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Five months into our pilot of Human Rights: Not a Game, we reflect on the importance of supporting self-advocacy and how our game is building rights knowledge across communities. 

As rights holders, people are often their own best advocates – especially when it comes to speaking to the impacts of systemic injustice (that’s partly why we are so keen on engaging with lived experience at Just Fair). But getting your voice heard when your rights are being violated can be hard if you are not confident about who to turn to, or how to use the language of human rights when you get there.  

At Just Fair, we work to encourage effective self-advocacy; supporting people to identify and articulate their experiences, and to claim their rights. 

Our work with civil society includes developing new legal educational tools on everyday rights issues, and resources that help people to understand and claim their rights. This work doesn’t just support individuals, it also improves accountability for all: strong public understandings of rights and how to claim them makes it harder for public bodies including governments to ignore them or paint violations of these rights – relating to poverty, food insecurity, homelessness – as inevitabilities or personal failings.  

Human Rights: Not a Game 

Our card game, Human Rights: Not a Game, is a new string in our educational bow, designed to demystify human rights. The game starts players on the journey of knowing and claiming their rights by showing them the ‘everyday’ nature of economic, social and cultural rights. 

Co-designed by Just Fair and a group of Community Researchers, the Game is the product of a two-year project to explore how to make our rights more accessible so that everyone can claim ‘their right to talk about rights’ and realise their power as a collective. 

Since launching the game at ATD’s event marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Just Fair has been focused on getting copies out to civil society organisations and activists to use in their outreach and campaigning. Copies of the game have been requested from every nation/jurisdiction of the UK, and as far away as Mexico, from anti-poverty campaigns, to universities, to women’s rights movements. 

The game has proven to be an accessible and fun way for activists to spark conversations about rights issues which can otherwise be challenging.  

“A great concept. I can see it being really useful for our outreach and campaign teams.” 

“I can’t wait to run this with our youth group – they’ve been learning about their rights and children’s rights over the last week and getting really excited. I think they’ll really like talking about the issues on the cards – this will be very popular” 

Just Fair staff introduces human rights not a game to a group
Background image by SoHyun Park for OBI x Fine Acts