Stage 1  GLOBAL

LEAVING- This lesson provides students with an understanding of the root causes of global migration. The reasons why people leave their homes, their friends and family, their language and culture and even risk their lives to migrate.  



Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child
  1. Asylum seeker- a person who has left their home country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum in another
  2. Refugee- a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
  3. Migrant- a person who migrates to another region or  country, usually for permanent residence.
  4. Migration - is moving from one region to another. This movement can be within a country or outside of the national borders. Often migration connotes large numbers of people on the move. 
  5. Immigrant - a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.


#Uprooted videos and worksheets

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Download Theme Guidance - JOURNEY




  1. Define root causes of migration

  2. Understand the stages of the journey from an individual perspective

  3. Better understand the effects migration has on children  


1st Year Junior Cycle English / Junior Cycle 

  • Key skill: Working with Others

  • Key skill element: Respecting Difference

  • Key skill: Being Literate

  • Key skill element: Exploring and creating a variety of texts, including multi-modal texts ·


Main Learning Outcomes (from English specification) addressed in this lesson: OL 4, OL 10

START 1:56


Stage 1


Introduction: Watch one of the two videos above to introduce the class to some of the reasons why children are uprooted and forced to leave home. Now introduce Natasha an Irish young person who has experience of this.  Depending on time, you can show the whole video or start it at the point she describes the reason why she had to flee from Zimbabwe. Her mother was targeted by the government for being an activist on women's rights. 


"What would cause you to leave Ireland, knowing you might not ever return?" 

War, conflict, oppression, persecution because of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, poverty, climate change / natural disasters, better quality of life, famine, crop failure, high crime 

"What emotions or impact would you be feeling when making this decision?" 

Fear, hunger, desperation, sadness, hope, loss, dread, apprehension, shame, determination, anxiety.


"What forced Irish people to migrate?"

Famine (late 1840s) Poverty (1900s) Employment (2000s)


"What would you be seeking?" 

Safety, peace, security, job, employment, education, opportunity.


"Which of these reasons is a human or child right?" 

Refer to the Convention on the Rights of the Child Poster.

Group Work Activity: Break in to smaller groups. Download regional worksheets below, by clicking on the regions your group is interested in exploring further. The first page of the handout is background information that can be read as homework, if time is an issue. Ask students to read the first paragraph, on page two, which is a UNICEF situational report of the area.  Based on this paragraph, the students will create a scenario of a young refugee or migrant on the move. The description includes:

  1. What country they live in?

  2. What the situation is like in that country and why they are leaving?

  3. What their living conditions are like? 

  4. What incident happened that lead them to make their decision? 

  5. Where they are trying to go to? 

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 8 (Preservation of identity): You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. Governments should respect your right to a name, a nationality and family ties.

Article 14 (Religion): You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs. your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you. 

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 29 (Goals of education): Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities to the fullest. It should also help you to respect others, human rights and you own and other cultures. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. 

Article 30 (Children of minorities/indigenous groups): Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion. The right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion applies to everyone; the Convention here highlights this right in instances where the practices are not shared by the majority of people in the country.



UNICEF Ireland wants to support you to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. Stay connected online with other activists like you. 


If you would like more information, getting involved or posting a blog about your activism, please email us at itsaboutus@unicef.ie

Thanks to our Supporters

Irish Aid for supporting youth activism within UNICEF Ireland.