News & Events

Sporting Chance Forum

13 October 2016 Washington D.C.

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

Sport has a unique capacity to inspire humanity, and mega-sporting events (MSE) have great potential to positively impact the lives of people in the countries that host them.  But such large-scale events also involve significant risks to human rights and labor rights. After years of rising public concern in the arena of major global sports tournaments new collaborative efforts are needed.

With this in mind, the Forum will convene 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 will: highlight the human rights challenges associated with mega-sporting events; take stock of efforts to promote learning and capacity building of the actors involved, and; explore ways to develop more comprehensive, consistent and inclusive approaches to managing them.

The Forum is by invitation only, but the Opening Session of the Forum will be live streamed

The Forum will be opened by Martina Navratilova, legendary Czech-American tennis champion, coach, and advocate for LGBTI and women’s rights.

Ms. Mary Robinson—former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner on Human Rights—will serve as the honorary chair of the Forum. 

The Opening Session will feature 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 will also introduce the Sporting Chance Forum Principles on Respect for 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.

Watch the opening session from 9am ET, Wednesday October 13th.