UNI Global Union Cape Town Resolution, December 2014
As the world players association across professional sport, World Players has a three-part goal in the pursuit of its vision of championing the dignity of the player and the humanity of sport.
First, the human rights of everyone involved in the delivery of sport must be protected, respected and, where needed, upheld. Second, the same must be true for the players. Third, the impact of sport must be positive, including in sporting, economic, environmental and cultural terms.
This commitment follows the resolution of the UNI Global Union World Congress of December 2014:
“Resolution 2: Fight for fair play and good working conditions at sporting and other international events”
Sport and Rights Alliance
The World Players Association is a partner of the Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA).
The SRA is a coalition of leading global organizations, including Amnesty International, FIFPro, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, UNI Global Union, Supporters Direct Europe, Terre des Hommes, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Transparency International Germany, who are working together to improve human rights, labour rights, children’s rights, anti-corruption and sustainability in sport.
Since convening almost three years ago, the SRA has made significant progress in our goal of advancing public understanding and institutional reform of abuses around mega-sporting events and systemic discrimination and human rights abuses around sport. We are determined to close the gap between the image of “higher, faster, stronger” and the reality of ugly abuses and corruption that have too often marred mega-events like the Olympics and World Cup.
For example, in February 2017, the SRA and the International Olympic Committee announced the outcome of discussions between them to revise the 2024 Host City contract to include a new article 13 that prescribes requirements in relation to the protection, respect and fulfilment of human rights.
World Players Executive Director Brendan Schwab said:
“If implemented, the revised Host City Contract will help ensure that Olympic hosts respect ‘human dignity’ as required by the Olympic Charter. This should have a ripple effect across all mega-sporting events such as the World Cup, and wherever abuses tied to sport still occur.”
The amendments to the Host City Contract accord with a series of reforms required by the IOC and developed by the SRA to embed human rights.
Mega Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights
The World Players Association is actively engaged in the Mega Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights, a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at embedding the human rights of everyone affected or involved in the delivery of mega sporting events throughout their entire life cycle.
2017 shapes as a critical year to advance the goal of creating an independent institutional framework to embed human rights in world sport. While progress has been made with the IOC, FIFA and UEFA regarding the application of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to their events, the new policies may not take legal effect until 2024 at the earliest. Between now and then the Olympic Games will be held in Pyeongchang and Beijing and the FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia and Qatar. All four hosts present substantial human rights risks.
The Mega Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights has a dedicated website with valuable resources. These include:
- An explanation of the Platform, which is chaired by Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)
- The principles which were adopted at the 2016 Washington DC “Sporting Chance Forum”, and subsequently by the World Executive Board of UNI Global Union and the Executive Committee of the World Players Association
- The four Task Forces (World Players is co-chairing the “affected groups” task force with Human Rights Watch):
At the Sporting Chance Forum held in Washington DC in October 2016, World Players were represented by President Don Fehr (who delivered a key note address) and Executive Director Brendan Schwab who chaired a powerful panel of those athletes and local communities affected by Mega Sporting Events.