Child labour, sexual exploitation, displacement and police violence.
That is, what children worldwide are exposed to, when big sport events are coming to town.
Until now the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the most significant sport organisation, has failed to include an explicit requirement to respect and protect children’s and human rights in their agenda. Even in the Host City Contract for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, published in September, the children’s rights are absent. An omission Sport and Rights Alliance (SRA) calls “astonishing”.
“It is essential that the IOC wakes up to the human rights impact of its events – and lives up to the expectations created around Agenda 2020,” Eduard Nazarski, director of Amnesty International Netherlands, says.
And Ignacio Parker, secretary general of Terre des Hommes, adds:
“Research has shown that mega sporting events in Brazil had four main implications on children’s lives: increase of police and army violence, displacement, sexual exploitation and child labour. The omission of human rights in the Host City Contract shows little intention for change.”
The Brazil example
A newly conducted study from the University of Dundee about children’s rights violations around the 2014 Brazil FIFA World Cup identified the four key violations to children’s rights, mentioned above. According to the research statistical data from the National Dial 100 hotline suggest that the number of reported violations against children increased by 17 percent in the 12 host cities during the month of the World Cup compared to the same month in 2013.
However it is important to highlight that not all children experience rights violations. But the context of a mega sporting event such as the FIFA World Cup or the Olympics may cause direct violations related to the event or exacerbate violations already present in the country. As you can see in the increase by 17 percent in connection with the FIFA World Cup.
The data from the Dundee study indicates that especially street children and children from poor neighborhoods are the most affected groups of violations of rights. And girls are more at risk from sexual exploitation and harassment while boys are especially at risk of police violence.
The research therefore proposes: “new standards should be developed that protect children within bidding criteria and include a social risk legacy assessment. In addition, a review of and enforcement of well-developed local policies for children’s rights should be implemented.”
Provisionally the IOC just introduced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, free reporting and workers’ rights in the context of the Olympic Games. The children – they have to wait…
calls for a united effort of major sport-related bodies, host countries, sponsors, organising committees and civil society.
cooperates with these key actor to both mitigate risks and maximize opportunities of mega sporting events for children.
wants child protection issues to become standards for any bidding process of mega sporting events.
raises global awareness. wants to give a voice to children.
Source: Children Win
SPORT AND RIGHTS ALLIANCE
The SRA includes Amnesty International, FIFPro – World Players’ Union, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, Supporters Direct Europe, Greenpeace and Transparency International Germany.