English Reading Practice

Human Right Number 17:
The Right to Your Own Things

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "The Right to Your Own Things" just below it.

3. Do the exercise at the bottom of the page.

Here is the The Right to Your Own Things video. You can watch it in your own language at www.youthforhumanrights.org. (Simply click the word "language" at the top of their homepage.)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes 30 basic rights that each person has, simply because he or she is human.

This is human right number 17 (the simplified version):

"17. The Right to Your Own Things. Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason."

Now read the short story about this important human right.

The Right to Your Own Things  

James is two years old and he worships his big sister Janice. He wants to do everything she does. Janice adores her little brother, but mostly, Janice just likes to be in charge.

When James gets a new set of blocks, Janice wants to be in charge of them. She takes them away from him and starts to build a tower.

Of course, James does not like this. He screams and hits Janice. He knocks her tower over. Then Janice screams and hits him back.

Their mother comes into the room. "Stop!" she says in a high voice. "Enough!" She picks Janice up and puts her on the couch.

Then she explains, "Janice, these blocks belong to James. They are his. They are not yours. If he wants to share them with you, he can, but you do not have the right to just go take what is his. Do you understand?"

Janice nods. Her mother continues. "What if I went over to the neighbor's house and just took something that I wanted? That would be wrong. We do not do that. People have the right to their own things."

"Okay, Mom," Janice says.

"Okee," James tries to say.

And now, practice:

Exercise 01

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