One Step Forward

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Human rights are the base of the least common denominator at least in democratic countries worldwide. Still many individuals cannot participate in these human rights. This method allows to reflect on it.

Time 40 minutes

Material materials from the References below

Group Size 10-30 people

Keywords global interconnections, fairness, human rights, wealth





We are all equal, but some are more equal than others. In this activity participants take on roles and move forward depending on their chances and opportunities in life. The method allows a clear and concise experience of different chances various people with various backgrounds have. It is activiating and stimulates discussions on many important issues. It is perfectly described in the link we provide below, so we are not going into details here.


Each person gets a role randomly. You read a comment from the list and if the participant can answer with a "yes" in his role to your comment, then he moves a step forward. If the participant answers with a "no" they have to remain where they are. In the end after a reading a few comments you get a clear picture who can participate and benefit from human rights and who cannot.

Three comments, how to widen the method:

1) In a second round, you could ask questions about the skills and experiences of the persons. This might change the outcome. Questions could be such as: -) I know how to deal with difficult situations in life -) I know how to support other people in different situations -) I know how to deal with authorities -) I am not easily shocked and so on. This widening of the perspective might show disadvantaged groups not only as vicitims and- in the case of the original version of the game- as losers, but it shows their skills, experiences and strengths they have.

2) If you have a group of young people, it might be useful that they share a role in couples. It is simply easier to deal with if you have a partner on your side.

3) The global dimension in this game can be made explicit quite easily. If the topic does not pop up, you can e.g. use following guiding questions:

How would the situation change if the same questions were asked in another country? Why do people migrate, so that a certain role actually exists? What are the reasons, that some people have the "capacity" to answer "yes" on more or less each questions and others cannot?