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Human Rights Education Through Sport

ENGSO Youth - European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation

Lietuvos sporto federaciju sajunga Zemaites 6, LT-03117 Vilnius, Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania

  • Human rights

Concrete tool

ENGSO Youth Programme “Back to Basics – Human Rights Education through Sport” started to be designed in 2021 to be delivered during 2022, the European Year of Youth.The Programme received support from the Council of Europe via European Youth Foundation and was co-funded by the European Union via the Erasmus+ programme.
Young people in sports organisations are often deprived of the space to participate in decision-making and the opportunity to engage in human rights education and human rights activism. There are many young people within communities who are involved in sports activities and clubs, who also have the right and need for human rights education. The struggle for human rights is a complex issue – it requires dedication, knowledge, a positive attitude and convictions. In the process of fighting for human rights and for the development and promotion of human rights education, it is the people who play the most important role.
That is why, with this project, we wanted to target young people active in sports clubs and organisations and provide them with quality human rights education. We believe that we need to look beyond the “usual” places where human rights education is provided (like schools and youth centres). We need to build the capacity of other sectors where young people are engaged and active and use their practices to provide quality human rights education. Therefore, Young People engaged in Sport clubs and Sport organisations were the logic target group for this programme as both the Eurobarometer on Youth participation and the Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity show us that not only Youth is the biggest segment of our population practising sports, as well as that Sport Clubs are the preferred space for Young People’s participation in the society. These facts have been proven continuously in several Eurobarometer published on the topics (Youth Participation / Sport and Physical Activity).

The main idea of the project was to support youth and sport organisations as well as sport and youth workers in developing competencies and skills to act as multipliers for human rights and human rights education through sports in their realities.
The aim of the project was to introduce Human Rights Education to youth sport leaders and sport workers and to equip them with tools and competencies to use Human Rights Education and its approach in their everyday work.
In this regard, the project was developed, designed and implemented through a series of 3 international activities:

  1. First International Activity – The seminar “Exploring and Developing – Human Rights Education through Sport” was the first international learning activity of the project. The objective of this seminar was to explore various tools, methods and approaches to human rights education and to develop new ones for delivering human rights education through sport. It focused on: Setting the context for the whole project and its different stages; Creating a team of young leaders who will be the driving force behind the whole process; Creating common ground and understanding of human rights and human rights education; Exploring existing tools and manuals related to human rights education (Compass, Bookmarks, Mirrors, Gender Matters, etc.); Developing new methods and tools for delivering human rights education to youth through sport.
  2. Second International Activity – “Testing & feedback – International youth camp”. The second phase of the project was continued immediately after the first seminar and included several follow-up activities aimed at testing the tools, methods and approaches developed to deliver human rights education to young people through sport. The main objective of this phase was to test the tools and methods developed during the first International Activity – update the information and focus on the accessibility aspect of activities developed during the first event. Out of 5 created activities, the participants decided to continuing working with 4 of them after discussions regarding the possibility to implement them in accessible manner. The 4 activities created and selected by the participants were: Game 1: “1,2, droit”; Game 2: “The fair throw”; Game 3: “The other side of the medal”; Game 4: “(Un)Level the playing field”. These activities were incorporated in the produced and published Manual of the Programme: Human Rights through Sport manual – Final outcome of the Back to Basics: Human Rights Education through Sport programme
  3. Third International Activity – Concluding and strategizing seminar. The third activity, “Concluding and strategizing seminar” took place in Arnhem, The Netherlands from 12 October 2022 to 17 October 2022, and its main aim was to finalise the manual on human rights education through sport and to develop a strategy for its promotion, dissemination and application in the work of ENGSO Youth and local communities/organisations of participants. It was also an example of creating advocacy actions to present the work accomplished, ideas and seek for the sustainable impact o the project.

More information:

More than 100 young leaders working within and/or with the youth & sport sector from more than 30 countries were introduced to a theoretical context around Sports’ contribution to promote, ensure and advocate for Human Rights. With the inspiration of discussions, exchange of ideas and their own expertise, participants of the Human Rights Education programme, led by ENGSO Youth, created the manual of the programme that includes meaningful non-formal education physical activities and exercises with the common goal: to highlight and educate on the power of sport as a tool to promote Human Rights. A list of possible follow-up activities was collected by ENGSO Youth team and it is being further implemented together with participants. They included (among others):

Organisation and practice