The website "Learning from History" is a publication platform
for educational projects (realized in schools
and in out-of-school, youth education)
dedicated to the history of Poland and its neighbors in the 20th century and human rights
Simulation Games on Human Rights Dilemmas. Manuals with Role Cards and Guidelines for Facilitators
Location / Region: Berlin
Institution: Humanity in Action Deutschland e.V.
Patron / Project supervision: Humanity in Action Deutschland e.V.
Project authors: Humanity in Action Deutschland e.V.
Age group: Mixed group
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Antje Scheidler and Anne Stalfort
Kollwitzstr. 94-96, 10435 Berlin
+49 (0)30 4430 82-71/-74

Introductory remarks

Simulation games are an innovative educational tool linking human rights education with political and history education. Simulating human rights dilemmas provides a playful way of learning and understanding the complex political dynamics behind them. Participants assume the roles of different interest groups, explore the driving forces and the historical background of a conflict, explore codified rights related to the case, and strive for an acceptable compromise in negotiations.

Topics of Simulation Games developed by Humanity in Action: 

1) Post-Conflict Resolution and Transitional Justice

…case study on post-conflict resolution and instruments of transitional justice in a fictitious country…

2) Segregated vs. Integrated Schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina

…issues of civic, ethnic and religious identity and integration based on a case study of a school for Bosniaks and Croats…

3) European Regime Changes in the late 1980s

…the transition from an authoritarian regime to democracy in a fictitious country based on the experiences of the collapse of the Communist Eastern bloc …

4) Business Ethics in a Globalized Economy

…an explosion in a supplier factory of an international electronics corporation leads to a discussion about labour rights, corporate social responsibility and consumers’ choices…

5) Undocumented Migrants and Access to Health Care

…an examination of the current accessibility of the German Health Care System for an especially vulnerable group of migrants…

6) Human Rights, National Security, and Preventive Detention

…a fictitious parliamentary committee meeting on the controversy around preventive detention in Germany…

7) Diversity in the Police Force

…a fictitious scenario of a town where questions of racial profiling and discriminatory hiring practices within the police department are being addressed…

8) The Fairest System of All: Challenges in Education Reform

…a fictitious scenario gives participants the chance to experience the obstacles when aiming for an educational reform...

The simulations manuals include a scenario, background information, role cards, and guidelines for facilitators. They can be downloaded at the “Teaching Tools” section of the HIA website: -> Knowledge and Action -> Teaching Tools

Supported by:

Didactic text

A simulation game attempts to copy various activities from "real life" in the form of a game for various purposes such as training, analysis, or prediction. Usually there are no strictly defined goals in the game, with players instead allowed to freely control a character. Comparisons of the merits of simulation games versus other teaching techniques have been carried out by many ...

Creating fictitious scenario
Develop negotiation skills
Convey factual knowledge
Totalitarian regimes
Forms of commemorating
Human rights