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Dignity is not Served


Assign roles for different people:

ROLES/Characters tasks:


- You know who is and isn’t a refugee.
- If you hear any employee complaining about the task, you threaten them with losing their job.
- If you hear a refugee complaining or not doing their job to an even higher standard, you threaten them with losing their job and calling the authorities.
- You will be giving out salaries at the end of the task.

Host employees:

- Some of you will treat the refugee employees with more hostility, some of you are indifferent -- you just want to get the job done, get your salary, and go home.
- You try to put more of your work onto the refugees so you can be done quicker.

Refugee employees:

- Get the job done.
- Some can complain, some can try confront the boss, and some stay silent to make sure they will get their pay at the end of the day.

(1) Every employee receives an employee card with their ‘employee number’ on it. The employees know who is a refugee and who isn’t.
(2) Host community employees have special tasks (like making refugee employees do more cleaning).
(3) Refugee employees need their salary and are threatened by the boss that if they don’t do the work they’re told to do, they will punish them (eg. no payment/call the authorities etc.)

5-10 minutes role play:
(1) The simulation starts with the employers telling the employees to tidy up the restaurant in 5-10 minutes.
(2) The employers talk down to all employees, but especially refugees and specifically threaten refugees that if they don’t do the work properly they won’t pay them or will call the authorities on them. (This is to create a hostile working environment).
(3) Host employees also treat refugee employees with less respect. Some have tasks, such as making refugees clean more tables etc.
(4) When the 5-10 minutes are up, the boss calls all employees over one by one -- the boss gives host employees visibly larger amounts of money, and refugees less money.
(5) No one is allowed to discuss their salary (and it is implied that they don’t know the difference in salaries).

Reflection and Evaluation:

(a) Start by sharing information about tasks and roles, so everyone is aware of the situation of each participant -- players can read the tasks they were set in this part.
(b) Next, ask people how they felt during the activity, and then move on to discuss what happened, what they have learned, and the links between human rights.
(c) Suggested questions for prompting conversation:
- How did participants feel when they were discriminate against/were discriminating?
- Do you think that in your country refugees are treated fairly in the workplace?
- What could the consequences be for a refugee who speaks up against unfair labour conditions?
- Which human rights are at stake in this simulation?

Method Details

Learning Space
In Person Training
45 minutes
Group Size & Age
Group Size: Minimum of 6 players, and limitless audience/observers & Age: Adults
Restaurant scene: tables with mess; places to tidy the mess up; fake money; signs (eg. "Office of the Boss"); music for aesthetics.
Character cards/notes (on the back of employee cards)
Created by
Mercedes Masters, Güler Erdo‎ǧ‎an, Daniel Abarrategui

Added by

Selvinaz Yolcu

Member since 1 year ago
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