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The Sporting Chance Forum discusses sport and human rights

December 07 2023 - News Release News Editorial

The Sporting Chance Forum (SCF23) recently closed at the Palais des Nations in Geneva with a pledge to support human rights. 

The Sporting Chance Forum discusses sport and human rights

Taking place on December 5-6, the forum coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the fifth anniversary of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights.

Athlete Caster Semenya was a special guest, and spoke with former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robison about her struggle for dignity and human rights.

“It is very important for leaders to understand that when it comes to policy making, it is not up to you to decide who belongs in sport. It is up to athletes to decide” said Semenya.

The opening session was led by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, who focused on promoting human rights in sport.

Elsewhere, UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis discussed the governing body’s emphasis on human rights throughout the organisation’s work.

“We have reiterated our commitment to being an active participant in the Advisory Council of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights. We want to engage with civil society and to continue to play a role to promote universal human rights amongst the football community,” said Theodoridis.

"We want to engage with civil society and to continue to play a role to promote universal human rights amongst the football community." UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis

Sessions also included Beyond Commitments: Towards transformational leadership and cultural change in sport; The ’S’ in ESG: Risk, regulations and responsibilities; and Truth, Justice, Repair and Reconciliation: Opportunities in sport to address racial inequality and legacies of colonialism.

Further sessions included Voice, Agency and Action: Engaging young journalists in communities and at Mega-Sporting Events; and Responding to and Remedying Abuse in Sport: Conducting safe, effective and appropriate investigation.

Robin is the patron and founding chair of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights. She said: “It was a great pleasure to join this year’s Sporting Chance Forum, which plays a critical role in convening all actors working to advance respect for human rights in sport. The discussions were insightful and inspiring, and it was an honour to speak with Caster Semenya about her journey and ongoing struggle to defend her rights.”

The Sporting Chance Forum was organised by the Centre for Sport and Human Rights and co-hosted with the International Labour Organisation, the UN Human Rights Office, the United Nations Office at Geneva and the Government of Switzerland, and is also supported by Open Society Foundations.

Image: Braden Collum on Unsplash

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