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Democracy and human rights - History Form 2

Democracy and human rights

In this lesson, we are going to learn about democracy and human rights. We shall discuss in detail the children rights. Are you aware that children too have rights?

Children in a school


Lesson Objectives

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:

  • Define the terms Democracy and Human Rights.
  • Discuss the Kenyan Bill of Rights.
  • Discuss how the Kenyan Bill of Rights applies to specific groups of people in Kenya.



Meaning of Democracy

What do you undrestand by the term democracy? Democracy is a form of governance where people are involved in decision making.

Involving people in decision making by voting

The Bill of Rights

Rights of the child

In your opinion, who is a child? According to the laws of Kenya, a child is a person below the age of 18.

Photograph of children

Types of child rights

Types of child rights

There are four main types of children rights. These are:

  • survival rights,
  • developmental rights,
  • right to protection and
  • right to participation.

Survival rights

Survival rights are the basic rights that are necessary to the survival of a child.

A child beig breast fed

Developmental rights

Developmental rights are the rights that enable children to realise their full potential. They include:


  • Right to education and information
  • Right to play and leisure
  • Right to security
  • Right to parental love

Children playing

Right to protection

Right to protection states that it is the reponsibility of the family, society and the state to protect children from any kind of exploitation.

A child with the parents who protect the child

Right to participation

The right to participation guarantees the children the freedom of expression and to be listened to.

A student expressing himself

Classification of human rights

Classification of human rights

Human rights can be classified into three generations, 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations. In this session we are going to discuss these categories of human rights.

First generation rights

First generation rights

These are also called civil and political rights. They are natural basic rights that are almost automatic. They ensure a secure space for the individual to pursue their values and interests. These rights include:


  • Right to life
  • Freedom of worship
  • Right to vote
  • Right to contest in an election

Second Generation Rights

Second Generation Rights

Second generation rights are also called social economic and cultural rights. They require that the state take specific action to facilitate the development of its citizenry. It also requires that Individuals have to take extra steps in order to enjoy the rights. Examples of these rights are;


  • right to own property
  • right to work
  • right to start a family
  • right to access education
  • right to access health care

Third generation rights

Third generation rights

The third generation rights require state intervention as a regulator through responsible policies to guarantee enjoyment of these rights. Examples of solidarity rights are right to clean,healthy and sustainable environment. Others are rights to enjoy peace and development and right to fair competitive economical development.

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