Game-changing Call to Place Human Rights at the Heart of Event Bidding and Planning

London, Mar 17, 2016: A ground-breaking meeting of human rights experts and recent and future Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games hosts, to be observed by peers across the world of major sporting events, has been convened by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), UNICEF, the IHRB (Institute for Human Rights and Business) and Terre des Hommes, it was announced today.

Designed to develop game-changing momentum around the need for human rights – and in particular child rights considerations – to become a central part of the bidding and host delivery processes for major events, the meeting draws on the expertise of international development partners and builds on the first-of-its-kind Human Rights Approach implemented for the most recent edition of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Participants, including representatives from the Organising Committees and respective governments of Bahamas 2017, Gold Coast 2018, Belfast 2021 and Durban 2022, will contribute to the development of principles and strategies to safeguard human rights, with a key focus on child rights, and understand the human rights implications and opportunities across the far-reaching spectrum of event coordination and delivery – from youth empowerment to sustainability, procurement to security, community engagement to peaceful protest.

The meeting, being held in London on March 16 & 17, is a forum for Games hosts from a diverse range of nations and territories to come together, supported by human rights and child rights experts, to explore and consider the opportunities and challenges in local and global contexts. Once the inaugural summit has been evaluated, learnings will be shared to enable and inspire other event owners and governing bodies to convene similar opportunities to explore rights-based approaches.

David Grevemberg CBE, Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive, said:
“A key priority of our strategic plan, Transformation 2022, is to live our values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny and to truly understand and maximise the positive impacts of our spectacular sporting events on all athletes, communities and citizens. As a movement uniquely underpinned by the Commonwealth Charter – and its focus on human rights, democracy, prosperity and good governance – we are truly motivated by our obligations and responsibilities to respect, support and actively promote human rights through the bidding, coordination and delivery of Commonwealth sporting events”.

Andres Franco, UNICEF Deputy Director, Private Fundraising & Partnerships Division, said:
“Together with the CGF we have made excellent progress in bringing the issue of child rights to the sporting community. This week’s meeting represents another huge opportunity to work through some of the key issues regarding human rights and the delivery of Mega Sporting Events. Child rights considerations can and should be a central consideration in organising such events. I’m delighted that we’re working so closely with the CGF and other partners to ensure that the protection of children remains at the heart of the planning, delivery and legacies of future sporting events.” —- CGF

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