In MY COUNTRY IS TIBET, BYkids filmmaker Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari takes us to the heart of issues such as the right to national sovereignty, cultural heritage and identity, and the freedom to travel across borders. When thinking about these issues, consider Articles 9, 13, and 15 in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
(13/1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(13/2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(15/1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(15/2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
For Teachers: Research
Ask students to research refugee communities in the United States, Israel and Pakistan. What does it mean to be a refugee in these countries? What basic civil rights are denied to these refugee groups? What might be some of the emotional challenges of being a refugee? What are the physical, economic and political implications? What struggles are unique to the Tibetan refugee community?
For Students: Reflect
When a person becomes a refugee, he or she loses his home. What does it mean to lose your home? Imagine that you were forced to leave your country and you had no prospects of ever returning. What would this mean to you? What would you miss most?
For All Of Us: Respond
- Host a benefit screening of MY COUNTRY IS TIBET. Request those attending to make a voluntary contribution to RefugePoint, an international non-profit that supports international refugees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Host a debate party and ask guests to share their thoughts about the topic of political refugees. What refugees are you aware of and how did you learn about them? What are the various political or social dynamics that have created large refugee populations around the globe? What rights do refugees have, what rights are they denied? Who are the refugees in your local community? What can individuals/communities do to help? As guests leave, hand out half-page flyers with information about the UN Refugee Agency (www.unhcr.org) so that they can get involved in the issues you’ve discussed together.
- The UN Refugee Agency recently launched their Blue Key Campaign to support international refugees. You can buy a key to show your support, or buy a quantity of keys and resell them to your friends and colleagues to raise money and awareness. Visit: www.thebluekey.org
- Sign a petition or start your own to raise awareness about the plight of refugees around the world. Visit: www.change.org/petitions (and search for “refugee”)
Created and written by Big Picture Instructional Design for BYkids.