
Curriculum Links: 
Civics, Grade 10, Open (CHV2O)
Canadian and World Issues: A Geographic Analysis, Grade 12, University Preparation (CGW4U)
History
Law
Understanding Canadian Law in Everyday Life, Grade 11, Workplace Preparation (CLU3E)
Understanding Canadian Law, Grade 11, University/College Preparation (CLU3M)
Legal Studies, Grade 12, College Preparation (CLN4C)
Canadian and International Law, Grade 12, University Preparation (CLN4U)
Politics
Family Studies
Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology, Grade 11, University/College Preparation (HSP3M)
Challenge and Change in Society, Grade 12, University/College Preparation (HSB4M)
Philosophy
World Religions
Native Studies
Date Produced/Updated: 
2012

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