Take Action

In DISPLACED BUT NOT DEFEATED, BYkids filmmaker María Ceballos Paz powerfully recounts how the consequences of civil war extend well beyond the battlefield. Decades of conflict in Colombia have displaced millions in the population and thrust them into a life of poverty. When thinking about the human right to an adequate living standard and protection against arbitrary property deprivation, consider Articles 17, 25, and 28 in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 17:
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 25:
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Article 28:
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

For Teachers: Research

Ask your students to identify the five countries with the largest population percentage of internally displaced individuals. In each country, what caused the internal displacement? Then ask your students to compare the percentage population of those living in extreme poverty in India and the U.S to those displaced by civil conflict in Colombia. What are the root causes of their poverty? What are the living conditions for each group and what public assistance, if any, is made available to them? In each of the three countries, what is the likelihood of a person born into poverty of accessing a higher standard of living? After doing this research, why do you think the United Nations considers an adequate standard of living to be a basic human?

For Students: Reflect

If you had to leave your house without anything except the clothes on your back, how would you and your family create a home wherever you landed? What relationships, behaviors, and cultural, personal and religious traditions or rituals might you rely upon to create a sense of belonging, safety and connection if all your personal belongings were gone? What makes a place a home?

For All Of Us: Respond

  1. Share your ideas on how policymakers can enact legislation and create change that protects the rights of refugees and internally displaced people at refugeesinternational.org/blog/have-your-say-contribute-ri-blog
  2. Sign a petition or start one of your own to raise awareness about the ongoing effects of war and the relationship between internally displaced populations, extreme poverty and war at: www.change.org.
  3. Host a community or private screening of DISPLACED BUT NOT DEFEATED to raise awareness of the challenges facing displaced Colombians and how storytelling through film can deepen our understanding of global issues. Email info@bykids.org for more information.
  4. Donate to the UN Refugee Agency to send kitchen sets, bedding, stoves, and tents to displaced Colombians at donate.unhcr.org/1family. Select “Colombia” under “Give through your national office.”

Created and written by Big Picture Instructional Design for BYkids.