All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights! Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be the basis of all action in our world. But how does our reality measure up? This is the question addressed by five short simulation games that we designed and developed for the human rights initiative #freiundgleich of the Protestant Church in Germany. Specifically, they deal with civilian sea rescue on the Mediterranean, sexual harassment at the workplace, right-wing ideas in voluntary work, corporate responsibility in the textile industry and the possibilities and limits of religious freedom. The games are designed for groups of up to 20 people aged 14 and over, and can be completed within 2.5 hours.
Since their completion, the simulation games can be downloaded for free at #freiundgleich [https://freiundgleich.info/publikation/planspiele/], accompanied by a handout for independent implementation. We premiered four of the simulation games at the Protestant Church Congress, an experience of unusual dimensions for us: the lively, bustling venues, the number, age range and enthusiasm for argument among the participants, the peaceful, concentrated and inspired atmosphere always feel somewhat unique.
To date, the simulation games on civilian sea rescue on the Mediterranean and on right-wing attitudes in voluntary work have been in great demand - as on-site events in schools or educational institutions as well as online versions via video conference. In addition, we regularly run short simulation game training sessions with rescue activists, giving them a fresh perspective on how to assess and discuss the issue of human rights on the Mediterranean in their local groups.
Since the initial task of developing the simulation games and accompanying materials, they have accompanied us to huge events such as the Kirchentag as well as into small online groups of young people or online training courses with activists. Regardless of the setting, the fact that human rights are often disregarded forms the basis of many discussions. But time and again we also see that countless people are working to change social and political injustices for the better - with the goal that at some point all people can live #freeandequal.