Human rights

Coalition launches new independent ‘Centre for Sport and Human Rights’

The International Labour Organization will be a member of the Centre’s governance committee, along with the International Organisation of Employers, the International Trade Union Confederation, UN agencies and other organizations.

Press release | 26 June 2018
GENEVA (ILO News) – A centre to foster respect for human rights in the world of sport has been launched in Geneva.

Founding members of the Advisory Council of the new Centre – including the ILO – met for its inaugural bi-annual strategic meeting on 26 June.

The new Centre for Sport and Human Rights has been under development over the past two and half years by a diverse coalition including FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation, and UEFA, as well as a broad range of intergovernmental organizations, governments, athletes, hosts, sponsors, broadcasters, civil society representatives, trade unions, employers’ associations, and national human rights institutions.

Administered by international think tank, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), the Centre will be based in Geneva, Switzerland and operate globally, supporting all actors including host organizing committees and sports bodies, and affected groups such as workers and unions, athletes, communities, journalists, volunteers and fans, to share knowledge, build capacity, and strengthen accountability.

Marking the official launch, they were welcomed with remarks by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, and the Centre’s founding Chair Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“We are aiming high. Our vision is a world of sport that fully respects human rights. I am convinced that the Centre for Sport and Human Rights will take up the challenge and promote better governance, accountability and sustainability when it comes to major sports’ events around the globe,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said at the launch.

“This independent Centre is an important step in scaling up our efforts to ensure that sports and mega sporting events are grounded in respect for the equal dignity and rights of every human being,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid ra’ad Al Hussein.

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, concluded: “The new Centre is the product of several years of development and collaboration by actors across the value chain of sport. Our collective vision is a world of sport that fully respects human rights. The Centre will be a public good, working with sports bodies, event hosts, affected groups, and others to share knowledge, build capacity, and strengthen accountability.”