Teaching Tolerance

July 11, 2018

As conflict and persecution drive more people from their homes, we all need to ask ourselves, "What if this was my family?" 

For millions of children, travel is their only chance for a better future. But too many can't travel safely. Every year, tens of thousands of children from Central America and Mexico migrate, fleeing violence and poverty, and seeking family reunification. Migrant children must be protected in countries of origin, transit and destination. 

Migration is part of the human story. Human beings have coped with tremendous challenges and upheavals throughout history. When people are driven from one part of the world by circumstances beyond their control, they need to move to a safer place. Understanding that we all share the same planet means that migration is not a zero-sum game. 

Some points for teachers and parents to share:

Consistently emphasize that human rights are a collective promise made by all countries of the world, including those currently in conflict. Everyone has the right to enjoy a safe, happy and fulfilling life, where dignity and worth are equally valued. The international system of refugee protection is founded on the principle of every country helping fellow human beings in times of need. It is a mutual system. 

Assert the human dignity, strengths and capabilities of refugees and migrants. Migrant children and adults do not need pity or charity. They have human rights just like everyone else. 

Protecting the rights of refugee and migrant children is good for everyone.