Mega-Sporting Events

Championing Human Rights in the Governance of Sports Bodies

Report, 31 March 2018

Sports bodies are critical actors in delivering mega-sporting events, setting the expectations and standards to which events should be delivered. Through implementing human rights within their own governance and operations, sports bodies can take important steps towards protecting the values of sport and implementing respect for human rights.

A new human rights guide for sports bodies of all sizes was launched at the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), on the eve of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

"Championing Human Rights in the Governance of Sports Bodies" introduces human rights to sports bodies, large and small, drawing on lessons from the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, UEFA, and the Commonwealth Games Federation and outlining four tangible steps that sports bodies can take to build human rights into the governance of their organisations. Focussed explicitly on governance, this Guide is intended for consideration at executive and board level of sports bodies.

The Guide has been developed by IHRB and the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights through its Task Force on Sports Bodies chaired by David Grevemberg (Chief Executive, CGF) and David Rutherford (Chief Commissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Commission), with the support of DLA Piper and Unicef UK, and input from the IOC, FIFA, UEFA, and the CGF.

The Guide is also available in French.

Commenting at the launch, David Grevemberg called on all sports bodies of all sizes, inside and outside of the Commonwealth, to implement the Guide's practical steps:

We are all custodians of sporting movements and organisations that have inherent potential to create positive change in the world. To realise this potential, it is essential that respect for human rights be embedded within governance and operations. 
David Grevemberg, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Games Federation

Latest IHRB Publications

Realising Workers’ Rights in Qatar – A Conversation

Freedom of association and choosing to belong or not belong to a trade union are integral parts of a free society and are fundamental rights. Trade unions can play a vital role in improving health and safety, addressing grievances, and promoting...

Protecting Wages of Migrant Workers in the Gulf

Last Wednesday Engineers Against Poverty published its latest report on Protecting the Wages of Migrant Construction Workers in countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Scrutiny over the plight of migrant workers in the region continues, and...

Rights and Wrongs - Questioning Free Expression in the Workplace

How can companies negotiate their way around deeply divisive political issues where their employees, contractors, suppliers, and associates may have strong convictions and opinions? Can companies keep politics out of their offices? Can they restrain...

17 September 2019

Commentary by Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB