Appendix H: Communication and Cooperation '

The John Humphrey Centre Rights in Play Guide provides the following background information on the topic, Communication and Cooperation:


Communication and cooperation are closely tied with human rights themes and form an important section of the curriculum. The games in this section help to develop communication and cooperation skills and explore how human rights, communication and cooperation are interdependent and interrelated. The games in this section help to develop communication and cooperation skills and explore how human rights, communication and cooperation are interdependent and interrelated. Cooperation entails working together to meet shared goals and to seek mutually beneficial outcomes; it promotes greater self-esteem, empathy and social competence. Communication involves an exchange of information and enables cooperation.

Article 28 of the UDHR [see Appendix A] states that everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. Everyone also has a responsibility to ensure that the rights of others are respected (UDHR Article 29). The full realisation of human rights goals for everyone within a rights respecting social and international order requires effective cooperation and communication on individual, state and global levels. The CRC [see Appendix B] also reiterates the need for global cooperation to achieve children’s rights goals (see the preamble and Articles 4, 17, 22, 24 and 45).

Cooperation and communication are also important in situations of conflict resolution and vital to the fulfillment of human rights goals. Cooperation and communication demand an awareness of differences and the ability to listen to others and respect their opinions regardless of those differences. This is a vital skill in conflict resolution.



Altruism: selfless concern for the wellbeing of others that can be distinguished from feelings of duty or loyalty.

Cooperation: working together.

Collaboration: mutual engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve the problem together.

Communication: the exchange of information between people through a common system of signs, symbols, speech or behavior.

Understanding the Concept:

Cooperation, listening, communication and conflict resolution all share ties with human rights. Through cooperation and communication, a rights respecting society can be achieved. Active rather than passive listening is an essential aspect of effective communication.

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

  • One of the most prominent examples of global cooperation is the United Nations (UN) which officially began in 1945 after WWII. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed by the countries of the UN in 1948, only three years after the UN was created and is a great example of global cooperation.

  • Historically, democratic countries have been less likely to go to war with each other than non-democratic countries and more likely to cooperate and remain at peace. This is called “The Democratic Peace Theory”.

  • Humans have many techniques for communication including body language, drawing, speaking and showing. Long-distance communication techniques have improved vastly over the last centuries. Today, the computer and the internet have become strong contenders for the most popular means of long-distance communication.

  • Empathy may be a root cause of human cooperation. For example, when many infants are together, if one of them starts crying and communicating their discomfort, often, the others start crying too.