Press Centre

Coalition Launches New Independent ‘Centre for Sport and Human Rights’

26 June 2018


Geneva, Switzerland,  26th June 2018 - Today, a first of its kind centre to foster respect for human rights in the world of sport was launched in Geneva. The new Centre for Sport and Human Rights has been under development  over the past two and half years by a diverse coalition including FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Federation, and UEFA, as well as a broad range of intergovernmental organisations, governments, athletes, hosts, sponsors, broadcasters, civil society representatives, trade unions, employers associations, and national human rights institutions.

Administered by international think tank the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), the Centre will be based in Geneva, Switzerland and operate globally, supporting all actors including host organising committees and sports bodies, and affected groups such as workers and unions, athletes, communities, journalists, volunteers and fans, to share knowledge, build capacity, and strengthen accountability. 

The nearly 40 founding members of the Advisory Council of the new Centre met today for the Centre’s inaugural bi-annual strategic meeting. Marking the official launch, they were welcomed with remarks by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Director-General of the ILO Guy Ryder, and the Centre’s founding Chair Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said at the launch: We are aiming high. Our vision is a world of sport that fully respects human rights. I am convinced that the Centre for Sport and Human Rights will take up the challenge and promote better governance, accountability and sustainability when it comes to major sports’ events around the globe.” 

“This independent Centre is an important step in scaling up our efforts to ensure that sports and mega sporting events are grounded in respect for the equal dignity and rights of every human being, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, concluded: “The new Centre is the product of several years of development and collaboration by actors across the value chain of sport. Our collective vision is a world of sport that fully respects human rights. The Centre will be a public good, working with sports bodies, event hosts, affected groups, and others to share knowledge, build capacity, and strengthen accountability.” 






For questions contact:  Haley St. Dennis, Communications Manager, IHRB: [email protected]/ +447508878015

Livestream to opening keynotes:

Available at:

Includes speeches from: Mary Robinson (Chair of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights); Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights); Guy Ryder (the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)); John Morrison (Chief Executive, Institute for Human Rights and Business).

About the Centre for Sport and Human Rights:

The Centre is Chaired by Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; former President of Ireland

The founding members of the Centre’s Advisory Council, who will advise on the Centre’s annual strategy, include:

  1. adidas Group
  2. Amnesty International
  3. BT plc
  4. Building and Woodworkers International
  5. The Coca-Cola Company
  6. The Committee to Protect Journalists
  7. The Commonwealth Games Federation 
  8. The Commonwealth Secretariat
  9. FIBA
  10. FIFA
  11. Football Supporters Europe
  12. Government of Germany
  13. Human Rights Watch
  14. International Labour Organization
  15. International Olympic Committee (pending)
  16. International Organisation of Employers
  17. International Trade Union Confederation
  18. New Zealand Human Rights Commission
  19. Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 
  20. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development 
  21. Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
  22. Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  23. Proctor & Gamble
  24. Sky
  25. Terre Des Hommes
  26. Government of Slovenia
  27. Government of Switzerland
  28. Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (Qatar)
  29. Transparency International
  30. The Organising Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games
  31. UEFA
  32. UNESCO
  33. UNICEF
  34. Government of the United Kingdom
  35. Government of the United States of America
  36. World Players Association, UNI Global Union
  37. Visa

Media Enquiries

Haley St. Dennis

For any media enquiries please contact:

Haley St. Dennis

Head of Communications, IHRB

[email protected]

+1 801 910 3085

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