The Centre for Sport & Human Rights (CSHR) was formally established today as an independent non-profit organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland. It has also appointed a diverse nine-person board of outstanding individuals to oversee its work including former UNI Global Union General Secretary, Philip Jennings and past World Players Association Executive Director, Walter Palmer.
World Players congratulates all who have contributed to today’s launch and looks forward to working in partnership with the CSHR and all its stakeholders to ensure the human rights of all who make sport possible are respected, protected and promoted .
World Players Executive Director, Brendan Schwab, said:
The World Players Association and UNI Global Union welcome the formal establishment of the Centre for Sport & Human Rights as an important step in ensuring the advancement of the human rights of athletes and everyone who make sport possible.
We are honoured to join the ITUC, IOE, CGF, Swiss Government, Human Rights Watch and IHRB as founding members of the Centre. We also acknowledge the leadership that the expert UN labour and human rights bodies – the ILO and UNOHCHR – will continue to contribute as permanent observers.
The work to meaningfully address global sport’s human rights crisis is just beginning. Principled, courageous and sustained collective action is urgently needed. The targeting of athlete activists, suppression of athlete expression and the right to organise, and horrific cases of athlete abuse need to be prevented and remedied. The business and politics of sport cannot continue to trample on the human rights of so many people while at the same time providing cover for abusers.
By drawing on international human rights standards and principles, the Centre’s Sporting Chance Principles provide the cornerstone to address these challenges. They must now be accepted by the world of sport as non-negotiable ‘rules of the game’.
The collective effort to create the Centre presents a unique opportunity to develop and execute a common vision of a better world of sport. That vision is not only that sport should be harm free. It is not only that sport should legitimately be a true force for good. It is that sport can set the example of respect for human rights in a difficult world.