World sport ministers call for action on athletes’ rights
(Nyon. Switzerland) The world’s sport ministers have identified safeguarding athletes’ rights as an essential first step to protecting the integrity of sport. The Kazan Action Plan calls on the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, the World Players Association and other international sporting organisations as well as intergovernmental bodies to collaboratively set standards to address the fundamental rights of athletes.
The action plan identifies that salient risks to athletes include:
- Exploitation in employment situations
- Lack of safe spaces to train and compete free of abuse
- Sexual exploitation and misconduct
- Trafficking and violence.
“Protecting players and athletes from risks requires a clear policy and ongoing due diligence. We are pleased to see that the sports ministers have acknowledged the need to protect player rights through a human rights framework,“ said Brendan Schwab, Executive Director of the World Players Association..
The Kazan Action Plan defines safeguarding as a proactive concept that must be designed in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs are a global standard designed to assist business enterprises to avoid adverse impacts on the rights of others and to address such impacts if they occur. They rest on the three-pillar “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework which requires the adoption of a human rights policy, ongoing due diligence, access to an effective remedy, and transparent engagement and reporting.
The World Players Association recently introduced the “World Player Rights Policy” which tailors the framework of the UNGPs to the position of players and athletes within International Sporting Organisations (ISOs). It articulates the urgent need for ISOs to implement the following in partnership with athletes, players and their representatives:
- A binding player rights policy
- Ongoing due diligence to identify risks
- Access to an effective remedy for those players whose rights have been violated
- Engagement, communication and transparent reporting.
“The Kazan Action Plan reiterates that ISOs as major event organisers and regulators have the responsibility to respect the human rights of everyone involved in their dealings, including the players and athletes,” said Brendan Schwab.
The Kazan Action Plan was adopted at the Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VI), held from 13 – 15 July in Kazan. It sets out recommendations for the implementation of sports policy for the coming years. Through its membership of the Permanent Consultative Council to the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) the World Players Association provided substantial input during the drafting of the action plan. Brendan Schwab and FIFPro’s Head of Policy Jonas Bär-Hoffmann attended MINEPS VI and spoke on behalf of the professional players of the world.