In this module, students examine accounts of humanitarian acts performed by ordinary people— bystanders — to protect life and human dignity. They examine the nature of humanitarian behaviour, including the risks, obstacles, and dilemmas that bystanders may encounter.
Download PDFs of the entire module or of individual explorations here.
Exploration 1A: What can bystanders do?
- Using real life stories, students see how ordinary people have stood up against inhumane acts to protect the life and human dignity of vulnerable people. Historical and contemporary examples illustrate how bystanders can define events and move others toward empathy or indifference.
Exploration 1B: Looking at humanitarian acts
- Students consider what constitutes a humanitarian act. Drawing from the accounts they are given and their personal experience, they develop their own definition. They analyse the reasons for acting to protect others and the risks involved. Using statements from people involved in war, they assess the various factors in armed conflict that hinder humanitarian acts.
Exploration 1C: A bystander's dilemma
- By adopting the role of an actual bystander witnessing an assault on someone's human dignity, students learn how to analyse a dilemma and begin to understand some of the complexities bystanders often face.