Human Rights and Sport: when a game is a powerful tool

With the aim of celebrating the 10th of December, International Day of Human Rights, the International Department of Opes (ENGSO Italian member) and some of its national and European partners reunited in Rome.

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The organisations that gathered are collaborating together on projects V as Value and A Hat Trick for Inclusion, both coordinated by Opes. More than 50 people came from Italy, Romania, Sweden, France, Portugal, Slovenia and Bulgaria, and joined the activities in the capital of Italy. For two days they completely focused on how to build resilient sport communities.


This meeting has been, among other things, an occasion to talk once again about Sport as an effective tool to promote and defend Human Rights. The idea is that sport is fundamental in our societies and through it and its principles, we can be able to share the values of respect, and democracy, and overcome social, cultural and economic obstacles in local communities, and not only.


Guided by this point of view, some of the invited organisations presented finished and planned activities for the next months and most importantly, the partners agreed on the next steps of the projects to be implemented together. But how to inspire organisations? How to support them in this work? How to involve young people, very often drivers of positive change, in this process?


When a game is a powerful tool


A final workshop was then held with a specific focus on tools and resources to be used for advocacy, communication/dissemination and training. The occasion was good to leave space to the organisations to present their good practices to work effectively for the dissemination, promotion and protection of Human Rights, specifically through and within sport.


In this framework, Alessia De Iulis, a volunteer in Opes Italia and project coordinator and young delegate in the Sustainability working group of EY, presented the Manual on Human Rights Education through Sport recently published by ENGSO Youth.


“Working a lot with young people and volunteers in Opes and Engso Youth, it’s important to always keep track of new tools and possibilities to implement meaningful activities. If we want to have an impact on society and operate a positive change, education and spreading values such as equity, diversity, tolerance, respect, and inclusion are the key! As we know and try to promote as much as possible with our organisations, education is not just meant to happen behind a desk, at school or in formal environments. Non-formal education is a powerful tool, and even more so when associated with sports. And ENGSO Youth Manual, created BY young people FOR young people it’s an opportunity for us to have new inputs and ideas when building our training sessions or just spending some quality time in team”.

After the presentation, the manual was sent to the participants, in order for everyone to have the chance to use it in their local contexts and activities. Moreover, the Italian translation will be soon available!

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