Human Rights Education Through Sport programme concludes in Arnhem, the Netherlands

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Funded by the Council of Europe through the European Youth Foundation.

After Budapest in February and Portimão in June, young leaders from all over Europe travelled to the sports capital of the Netherlands – Arnhem, Papendal, for the 3rd international activity “Concluding and Strategizing Seminar” of our Human Rights Education through Sport programme.

The seminar took place on 12-17 October 2022, in the homebase of the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation (NOC*NSF) – the training centre Papendal in Arnhem, The Netherlands. 

35 participants joined the seminar to present the manual on human rights education through sport to the key sport stakeholders and develop a strategy for its dissemination and extension. The event served as a closing act of the programme and provided a space to evaluate the lessons learnt during this year’s activities and summarise the impressions, results and the next steps.

Day 1

The activities kicked off on Thursday, 13 October 2022, with a welcome session and team building activities aiming to connect and get to know each other (a bit better). 


Day one was dedicated to the final touches of the Human Rights Education manual and preparations of the interactive workshop that will be included in the manual, and were also used among the participants of the European Sports Platform – representatives of the National Sport Federations and other sport organizations. 


Participants also had an opportunity to present the national and local testing workshops they implemented in their home communities in the past few months.

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Day 2


The second day of the seminar revolved around the topic of inclusion in sports. The “Sports4all and the Inclusive Paradox” sessions included a panel of experts from European sport federations and institutions, and invited participants to  redefine and discuss the challenges inclusion can bring: how to include to avoid exclusion of others, how to use data to boost participation, and how one inclusive movement can inspire a chain of positive changes. 


The European standpoint on inclusion was brought on the table in session two, through which experts, including Florencia Van Houdt, Head of the Unit for Sport at the European Commission, answered the question on “Where does Europe stand for inclusion”? A good practice from the Netherlands – the Triple Threat, was presented by its young founder Okrah Donkor which strengthened its own community using sport as a tool. 


The afternoon programme included parallel sessions on LGBTQI+ community and youth sport in Europe, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, and field visit to wheelchair basketball or sport school for children with disabilities.

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Day 3 


The participants of the European Sport Platform, representatives of the European sport movement, had an opportunity to join our workshop on Human Rights Education through Sport. Through interactive games, the group experienced first hand what it feels like to be privileged or suppressed when it comes to human rights. 


The young participants shared the reports and status on human rights from their countries while the ENGSO Youth team invited everyone to follow our next steps, especially the release of the Human Rights Education manual. 


After the “Equality in sport” session, we used a few extra hours to discuss and reflect on the last details and missing points of the manual development. We concluded day three with the orientation game in the city of Arnhem.

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Day 4


Last day of activities kicked off with a critical evaluation of sport and media. The participants discussed whether the latter is an opportunity or a threat to human rights. We also discussed the next steps of the project: the knowledge the participants gained throughout the programme to implement follow up and legacy activities in their communities. 

The Human Rights Education through Sport programme concluded on Sunday with an evaluation and closing session.

While this was our last in person activity, the programme is far from being finished. The final act – the Human Rights manual – will be released in the coming weeks. The manual is made for the education of young people using sport as a platform. It includes interactive sport/physical activity workshops and leading reflection questions for further discussion.

ENGSO Youth would like to express special gratitude to Rawand and Shahzad for the facilitation of the activities, NOC*NSF for a warm welcome and incredible experience they provided us with as a host, as well as the Council of Europe and the European Youth Foundation for supporting the activities.   


Photos: Rasa Lukoseviciute and Camila Sobrino

About the Back to Basics – Human Rights education programme:

The main idea of the programme is to support youth and sport organizations as well as sport and youth workers in developing competences to act as a multiplier for human rights and human rights education through sports in their realities.

“Concluding and Strategizing Seminar” is the third and last international learning activity of the programme. During the international activity we will focus on concluding the manual for human rights education through sport and developing a strategy for its dissemination and extension. The event will serve to close the process, provide a space to finalize the results, plan the next steps and evaluate what has been done throughout the year. 


At the same time during the international activity we can promise a focus on new ideas, connection with  30  youth leaders in sports and showcasing the role of SPORT  to advocate for Human Rights!