ICSS signs first partnership with leading organization

By Will Shand, Geneva, Switzerland, Nov 6 2013: The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) today signed a partnership with Foot Solidaire to work together to protect children and young people from the current and growing threat of trafficking in football.

Foot Solidaire helps victims of trafficking and exploitation, specifically working in Africa with young footballers. The new partnership will see the two entities work closely to understand the modus operandi of criminals seeking to exploit young people, as well as implementing a range of educational and capacity building programmes and identifying like-minded organisations to support the effort to tackle child trafficking in football. The ICSS will also work with Foot Solidaire to share knowledge and provide expertise aiming to strengthen, promote and develop best practice in the prevention of child trafficking.

Mohammed Hanzab, President of the ICSS, said: “The ICSS and Foot Solidaire believe that the protection of children and young people in football is a critical area in the organization, competition, performance, reputation, and future development of the sport.

“Human and child trafficking is a shocking and disgraceful practice that has become increasingly linked to international sport over recent years. This agreement is an important step in tackling this global problem and will contribute to improving the lives of many young children around Africa in the future.”

Jean-Claude Mbvoumin, President and Founder of Foot Solidaire, said: “We believe that with the ICSS we can raise awareness of the key issues around the exploitation of children through sport, and football in particular. Foot Solidaire and the ICSS are going to intensify joint efforts to understand how criminals are corrupting the industry of football for their own ends through the exploitation of young footballers and their families.”

The partnership was signed at a special United Nations hosted forum “Sport Integrity – a right for youth” attended by leaders from the world of sport, government, international development and child protection. Organised by the Permanent Missions of Italy and Qatar, in partnership with the ICSS and Lega Pro, the forum explored corruption in sport and its growing and dangerous impact on young people.

Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, Secretary of the Ethics Commission, International Olympic Committee (IOC) spoke at the event, as well as HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Secretary-General, Qatar Olympic Committee and Mario Macalli, President, Lega Pro. There was a discussion on sports results manipulation in Italy, featuring Pierluigi Dell’Osso, Acting Chief, Italian Anti-Mafia Directorate and Chris Eaton, Director of Sport Integrity at the ICSS, while representatives from UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP), Right to Play and Olympafrica, explored the importance of protecting children and maintaining sport’s integrity if it is to fully contribute to development around the world.

About Foot Solidaire

Foot Solidaire is a charitable organisation which helps victims of trafficking and exploitation and advises and supports young footballers with regard to these issues; in particular, African Footballers. Foot Solidaire also seeks to provide training and the promotion and dissemination of good practice. The organisation works with partners on an international level in order to establish strong relationships and trust between Europe and African football for the benefit of fair and sustainable trade.

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