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Abstract Details

Abstract Title

Mega Sporting Events and Human Rights: Who is Really Winning and Losing?

Abstract Theme

Sport ethics and integrity

Type Presentation

Oral presentation

Abstract Authors

Presenter Dr. Marianne Meier - Terre des Hommes (International Secretariat) - CH

Presentation Details

Room: Marte        Date: 4 September        Time: 12:10:00        Presenter: Marianne Meier

Abstract Resume

Mega Sporting Events (MSEs) such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games are joyful and prestigious competitions, beloved by millions and globally broadcasted. But they may also cause direct and
indirect human rights violations related to the event or aggravate those already existing in the country. When athletes break the rules in competitions, they are sanctioned. When host countries
violate human rights around MSEs, they largely get away with it. MSEs are driven by various stakeholders and staged in a very complex environment. Not only sport-governing bodies   such as FIFA and
the IOC are involved, but also public authorities, organizing committees, and sponsors. The complexity is also nurtured by the variety of affected sectors involving human rights, children rights,
labour, housing, LGBT, anti-corruption, etc.
Who is ethically and formally responsible for what area? What policies need to be in place to ensure all actors comply with international human rights obligations? What standards are needed to prevent
negative and promote positive effects of MSEs? How can they be implemented and monitored?

The campaign ‘Children Win’ was launched by Terre des Hommes (TDH) to tackle these questions, increase global awareness and change the bidding process of MSEs in the long term. Even though change in
and through sport is also considered, the main campaign focus is around sport. Based on various studies, the campaign analyses both the positive and negative effects of MSEs on local People with a
special focus on children. The campaign does not only target future MSEs, but also past events for evaluation and advocacy. There are four action streams: research and evidence building; awareness
raising; alliances and advocacy; and local case studies. In order to influence the key stakeholders, TDH is part of the ‘Sport and Rights Alliance’ together with major NGOs such as Amnesty, Human
Rights Watch, ITUC or Transparency. In cooperation with the University of Dundee, TDH has contributed to the ‘Dossier on Mega Sporting Events and Human Rights’ in Rio de Janeiro with a chapter on
‘Children and Adolescents’. Appropriate standards are needed for all stakeholders to ensure human rights and the monitoring of this process over time, also involving compliance.

Documentary films were produced to ‘give a voice’ to the local population. There are established exchanges with technical staff at IOC and FIFA. Based on the ‘UN Guiding Principles on Business and
Human Rights’, key asked were defined and adapted for businesses with a social mission. Policies adopted by leading sports bodies to ensure human rights - including children's rights, labour standards
and anti-corruption - have the potential of preventing, reporting and responding to the systemic risks posed by MSEs; from the bidding phase until the final reporting. By referring to concrete
processes around the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics, multi-stakeholder engagement is promoted. There needs to be a formalized dialogue between civil society, sport-governing bodies, local
organizers, government representatives, and sponsors to address the issues in an ethically decent and sustainable way.

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