Human Rights: Law and Social Justice

Human Rights: Law and Social Justice

PhotoVoice is a research methodology commonly used with disadvantaged groups as a way to examine their interactions with, and perceptions of, the world. Photos become the visual image through which a story can be told.

Over the weeks of learning in this unit specific human rights treaties and conventions have been examined, as well as core concepts such as human rights in terms of dignity and what happens when it is oppressed – when basic freedoms are denied. What are the types of infringements of human rights that are at issue?In this assessment piece you are to choose a population group (e.g. women) or an issue (child maltreatment) related to human rights and social justice where you believe dignity has been oppressed and freedoms have been denied. Using 3-5 photos (please do not include anyone’s face), construct a narrative that you believe represents the current situation with this population group or issue and how a human rights-based practice within your discipline can advocate and empower people in such situations. Within your written paper you embed the emblematic photos you have chosen and succinctly identify how the portrayal is emblematic of the narratives at play. For example, a photo of bars could represent imprisonment; a photo of two different hands together could represent the freedom to talk to an advocate. You won’t be marked on your photographic skills but you will be marked on the strength of your arguments and narrative.

The written assignment should address the following:

Choose an issue currently under debate or which is the subject of allegations within the human rights arena e.g. genocide of Rohingya peoples within Myanmar, oppression of asylum seekers in Australia and in Manus Island and Nauru, discrimination against women in Australia, child maltreatment, discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, etc.

Using peer-reviewed articles, scholarly books, reports and studies by respected groups or entities, as well as media pieces where relevant, to justify and strengthen your arguments. You may cover the following points:

Describe and define the issue you’ve chosen to explore and why it is important.

Identify the key features and characteristics of the narratives at play for the issue or group. Here you can examine the complex and contested discourses operating in the public, practice and policy domains, in particular, the primary or overriding discourses, as well as the subversive or challenging discourses, and the latent and emerging discourses. Doing so will help you to grapple with the contested nature of human rights and social justice.

How are human needs defined and argued within this issue? Is the “need” and issue for a particular population or can it be justified within a particular historical context?

Which human rights are considered relevant to this particular issue? Why?

Which Australian and international laws, treaties or conventions are relevant to the issue? Justify your conclusions with specific references to the legal context (e.g. the High Court decision in 2016 regarding off-shore detention centres for asylum seekers and refugees in Australia).How has this issue been perceived and debated within your specific profession? Has your specific profession undertaken any action with regards to this issue?

Remember that this assessment piece is not about putting forward a polemical rant from astride your high horse. Rather, it is about a reasoned, compelling and evidence-based analysis and argument about applying a human rights framework to a group or an issue.

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