Mega-Sporting Events

Sporting Chance Forum on Human Rights

14 October 2016

On 13th-14th October 2016, IHRB, the U.S. Department of State, and Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs co-hosted the global “Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights” in Washington, D.C.

The Forum convened more than 130 senior officials, executives, and experts to highlight and devise effective strategies to address the human rights challenges associated with mega-sporting events at every stage of the event lifecycle, from planning through legacy. Throughout the two-day event, participants highlighted the human rights challenges associated with mega-sporting events; took stock of efforts to promote learning and capacity building of the actors involved, and; explored ways to develop more comprehensive, consistent and inclusive approaches to managing them.

The Opening Session of the Forum was live streamed, and can be viewed below. 

The Opening Session of the Forum featured:

  • A keynote speech by Martina Navratilova, legendary Czech-American tennis champion, coach, and advocate for LGBTI and women’s rights. (transcript available here)
  • Moderation by Ms. Mary Robinson—former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights—who served as the honorary chair of the Forum. 
  • Presentations from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Virginia Bennett, Swiss Deputy State Secretary Alexandre Fasel, International Labor Organization Deputy Director-General, Greg Vines, International Olympic Committee Member Anita DeFrantz, Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive David Grevemberg, and UNI World Athletes President Don Fehr.  

The Opening Session also introduced the Sporting Chance Forum Principles on Human Rights in Mega-Sporting Events. These Principles – put forward by the Forum co-organisers – aim to underpin the common goal of ensuring that mega-sporting events showcasing the best in humanity are built on respect for human rights throughout their lifecycle.

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