ARRIVAL - In this lesson, children will learn about the global agreements that enable people to seek safety and refuge in a new country. They will explore the difficulties people face in deciding where to go, getting there and being allowed to stay.

Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:


Learner Journal

Download Theme Guidance - JOURNEY

  1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights - an international document that states basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which all human beings are entitled

  2. The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention- Is an international agreement that defines who is a refugee. It lists the rights of people who are granted asylum (allowed to live in another country because it is not safe to live in their home country). It also lists the responsibilities of countries that give asylum to refugees. This was drawn up at the end of the Second World War. Ireland is a signatory.

  3. UNHCR- The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has the responsibility for providing international protection for refugees and for seeking permanent solutions.  

  4. Direct Provision - established in 2000 as an interim measure to house the large numbers of asylum seekers coming to Ireland. 35 centres that provide accommodation and food for people while their claim is being processed. Like Minahil, some families have stayed in Direct Provision for over 10 years. 


​​Students will be enabled to: 

  1. Learn about the rights of refugees globally and within Ireland

  2. Discuss the current refugee and migrant crisis

  3. Debate if Ireland is meeting its obligations to refugees 



1st Year Junior Cycle English


Key skill: Managing information and thinking   

Key skill element: Being curious

Key skill: Being Creative                                       

Key skill element: Imagining/ Exploring ideas and taking action

Learning Outcomes: OL4, R3

(from the Junior Cycle English specification)


  1. Introduction: Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world's 24th biggest. Aid agencies are running out of money to support the growing numbers. Usually more than half of any refugee population are children. Refugee children are first and foremost children, and as children, they need to have their rights respected. As refugees, they are particularly at risk. They are more susceptible to disease, malnutrition and physical injury.  Children are also developing and if they miss key stages of development it can forever damage their physical and mental well-being. As conflict and crises persist children can lose their childhood.

  2. Video: Watch the above video 80 years apart, these two refugees have more in common than you’d think | UNICEF

  3. Discuss: Is the world doing enough, is Ireland doing enough? Should refugees rely on luck and charity or should government's ensure they their rights are respected?

Walking Debate: Should Ireland take in more refugees given that we have so many problems, like our housing crisis and healthcare crisis? 


We can't afford to?- Ireland is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. In 2018, Ireland ranks 8th wealthiest amoung all nations on the global ranking scale: Inclusive Development Index (IDI) If Ireland can't afford to, how come other countries can?

Turkey hosted almost 3 million refugees in 2016, the largest population of any country. Refugee numbers climbed by nearly half a million - from 2.5 million to 2.9 million - in the space of a year. (UNHCR) In terms of percentage of their population, that would be the equivalent of Ireland receiving 250,000.

We are taking our fair share- The Government has failed to meet its original pledge of bringing 4,000 asylum seekers into the country by the end of 2017.  A total of 1,337 men, women and children have arrived in Ireland under the State’s refugee protection programme since 2015, less than half the original pledge made by the Government.

As a percentage of our population, Ireland ranks 29th out of 45 European countries in receiving asylum seekers and refugees.  Asylum seekers comprise 0.01% of the Irish population (that is 1 out of every 10,000 people is an asylum seeker).

In Lebanon, one in six people was a refugee in 2016 meaning that the country had the largest number of displaced people relative to its own population. 

Globally, the number of refugees and internally displaced people reached 65 million for the first time, with 86% in developing countries without adequate resources to help them. (World Economic Forum)

Ireland is too small of a country to take in more refugees

Ireland used to have a population of over 8 million, Current population of the Republic is 4.5 million.  Ireland has a population density of 65 people per square km (compared to the UK’s population density of 260 people per square km).

Ireland's economy will be hurt by taking in more refugees

The OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, assessed the effect of immigrants on its members’ finances in 2007-09. It found they made a net fiscal contribution of around 0.35% of GDP on average, with relatively little variation from country to country. (The Economist) 

4. Watch  the second video #AChildisaChild to close the activity. 

Action: Ask students to go online and share one of the two videos or hold a walking debate in another class. 


Stage 1



Share with the children the poster on Convention of the Rights of the Child. Ask them to determine which rights are significant to the topic they have been discussing. 

Article 4 (Protection of rights) The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights are protected. They must help your family protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow learn and reach your potential. 

Article 15 (Freedom of association) You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn't harmful to others. 

Article 16 (Privacy) You have the right to privacy. The law should protect you from attacks against your way of life, your good name, your families and your homes. 

Article 22 (Refugee children): You have the right to special protection and help if you are refugees (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in the Convention.

Article 27 (Adequate standard of living): You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so that you can't do many of the things other kids can do.


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