Appendix G: Conflict Resolution

 The John Humphrey Centre Rights in Play Guide provides the following background information on the topic, Conflict Resolution: [1]


Conflicts often arise because of differing needs. They can exist between individuals, groups, organisations or states. Effective conflict resolution is an important aspect of meeting human rights goals and the ability to handle conflict and take cooperative action is at the core of human rights education. The games in this section explore the many facets of conflict resolution and promote critical thinking and teamwork.

Many strategies for resolving a conflict exist. These include: compromise, avoidance, accommodation, collaboration, and competition. The effective resolution of a conflict can lead to increased cohesion, self-knowledge, cooperation and understanding, as well as promote a rights respecting environment.

Human rights violations are both symptoms and causes of conflicts. Cruel acts including: indiscriminate attacks on civilians, the starvation of entire populations and massacres are symptoms of conflicts. On the other hand, human rights issues, such as limited access to resources, limited political participation, exploitation, and discrimination may form the root causes of conflicts. Practitioners of conflict resolution and human rights advocates often share similar goals. In conflict situations, in the short run, both seek to end violence and minimize suffering as quickly as possible. Post conflict, both assist societies in preventing a recurrence of hostilities and promote human rights.

The CRC [see Appendix B] states that children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind (Article 19) and have the right to protection in times of war (Article 38). The successful resolution of conflicts helps to prevent human rights and children’s rights violations.”



Compromise: in conflict resolution, when a dispute is settled by each side making concessions.

Conflict: a struggle resulting from differing needs, ideas, wishes, or demands.

Conflict Resolution: solving a dispute or the methods and processes used to come to a peaceful ending to a social conflict.

Understanding the Concept:

Successful conflict resolution is important as it can lead to increased cohesion, self-knowledge, cooperation and understanding, as well as promote a rights respecting environment. Human rights violations can be both symptoms and causes of conflicts. Try to brainstorm a few examples of when human rights violations cause conflicts and when they are symptoms of conflicts and why.

DID YOU KNOW? [This information can be expanded and amended.]

  • Conflict is a healthy part of relationships. It provides opportunities for growth and development. Calm, non-defensive and respectful reactions are vital.

  • Even animals deal with conflict. Chimpanzees are known to spontaneously provide comfort to recent victims of aggression, a behavior known as consolation.[2]

  • Canadian politician and former Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson championed the idea of peacekeeping during the Suez Crisis of 1956. He earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

  • Increasingly, Canadian peace efforts are concerned with nurturing stable governments and promoting human rights.