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Stage 4

Background of this stage: To promote the ability for moral judgment is an important goal for education, but it cannot be limited to the mere propagation of moral principles. What is needed is a change of perspective, the ability to reflect on moral principles and the ability to put one's own position up for discussion.


Upon completion of this stage, students should:

  • be able to make well-founded value-judgments (with regard to the issue) and to discuss and represent them in confrontation with other opinions.


  • Ethical principles and criteria, especially human rights
  • Personal and empathic change of perspective
  • Own judgement formation and discussing one’s own position


  • Change of perspective
  • Exercises to relate general ethical principles to the topic and to concretize them
  • Exercises to present, justify and discuss one's own position and judgement

Transition from Stage 3

Remind the students that the last time they had an encounter with a guest in which they learned more about the experiences and the situation of refugees. If we are able to adopt the perspectives of other people through encounter, we can better answer the question of what people need and what their rights are. Now the question is what these people’s legitimate rights are and how we can live well together.

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Step #1

Change of perspective: What if...?

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Ask the students to think for themselves first (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • I imagine that I have fled here from another country: What would be particularly important to me? What would I need in order to arrive safely in my new homeland, to be able to contribute to my new society and to live well together with the people here?
  • For what would I wish for as a refugee: To what would I have a right, a claim?

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Ask students to form groups after personal reflection.

In the groups, the students should discuss on the basis of their personal reflections and jointly draft a "Charter of Refugee Rights" (flipchart, PowerPoint, etc.). They can either create a simple, written list of rights or display the rights graphically/symbolically (depending on the time).

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Each group should then present their charter and explain why they have included these rights and what they mean by them. If there have been differences of opinion within the group, they should be named.

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Short reflection:

  • > What do we notice?
  • > Is there something (e.g. a particular right) that is particularly important to all of us?
  • > Are there different points of view? For example, one may disagree as to whether a certain right actually exists or how comprehensively a certain right is understood.
  • > We have heard what refugees themselves think is important to them. Is this in line with what we have formulated as the fundamental rights of refugees?

Step #2

What basic rights do refugees have?

In this step you can choose between different videos, in which basic rights of refugees are thematically presented.

The Ted Talk with David Miliband (president of International Rescue Committee) offers a lot to think about and discuss, but is not always easy to follow due to the length (18 min) and level of language. The part from 07:10 (“What I will to tell you today”) to 09:00 (“who are victims of terror”, applause) in which David Miliband describes "four solutions" that are associated with rights (right to education, right to work, right to financial support, right to protection from danger) is particularly interesting for the question of the rights of refugees.

The other two videos (animations) are much shorter and are limited to a presentation of the rights according to the Geneva Refugee Convention.

This 5-minute video (animation) basically explains human rights. If you choose this video, the students must relate the human rights that apply to all human beings to the particular situation of refugees.

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Show the video and ask the students to pay attention to what rights of refugees are mentioned.

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Discussion: What rights of refugees are named? How do the rights mentioned here relate to the rights they collected in Step 1 (similarities/ differences)?

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Depending on the time and how you assess the level of knowledge in your class, you may also ask (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > To what extent (in your estimation) are these rights of refugees fulfilled in our country? In what respect could we (our country) do more to fulfil the rights of refugees?
  • > Which rights are rejected by some in the local communities? What could be the reason for this refusal and how justified is it?
  • > What values do I express when I advocate or reject these rights of refugees?

Step #3

Role-playing: How do we want to live together?

    Situation: (Situation → worksheet for students)
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  • In the small-town X-City a refugee shelter with 400 inhabitants was founded a few weeks ago. Many families have small children.
  • Even before the refugees moved in, a citizens' initiative was formed ("Refugees: Not with us!"), which is strictly against the shelter. It warns against rising criminality and other dangers by the refugees and demands that X-City should take more care of its own population. In X-City there are social problems. If one cannot prevent the refugee shelter, one must protect the citizens at least against the refugees.
  • At the same time, a group of volunteer refugee helpers ("Refugees Welcome!") has been set up to support the refugees and promote good relations between refugees and locals. They point out the basic rights of refugees and that everyone in X-City benefits from living together.
  • Recently there have been some thefts that have been attributed to the refugees. Some neighbours complain about noise and waste from the shelter and rumours are circulating in the city that some refugees behave "very suspiciously" and appear dangerous when they are moving around the city. At the same time, some refugees complain that they are not served in shops or are insulted on the street. They say it is be very difficult to have friendly contacts with the locals.
  • The mayor of X-City wants to prevent the conflicts from escalating and initiates a round table. He invites: 2 representatives each of the initiative "Refugees: Not with us", the "Refugees Welcome" helpers' circle, the neighbourhood of the shelter and 2 refugees. Key question of the Round Table: "How do we want to live together in X-City? Who has what rights and what obligations? What concrete steps do we agree to take for our future living together?” The mayor moderates the conversation. Everyone will be able to contribute his or her point of view, but may not denigrate or insult other participants.
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Form 5 groups:

  • > Group 1 appoints a person to play the mayor and advises the "mayor" in the preparation of the Round Table. Since the role of the mayor in the Round Table is very demanding, we recommend that you play this role yourself. In this case, you can also consult with a group of students on how to moderate the Round Table.
  • > Groups 2-5 (“Refugees: Not with us!”, “Refugees Welcome!”, neighbourhood, refugees) each nominate 2 representatives for the Round Table and discuss with them which positions and demands they should take at the Round Table.

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While the round table takes place, the other students watch.

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Reflection after the Round Table (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • Spectators:
    What did we notice? What strategy did the participants follow? Did they express any prejudices or denigrations of a person? Which rights and duties of refugees and locals were mentioned? Which arguments did I find convincing, which less? Has an understanding been reached or have certain participants prevailed? Which concepts for living together in the community became apparent?
  • Participants of the Round Table:
    How did I feel in my role? How have I experienced it, if required, to represent a position that I do not share in "real life"? Have I been able to convince others (how?)? Have I changed my mind (why?)? Am I satisfied with the process and with the result (if not: what is missing or what bothers me?) If I could have the discussion again how would I present my arguments, how would I position myself in relation to the issues presented?

Invitation to Reflection

Explain the reflection task for this stage (Reflection task → worksheet for students)

By the next stage, please:

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Write down the three most important rights that you as a refugee in another country would not want to renounce under any circumstances.

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Take a picture of objects/symbols that represent these rights.

Summary and Transition

Ask the students to explain in a few sentences what they have learned in this stage. After some students have said something about this question, you can summarize it in your own words (see the goals of the les-son above!).
Then you can explain how the next stage will follow: “The next time we will deal with prejudices and denigration.”

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