Exploration 1: The Humanitarian Perspective

1A. What can bystanders do? (two sessions)

Exploration 1A focuses on stories about ordinary people who, on their own, in times of war or in other situations of violence, acted to protect the life or human dignity of people whom they may not know or whom they would not ordinarily be inclined to help or protect. They acted despite personal risk or loss.

1B. Looking at humanitarian acts (one session)

In Exploration 1A, students read, enacted, and analysed a number of stories about bystanders. Exploration 1B helps students to define what the concept of a humanitarian act – the behaviour at the heart of all the stories – is.

1C. A bystander’s dilemma (one session)

In Explorations 1A and 1B students explored actual humanitarian acts in terms of the obstacles and risks that bystanders faced before they acted, and the impact or consequences, immediate and long-term, of what they ultimately did. Exploration 1C introduces the dilemma pedagogy of Exploring Humanitarian Law (EHL) and uses it to further explore humanitarian acts. Students assume the role of bystanders and consider whether to perform a humanitarian act; they are required also to take into account the viewpoints of everyone involved and to thoroughly examine goals and possible consequences.