Mega-sporting events (MSE) have great potential to advance human rights, through job creation, employability, new social housing, and urban regeneration. Yet, with very few exceptions, these events have also been associated with serious violations of human rights. Despite two decades of growing international attention to the industry, recurring areas of concern include forced evictions, construction deaths, migrant worker exploitation, sweatshop labour, restrictions on protesters and street-vendors, and discrimination on and off the sport field.

Shared approaches and coordination across stakeholder groups is needed to enhance social benefits and minimise human rights harm. While this is evident in other industries, it is currently lacking within sport.

IHRB is working with all key stakeholders in the MSE field to advance the idea of creating an impartial, permanent centre for learning and accountability. This initiative will bring urgently needed continuity to the planning, delivery and legacy of MSEs and help to ensure they are managed with respect for human rights. IHRB has developed an MSE website to serve as an resource for information and guidance for practitioners engaging on human rights.